Friday, December 16, 2011

Music In My Heart...

I've decided to go forward with a somewhat unconventional post today. It has been a rough couple of weeks for me. As you may have realized by my last post, I lost my Grandmother. I have also had many other things going on. Hence the reason I have not been posting much lately. All of those things led me to the need to express something that means a lot to me.

Today I want to talk about music. It has been an integral part of my life since I was a baby. My mother has an amazing singing voice, my Dad plays guitar and his voice is clear and wonderful as well. Both of my Grandmothers are musically talented, and Gram (the one who died earlier this month) was an inspiring music teacher and played piano beautifully. So with all of that family history I'm sure you can imagine that my siblings and I all have some talents in that area. My sister's both played instruments, clarinet, flute, bassoon, and piano. One of my brothers has the most amazing tenor voice I have heard outside of professional artists. Another brother played trumpet, and all of us have a great love for ALL kinds of music. Growing up we heard classical, opera, oldies, rock, pop, country. I cant speak for my siblings but for me, this made me a lover of ALL types of music. I inherited my Mom's strong operatic soprano voice, and if I'm honest I haven't really been developing that talent very much recently. It's a sad reality that I am trying to work on, because Gram would have wanted me to.

I remember when I was in the midst of choosing a family for Dawson, and my only major requirement was that they have musical ability. I knew I wanted my son to grow up with the same musical surroundings that enveloped me as a child. I wanted him to have a love and understanding of the profound emotional connection a person can have with melody. An understanding of the balance in a good harmony, and the beauty in contrasting chords when trying to convey emotion. Music is the only language that can truly express our feelings, the highs and lows and all that comes in between. That's why I will never run out of posts for "Adoption Art of the Week", because there will always be a song or a lyric that brings my son to mind, that makes me feel the sadness or the peace again. I will have an endless supply of beautiful music to put forth and show how profound it is to my life.

So my challenge is this: The next time you sing along to your favorite song, don't just hear the lyrics. Try to listen to the music behind it and see how much it adds to those words. Our lives would be a very empty place without those notes and melodies. When that song comes on the radio that brings you back to your childhood, feel the awe in knowing how simple and how amazing that is. Understand that music is a powerful force at work in this world.

For me, music will always be a piece of who I am, just like my family shaped me, so did the music that surrounded me. I am grateful for a family who understood that teaching me to love music was about so much more than entertainment. I am so glad that Dawson has the opportunity to have that same love fostered in his life through his parents and sister. I am proud to know he has a strong musical family, on all sides of his life, and I know he will find the importance of it because of that.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Color

It's time for another edition of Five Minute Friday!

Every friday there is a prompt, and in the words of The Gypsy Mama herself:

"For only five short, bold, beautiful minutes. Unscripted and unedited. We just write without worrying if it’s just right or not."

This week's prompt is: Color


Color is a strange way to think of it. This week my world has been splashed in shades of grey and black. Mourning the passing of a Grandmother and friend, trying to be there for my mother while still processing my own greif. I don't even know how to explain how I feel. I can't even bring myself to wear brightly colored clothing.

Always in my mind are the thoughts of what I should have done. I should have called her on Thanksgiving. I should have sent more pictures. I should have...

I couldn't bring myself to go to her house, to travel there and see her funeral and watch others mourn for her. I will not be there to see the flowers and the tears. I can't bear the thought of being in her home without her music filling it. Its too much to ask of myself to have to say goodbye again. She is here, in my heart and in my music, always. I have sung for her each day since she passed and I hope to continue...

I miss you Grams...


Sorry this didn't end up being very on topic. I still need some time to process things I guess. Thanks for being patient while I am going through all this. I will try to get back on the topic of adoption soon.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Holiday Grieving

Grief, I know many birthmoms who feel such debilitating grief during this time of year. Some people believe the pain fades away, but they are wrong. In the first few years my reactions to the pain were stronger, because the pain was newer and I had no skills to deal with it. In the same way that a strong smell is overwhelming at first, but as you sit in it you forget it is there. Only occasionally, when someone else comments on the smell, do you remember it was there. It's always there, always a part of the atmosphere, but you simply become immune to it's power over time. The amount of anguish I feel over missing the Holidays with my son has not diminished over time, as some would believe it has. I don't cry as often about it, that is true, and I have many more moments of joy than I used to. This is not because I have moved past it, it is only because I have felt these emotions so often that my reactions have changed. I certainly have a support system to turn to, and I also have more skill at looking through the grief to the happiness on the other side.

I love the Holiday season, I always have. I remember waiting impatiently for Christmas morning, shopping for my siblings and friends. Being so excited to see their reactions to my gifts. I can certainly find that excitement again, and I enjoy all of these things as I always have. With Cookie around, it's a little more easy to do, because I get to give her gifts and see her reaction to them.

I will confess, for a long while I have not sent Christmas and birthday gifts to my son. Some birthparents find a certain amount of relief in knowing their child will be able to get gifts from them. My enjoyment in giving has always been about seeing the joy that those gifts entice. I lost interest in sending gifts when I realized that I would not be able to see him enjoying them. I buy him things when we visit, and I love seeing him light up like that. Perhaps it sounds callous that I would not send anything, and maybe it is. I know my mom sends them gifts occasionally, and I know they don't expect gifts from me. Another problem the last few years has been my financial status, it's tough to get together the money for sending gifts when you are a single mom, or living on your own, surviving paycheck-to-paycheck.

This year things are different, so I made the resolve to send them something, even if it is something small. I sent them a picture already that Cookie colored for them. I also have a book to send as well. It's hard not to want to buy an entire store out for them, but I am taking it slow.

I know that this year will be just as hard as the last 7 have been, and I will miss seeing Dawson open gifts and participating in many other traditions. I will be able to experience those things with Cookie, and that is some help to me. I also know that A will be there to lean on when times get tough for me. I hope that those who are not part of the adoption world will understand a little better how these occasions can effect a birthparent. I also hope that birthparents out there will understand they are not alone. The sadness and grief are normal, and you will get through it. I wont give you false hope that this will go away, but I will say that it gets easier. I suppose that is the best we can hope for.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Things I've Learned About Being a Mom

1. Toddlers will inevitably want your food, but not their own, so get used to eating food that is soggy from baby-saliva.

2. It's REALLY hard to teach your child not to do something when you are laughing at them.

3. Bodily fluids and excretions are no longer gross when dealt with daily.

4. Bedtime can also be known as "The threshold of Mommy's relaxation time".

5. Any object is a phone to a 20 month old.

6. Someone who rings your doorbell after your child's bedtime (even if it is 7pm) is a giant A-hole automatically.

7. Milestones like crawling, walking and talking are all so fun to think about before hand. After they actually happen you realize how easy you had it when they COULDNT run away from you or talk back!

8. Your children will always be the cutest, most beautiful, and most talented.

9. One of the hardest sounds in the world to hear is your child calling after you when you have to leave them.

10. Everything is more difficult, and yet more beautiful, with your children.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Tired

It's time for another edition of Five Minute Friday! Every friday there is a prompt, and in the words of The Gypsy Mama herself:

"For only five short, bold, beautiful minutes. Unscripted and unedited. We just write without worrying if it’s just right or not."

This week's prompt is: Tired


You're so tired, your tiny eyes droop and your little fists rub away at them. Signalling the end of another evening and the beginning of another length of "Mommy time".

You cling tightly to me and allow me to rock you back and forth. This is how I remember the early days. How blessed I am to have you to snuggle beside me and help me see the simplicity of life's joy.

After the babbling stops and the house is quiet, I find myself slumped into the couch. Tired. No, exhausted.

So much has happened for us and to us. So much has made life more promising, yet more difficult. I feel an ever-abiding sense of exhaustion, it seeps into each moment, but these moments are the worst. Letting my guard down allows such crippling fatigue to finally have it's way with me. I wonder when will come a time where I do not feel as if it has sapped each moment and each breath from my body. Will there come a day when I can simply revel in the feel of my child's head on my shoulder? Or the gentle hand of a strong man atop mine? So much ahead to get through, so here I sit, finally able to be and not just do.