Friday, July 22, 2016
I don't know if everyone has one of these, but since childhood I've always had the same recurring "Pee Dream." The dream which would end in warmth and, eventually, stinging shame. My dream is something like this: I am kidnapped by ninjas. They are wearing all black, including a ski mask, and have the ability to climb walls. They take me to a house that has dingy pale-yellow walls. There is no roof. I inform the wall crawling ninjas in black that I need to use the facilities. They slink down the hall (on the walls of course) and take me to a stark bathroom with only a toilet. The two of them loiter in the room (not paying any attention to me) as I do the deed. I then wake and heave out a sigh. Thankfully it has been many years since this has happened. Well, as you may have noticed from my recent Woe is Me posts, I am having a flareup. Monday night I went to sleep like usual. [Begin dream] I am a new student at a high school I'm not familiar with. Before class starts, I frantically search for a bathroom that isn't populated with a mass of unfriendly judgmental peers. I go to bathroom after bathroom, only to find that there are hordes of students in all of them, male and female alike. There are some free stalls, but there is only a meager striped curtain separating them, some curtains only limply hanging by a couple of rings while the rest flaps into the hall. Other stalls are full of things too gross to consider. Thankfully I never find an open stall. Instead I awake with a painful cramp in my stomach. This was my first ever "Poo Dream." Upping my meds? I think yes. Not interested in bringing the phrase "shit the bed" from funny concept to painful reality. Written 5/1/2012!!!! Maybe it stayed in edit mode due to shame. I'm quite improved since then. Not perfect, but improved.
Now that we've had kids for four months (btw, we have a foster placement of two boys, 3 and 1.5 y/o), I feel more confident and less wishy-washy about not wanting to have kids of my own. I just started The Scarlet Letter, and the intro describes some elderly folk. It got me to pondering the reason I wasn't against having kids before. It's simple, and selfish, as most things human tend to be. I just keep picturing the family tree and knowing it will snuff out and I'll leave a dead and lonely stub of a branch. I will be an afterthought to those that remain on my tree. To me, that is sad. I really have an interest in my family history, and I won't be able to pass that on. No one will wonder about me, and if for some reason they do, they may think me infertile or some such thing to explain why I didn't procreate. Maybe not. The world is changing in that way. I will be the lonely aunt who never had kids who you visit out of obligation. Just feels weird and lonely to consider. Then I realized what I've really been neglecting is friendships and the upkeep of relationships. That is how people without kids survive into their old age. Death is less sad as you age. It makes more sense. By the time I grow old, if I am so lucky, I will be death weary. It will be a part of life. Not the poignant ripping pain that it might be today if someone close to me were to pass. But that's something I respect the old for. They are battle weary and seasoned in the experience of death. I wish it weren't so taboo. One of our boys talks about death when he's sword fighting and such and my gut reaction was to tell him that's not nice, but I pulled back. Why isn't it nice? It's a fact of life. A much neglected and avoided lesson that we continue to try to hide under our covers from. It deserves contemplation and discussion and acceptance. It's not a dirty word. Written 02/2016.
I think one of the most amazing and wonderful things about books and antiques and any other tactile marker for time is that it's as though you're picking up just one single grain of sand from one single point in time and getting the privilege of thoroughly examining it. It allows us to connect to our elders. I fucking love that.
I realized today that what I'm actually doing is taking the torch of my mom's legacy, and to a certain extent, my great grandpa. My environment is just much more safe and predictable and sterile, but the premise is the same. I think that's why I became a foster mom. I saw my mom picking up strays and being their "safe place" (at least relative to their previous circumstances) and realized there may be a day I was called upon to do the same. I don't know that I was able to recognize that in the beginning, when it was just a vague thought and 12 Saturdays worth of classes, wham, bam, thank you ma'm. But now that I'm living it, with two little kids in my house, it finally struck me. I have recently began to also think about carrying on my great grandpa's legacy, which has helped me to not feel inadequate as I've gotten a new and more corporate job four months ago (I wrote this in 11/2015). I felt less than and couldn't explain why except to think of my dirty upbringing and childhood. Then I thought I wanted to change it, and make myself into what my great grandpa was trying to build and nurture. What he got right with my mom is that she's a good person with a huge and giving heart, just no concept of how to be an adult; I want more of myself and I think he did too. Two different concepts, but they fit together. I'm sure I could come up with a smoother segue, but this has been sitting in edit mode for 8 months and I want to clean out the clutter I've been building.
Thursday, July 21, 2016
My soul gets full on your stories. Fat and happy like a baby without a care for the bystanders peering through the glass at this great thing we have. And there are many of us, collected carefully, considered in as many angles as chance and recklessness and careful planning could forge. This is the thing I have. These are my precious gifts, handled like blown glass or like tempered steel. I have never thought myself lucky, except in this. It has taken all the luck, and is welcome to it, to keep these things alive. Some folks just fill us up. Make us feel lucky to have happened upon them, and hope to make it forever.