Perfect Moment Monday is more about noticing a perfect moment than about creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between.
We gather here once a week to engage in mindfulness about something that is right with our world. Everyone is welcome to join. Details on how to participate are at the bottom of this post, complete with bloggy bling.
Please visit the links of the participants at the bottom.
Here’s a perfect moment from my week. I hope you’ll share yours, too.
Most of us have figured out that grieving and healing do not take place in a straight line; they happen in a spiral. You think you’re through something because you haven’t hurt from it for awhile, and them wham! you get smacked. Less and less each time, but smacked just the same. You just don’t know when you’ve reached the center of the spiral, where there is no more room for more smacks. You secretly wonder if your grief might have infinite capacity for talking smack at you.
Recently I’ve had a cluster of pangs, if not smacks.
1. Yin + yang: (This section feels a little odd to share, but I hope you’ll understand why these observations were significant to me.)
This weekend, as Roger and I donned our swimsuits to take the kids to an indoor swim park, I caught a glance of my body in the mirror. Boy, do I have hips — child-bearing hips! I have the perfect body for pregnancy — curvy, long-waisted, fertile. By god if I don’t look conspicuously fertile. Like octomom without the lips.
(I don’t know if anyone else IRL sees me this way, but this day, it was how I saw myself.)
Sneaking a peek at Roger, I see his lean body, strong muscles. He’s in the best shape of his life. His legs, arms, back, and torso are well-defined and cut, evidence of the strength and cardio training he’s done the past two years. He is masculinity personified, in a Greco-Roman statue sort of way.
We should model for fertility figurines. We’re all that.
2. Chicklet is preggo — have you heard!? I was thrilled to my toes when she told me. Thoroughly, eminently, joyously happy for my blog partner. Excited to live vicariously through her for the next several months.
I sunk rapidly into a depression. I didn’t realize it at the time because there were other issues weighing on me, but in the stillness I found the demon-feelings: Envy. A little anger. Sadness at being left behind by yet another very close person (my sisters preceded Chicklet, but they had not traveled my path).
The thing is, I do not WANT to be pregnant. I have the family I want and am DONE. So what, exactly are these feelings about?
I think the biggest betrayal is being left behind. Not by Chicklet, of course. It’s not about a person at all. She knows this.
All I can do to stop feeling those “bad” emotions, counter-intuitively, is to simply feel them. Chicklet has thankfully given me the space and the safety to express my emotions so that I can release them.
But still, how long? HOW LONG??
3. Adoption Chiasm was Melissa’s highly insightful piece this week. It was brilliant on its own, and one comment took it to an even deeper level for me.
Anonymous, I gather, suffers from a Primal Wound.
“I was adopted as an infant, I have a great adoptive family that I love very much. I was not abused. I got everything I ever wanted, went to college and have had a good life. I would give it all up to have been raised by my 17 year old emotionally immature birth mother. I would give it all up to experience what it would be like to grow up feeling normal, like I belonged and happy.”
In essence, Anon asserts that the road not taken (the abstract) is superior to the good life s/he has had (the concrete).
The appeal of that road is that it is a fairy-tale road. There are never any potholes, and the sun always shines, but not too hot. It’s a smooth, gently sloping road with bounteous apple trees adorning the sides. In short, it’s the angel you don’t know compared to the devil you do.
No one can ever prove or disprove Anon’s notion that a life with a not-ready-to-parent biological mom would have been better than a life with those who parented her. Because we each get just one road.
This is the crux.
The comment started a new train of thought about roads not taken, which, as Mel pointed out to me, is not just part of the adoption experience. It is part of the human experience.
Non-adopted people face this, too. Mel said: What about the child who wishes their parents HAD made an adoption plan? Or the ones who wish they hadn’t been born at all? Or the ones whose parents divorce?
Adoptive parents also face a road not taken. I started reading a novel yesterday in the bath (hey, it’s MY road) called Sleeping in Daylight (full review forthcoming). Alternate chapters are told by an adoptive mom and her 16 year-old daughter. The parents’ marriage is old and tired, the dad was never on board with the adoption, the child was born addicted and was told of her adoptedness in a scarring fashion, and she has twin IVF brothers who fit into the family better, to boot.
And I’m only on page 41.
The mom thinks about her roads not taken. What might have happened if she hadn’t pushed her husband so hard for that particular adoption? What if she had lived child-free? Would either of these routes taken her to a happier place today, where she was actually awake in her life?
I put the book down and sank into the still warm water and willed myself to think about my roads not taken. The road that our yin/yang bodies suggest SHOULD have been taken.
But try as I might, I could not go there.
I like my road too much. The loss would be unbearable.
That was a very long way of saying that I had a perfect moment in the bathtub.
- Leave a link to your own perfect moment if you’d like.
- Comment about your experience with grief and healing.
- How do you deal with your road(s) not taken?
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