Mother’s Day — how it all started

I was awakened this morning by the person who made me a mom — and I’m going to share all the gory details.

No X-rating here. This person was Crystal, Tessa’s birthmom (she’s OK with this term, so I use it when referring to her).

Crystal chirped into to phone, “Happy Mother’s Day to the best mom in the world!” Which means a lot, coming from the mom of Ty — one of the best behaved 10 year-olds I’ve ever met.

We caught up with each other…her work is going well and she loves living independently with Ty in their own place. She’s crazy-busy and loving it.

As always, we revisit the chain of events that brought us together. We talk about Tessa’s school, her bike-riding, her swim lessons, the latest examples of her will of steel and tendency for drama. Crystal always offers sympathy that I am raising a daughter who is just like she was.

And she is grateful. Six years after we met, Crystal still feels that raising Tessa in the toxic environment that was Crystal+Joe (birth father) would have been disastrous for all three of them — and Ty. She insists we are much better equipped to deal wish such a willful, impulsive child than she was.

I hope she’s right. Tessa’s nature is definitely different from my own. I get the willful part (ask my mom), but impulsiveness it not one of my own traits. As I raise Tessa with our nurture, I strive to be aware of her nature, and to successfully merge the two.

To Crystal and Michele, to my own Mom and Lisa, to GG and Grandma (two RIPs), to my aunts Deni and Pattie and Mrs D (mother figures who continue to bless me) — I honor you on this day.

Our bodies: do we rent or own ?

My Dad once told me that we are all TABs — Temporarily Able-Bodied.

Being young and invincible, I dismissed his statement as a middle-aged mope.

Years later, I finally see what he means.

Eleven weeks ago, my sister’s husband complained of numbness in the hands and feet. He got on to WebMD and self-diagnosed before he went to his doctor. The doctor said surely he didn’t have Guillain-Barre Syndrome — it was much too rare. Gino whipped out the WebMD printout and the doctor disappeared for a few moments. When he came back, he ordered Gino to get to the hospital — now.

Over the next two weeks, Gino lost function of everything south of his eyeballs. In went a trache tube. In went a feeding tube. In went a catheter. In went two central lines. Lost was the ability to move, to speak, to swallow, to breathe. His immune system had attacked his nerve system — quite effectively.

The advance of the syndrome finally stopped, and Gino was able to move from intensive care to a rehab facility. He has spent the last two months getting reacquainted with his body. As his nervous system reconnects, he is experiencing both great pain and small gains. It’s a cause for celebration when he can hold a cheese sandwich and almost reach his mouth.

Hospital staff love visiting Gino’s room to see his latest tricks. You see, Gino is in a rehab hospital dedicated to spinal and brain injuries. Most of the people we meet there are NOT getting better — they are merely learning how to live in their new normal.

People at this hospital are proof that we are all TABs. An ATV accident changes everything for the man with a 3 year old. A stroke from birth-control pills can turn a 32 year-old woman’s life — and that of her partner — 180 degrees. The trucker who didn’t wear his seat belt will not be able to hold his wife’s hand when she gives birth to their first child this summer.

Gino will be released next month, and is expected to regain most (or all) function over the coming years. He will be once again be Temporarily Able-Bodied.

I am so grateful that I can walk hand-in-hand with my husband. That I can scratch my nose. That I can take in a deep, delicious breath of Colorado air. That I can hold my children and swing them around.

I am not owed my body, I do not own my body. Taking good care of it doesn’t guarantee continued use of it. Made from the stuff of stars and inspiration of the Divine, my body is on loan from the Universe. I am thankful for the small and large things I can do.

I am temporarily able-bodied and I finally get that fact — as much as a TAB can.

Blogging for the sake of a book

I’m here because of Daisy.

Participation in a discussion of Peggy Orenstein’s book, Waiting for Daisy, requires me to set up this blog. Click on Stirrup Queens and Sperm Palace Jesters for more info on joining the discussion.

I’ll be talking about the usual blog stuff, too. Coffee, kids, adoption, school, releasing victimhood, healthful living, and whatever else comes up as I try to integrate all my many selves.

I may wobble, but I won’t fall down.

Won’t you wobble with me?

Open adoption & adoptive parenting