Tag Archives: time travel

All of me

I wait in the clearing for them to join me. It is my celebration, after all.

The sun is shining, bathing the lea in a warm glow. There is an entire meadow of soft greenery for us to dig our toes into. Nothing sharp, nothing dangerous, nothing to mar our time together. There is just the slightest breeze. The sky is the most pleasant timeless blue imaginable.

The first to arrive is a girl about 8 years old. Her skin has a sage tint, the downshot of difficulties in breathing. She brings me worms, leftover from when she gathered a bunch for her sister’s birthday. For some reason she thought worms would make a good gift. She is a bundle of fears, although she is well-fed and well-loved. I just want to hold her while she breathes. I want to breathe for her.

Soon, the 17-year old comes upon us, all arms and legs and attitude. She is skittish, like a colt, just waiting to be hurt. It’s because Doug, her boyfriend, has just dumped her for the 4th time. Well, they’ve broken up 4 times, but she was the dumper at least once. I think about telling her there will be many more heartbreaks, and that she’ll have ample opportunity to be on both ends of them. Each one hurts, but when it’s all said and done, she’ll be thankful that she and Doug (and the many that follow him) parted. I’d tell her, but she wouldn’t believe me. She hands me her diary, the one she just started and intends to keep for the rest of her life.

The next young woman arrives in a black gown and mortarboard and with a gold cord dangling from collar to waist. You can feel the promise that fills her. She looks both ready to tackle and tame the world and also petrified of taking her next step. She will face rejection after rejection before she comes on a job with a meager paycheck that will fulfill her emotional, if not monetary, needs. She is planning a wedding, but is having thoughts of calling the whole thing off. The burden of this thought weighs down her shoulders. I whisper to her, “listen to your gut.” She looks at me hopefully and shows me the keys to her first apartment. Where she will live alone.

A very sad woman enters our circle. She’s in her 30s and she’s been crying, crying, crying. The losses she has endured have sucked the very life out of her. She has beautiful, glorious child-bearing hips, which are going to waste. Her dreams have evaporated. She feels alone (although, still well-loved) and without hope. We instinctively move toward her, trying to sense if she will allow us to comfort her. I barely recognize this woman — the toll has been so drastic. Can’t she see that this chapter, like all the others before, will end? Her hands hold only tissues full of tears.

The next woman to grace the clearing has graying hair, still long like I knew she would. She is weary — after all, she is raising teenagers. The one knows how to trip all her wires and the other is just growing up and away too quickly. She has a peace about her…the peace that comes from repeatedly being shown that this, too, shall pass. Her eyes pierce through me, chiding me for my petty complaints about the drains of childrearing. She has brought me a watch — one that ticks twice as fast as normal.

We turn to receive our final guest. She walks toward the west and is a few inches shorter than the rest of us grown women –still a head taller than the child. She is white-gray in hair, fissured of skin, and her eyes and lips have lost several shades of their original vibrancy. For all her physical feebleness, the corners of her mouth are upturned. Her eyes are kind, and she exudes patience. Like the sky above us, there is something timeless about her. She extends only her trembling hand, representative of the enduring body that houses her immortal spirit.

These are my Selves. They have come to honor the fact that I have been on the planet for another turn around the sun. They bring me their tokens and dreams and insights. I envelope them and am enveloped by them. One by one, I welcome each into my heart, accepting the gifts they have brought. I acknowledge the gift she is, she is, she is, she is, she is, she is.

I am.

Image: Vic-Art

I was syndicated on BlogHer.com


Perfect Moment Monday: Chinstrap time travel

Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between.

Once a week we 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.

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This is a moment I plan to savor on my deathbed. I took care to emblazon it on my psyche.

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Each morning since school began, the kids and I strap on our helmets, mount our bicycles and ride ¾ mile to their school. I make sure they’re OK locking up their bikes in the bicycle cage and then I pedal home. At the end of the school day, I zoom back to school, meet them at the cage, and we ride home together. In just two weeks this has become a treasured ritual. We get fresh air, exercise, a joint activity, and time to talk while in motion.

Friday morning, the kids were already on their bikes while I was still putting on my helmet. They buzzed around our circle waiting for me. It was a beautiful sunny morning, temps in the mid 60s. The grass is still green, the heavens a gorgeous azure, the flowers vibrantly colorful, the air so clean you want to inhale the entire sky into your lungs. I paused to notice, really notice, what was going on.

And then a curious thing happened, in the mere time it takes to click a chinstrap.

I marveled that the two teeny-tiny babies that I’d schlepped in infant car seats, that I’d toddled down driveways, that I’d left, crying with separation anxiety, in pre-school classrooms, that these two amazing beings had become such independent, active and generally happy children. In the blink of an eye, a filmstrip covering 9+ years of parenting ran through my mind.

And the phenomenon continued, from the present day forward. I could see Tessa, her legs splayed in the “wheeee” position while she coasted the arc of the circle, sporting braces, then wearing a formal dress and corsage with her right hand on her date’s chest in the classic prom-photo pose. I could see Reed, working on his wheelies, in a gown with a mortarboard atop his head and diploma in hand as he graduates from my alma mater. I see them each in wedding-wear, gazing with devotion into their beloveds’ eyes, then becoming parents themselves, teaching their children, my grandchildren, to ride bikes.

Best of all? I returned to right now. This perfect, delicious, endless moment with my children.

I am so lucky.

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To participate in Perfect Moment Monday:

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What Perfect Moment have you recently been aware of? Be sure to visit these moments and share the love, and please come back next week (click to subscribe).


 

Open Adoption Parenting: What I Hope My Children Say One Day

Open adoption bloggers met at the virtual roundtable to ponder these questions:

Imagine your child as an adult describing their open adoption experience. What do you hope they will be able to say about you? How did you view their other parents? In what ways did you support their relationship with them?

June 1, 2031

Dear Mom,

See? I waited until I was all grown up — 28! — to get married, have sex, and start a family. In that order.

But first I became self-sufficient in my chosen career. I married only because I wanted to (and because my partner is a wonderful person), not because I needed someone to take care of me.

Anyway, now that I’m a mom, I understand a little bit more about what it took to raise me. I want to tell you that I thank you for keeping Crystal and Joe in my life. Being with them always felt good, and I’m glad you didn’t feel threatened by the bond I have with them. It means the world to me that you love them, because that freed me to love them and to love myself.

Also, I appreciate that you let me talk about adoption stuff when I wanted to, but didn’t bring it up all the time. Even though you wrote about it ALL.THE.TIME.

If the sleepovers I had with Crystal and Tyler [birth brother] or with Joe and his family were hard for you, you never showed it. I have always felt fully connected to my birth family and, of course, fully connected to you and Daddy and Reed.

It hasn’t always been easy, having two sets of parents, but you made it as easy for me as you could. I love you so much for that. And for grounding me for only a week that time I took your car without permission on my way to work at the soup kitchen.

Love always,

Tessa

~~~~~

June 1, 2031

Dear Mama,

I suspect that you often wondered if you were handling all this adoption stuff well. My sister’s birth parents were around in the early years and mine weren’t, and you worried if this was hurting me.

Sometimes it did.

But I never felt slighted. Crystal and Tyler and Joe and his family always included me. And then you found AJ and brought him into my life. Later, Michele resurfaced and told me my adoption story herself. It helped me to understand, even though sometimes it was hard.

Do you remember that day in the car? I told you I didn’t want to talk about my birth parents any more because it made me sad. I remember you told me that you wouldn’t bring it up again for awhile, but that if I ever wanted to talk about it with you I could. I appreciated that.

So even though it sometimes hurt, I am thankful that you sat with me during the times I was hurting. You didn’t minimize my feelings or gloss over them. And somehow I didn’t get stuck in the hurt.

It means a lot to me that you always spoke respectfully of Michele and AJ and that you provided contact with them when they were ready.

I love you, Mama. Thank you for always loving me so completely. I’ll be over on Sunday to mow your lawn.

Reed

guide to living in open adoption

Lori Holden, mom of a teen son and a young adult daughter, writes from Denver. Her book, The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole, is available through your favorite online bookseller and makes a thoughtful anytime gift for the adoptive families in your life. Catch episodes of Adoption: The Long View wherever you get your podcasts.

Lori was honored as an Angel in Adoption® in 2018 by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.