The Chosen Ones

Some grow near us,
Sprouting from the same tree,
Spending their lives twisting and twining in the same garden.

Others blow in from far away,
Tossed about and pushed along
By the unpredictable winds of circumstance.

But once those foreign roots
Find the soil of a kindred heart,
They take hold, dig in, thrive
Like they’ve found the place they were always meant to grow.

Birthday Haiku for Papa Jer

And because of you,
Everything is possible.
Chris. These boys. This life.

Unfinished Dollhouse

My childhood was
An unfinished dollhouse
A beautifully-appointed almost dream house
With never finished staircase to the top floor…

A life-sized doll
With permanent golden pigtails
Which were oddly glued and would never quite behave…

A red-headed, blue eye-shadowed Barbie
That never felt quite as good
As her more expensive, prettier counterparts.

The Importance of Rembembering

In the hussle and bustle of life, it is so very easy to forget…to get wrapped up in one’s own little triumphs and tragedies…to let go of the gravity of happennings outside one’s own head, own house, own neighborhood. And then there are moments when the bubble is broken…when everything so seemingly important becomes instantly insignificant. Suddenly humility and reflection are the only options. While conducting an internet search for an old work project tonight, I came across this article, these pictures, this video.

Suddenly everything that I thought I needed to accomplish tonight was overwhelmed by a need to stop and remember…to hold in my heart the families that are still mourning, the holes that will never be filled.

Also were thoughts of an amazing community that came together in just 3 short days to hold hands, have hope in what seemed a very hopeless time. When the clouds parted, voices lifted and togehter we dared to dream of something better. I’m still dreaming and hoping and remembering. I know I’m not the only one.

In Spite of Us

Earlier today, I read this blog post about the current controversy surrounding girly Legos. When I read the concerns some parents are expressing, I heard an echo from the distant past and had to wrinkle my nose a little at the remembrance of my high-and-mighty pre-mommy self…the woman who had many theories but no practical information on how this whole parenting thing was about to go down. In my pre-mommy theoretical mind, I used to fantasize that any children who entered MY house would have a gender neutral experience…that girls would play with trucks and boys would play with dolls. I had many self-righteous “My child will NEVER _______ !” thoughts and plenty far-from-reality visions of how things will ultimately work out.

In my pre-mommy mind, I surmised that me and my artist/musician/metrosexual hubby would surely produce sensitive, artsy, calm, dancing children who would spend their days zenfully contemplating life and sensitively caring for others. Boy or girl, I imagined my offspring would be comfortable playing against type and mixing it up with the opposite gender. Imagine my surprise when–in fact–we ended up with a couple of potty-mouthed, wrestling, “Where-the-Wild-Things-Are” frat boys.

Almost seven years into this little experiment called parenthood, I have come to realize that the actual truth about who kids become is this: they are who they are, they like what they like in spite of us. There are girls who love girly things, boys who love boyish things, girls who love boyish things and boys who love girly things. All of that wishing that everything would be gender neutral was a bit unrealistic and naive. Some girls (and boys) just like girly things. Some boys (and girls) like boyish things. There isn’t really a darn thing all the gender-neutral thinking in the world can do about it.

With regard to this particular issue, here is the truth that I have come to understand: it’s not my job to make things neutral or to mold my kids into some preconceived fantasy of what imagined they’d become. It’s my job to DISCOVER who they are and to love them accordingly. It’s my job to make sure they always feel loved and accepted–even when they surprise me. It’s my job to help them understand that lasting happiness can never be achieved by pretending to be something you are not and that life is too short to waste time wishing that folks will be any different than they are. It’s my job to model what it’s like to be open and accepting of all different kinds of folks. Hopefully this will help my rambunctious ruffians to be open and accepting too…even if they grow up to be pirates.

Life Outside the Core

Life inside the inner sanctum can be crazy enough but when we venture to the extended family outer limits, things can get stranger still…