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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Perfect in our Imperfections

     Forgive me if I have been a little off lately.  I've been learning some hard life lessons and letting go of my perfection.
     When I was most broken, I dreamed of motherhood and my impending perfection.  I would be all of the things I never saw in the imperfect people around me.  A perfect daughter, a perfect mother, a perfect love.
     From the very first moment, it wasn't the way it was supposed to be.  Nine months of morning sickness, placenta deterioration,  intrauterine growth retardation, Christmas IVs, bed rest, low birth weight...everything was off.  My dreams were off...a crowded store with shoppers, a small rat running underfoot, no one hearing my pleas to stop stepping on my baby.
     Once she arrived, things still weren't the way my parenting books said they would be.  She never slept, ever, unless sleeping in my arms and then only for a few minutes at a time.
     She taught herself sign language at nine months because it drove her crazy I didn't understand what she wanted. Then she kindly taught her language to me by dragging me to what she wanted, pointing to it, and making the sign for it each time until I learned what the sign meant.  
     She hated clothes because of the way they rubbed on her skin.  It took hours to line up the toes of her socks on her feet with the shoes so she wouldn't yank them off her feet.
     She didn't cry but she would literally scream for hours when she was angry.
     She didn't just talk in sentences; she talked in complete adult conversations at one and a half, leaving strangers with their mouths agape.
     She was not the person I imagined.  She was my dream rat, and I wanted to protect her from all the people who couldn't see the girl I saw.
     Seasons have passed and her patience with me has been immense when my instincts are still to protect her from those angry shoppers in the world.   
     This month she fell in love for the first time, faced tough realizations about her family, her sexuality, and being diagnosed with Type 2 Bipolar Disorder.  It was a tough month to be my girl.
     It was a tough month to be her mom, but not because of her.  In the small moments, it is hard enough to be a good enough mom.  In the big moments, I just hope I'm ready, pray, breathe, and do the best I can.  Through her tears, I held her and breathed in her scent and loved her even more than the heartbeat before.  I can't shelter her from the world outside, but I wish she didn't have such a steep climb to where her road is taking her.
     Months ago I promised her we would go to the Junior/Senior Mother/Daughter tea party.  My ironic life deemed the tea party for the only time I can't go.  Tears of guilt and remorse streamed down my face.  She smiled and said,"There are more important things in life than tea parties.  I'm glad I have a mom who loves all these hard to love things about me.  We can have our own tea party, in our pajamas, if we want."
     Somehow in all the big stuff we were going through, I let the tea party become the thing that the perfect mother would do for her.  Luckily my imperfect girl doesn't need  that perfect mom.  She needs a mom with a broken smile who loves her through everything, for who she is, where she is, and who she will be.  We are perfect in our imperfections.      

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Keeping the Promise Anyway

     You know truth the moment it walks in the door.  Your soul jumps up to welcome it back.  I found my definition of love in John Green's The Fault in our Stars.   
     "Sometimes people don't understand the promises they're making when they make them," I said.
     Issac shot me a look.  "Right, of course.  But you keep the promise anyway.  That's what love is.  Love is keeping the promise anyway."
     Today I am keeping the promise anyway.