Archive for the ‘possibility’ Category

The prodigal daughter.

September 17, 2013

I haven’t disappeared.

Rather, things are changing. I don’t know how to explain it, because on the surface nothing has. Except, I suppose, the kids are now officially home educated, which is quite a big deal – and also not, because it means we just carry on as we are.

I’ve opened a new blog. I’m tired of being anonymous. I want pictures with heads on, I want you to know what my name is, I want to connect more easily with people.

I don’t have any posts on the new blog yet, but will direct you folks over to it when I do. I’ll probably keep this blog, too.

I don’t know. I’m half decision making, half just living in the now. More immersed. But as winter comes, so does a different rhythm.

I AM on twitter under my real name. I’ve linked to it from my existere account, which is now private. So you can find me there, or alternatively, leave a comment below with your email address and I will give you my new twitter handle.

I’ve found it hard to go from a fast paced twitter life with lots of friends to trying to rebuild a community for myself, but decided it was harder to keep the same account but erase all references to anonymity.

I find NOT being anonymous sort of tricky, because it has been so easy to talk about poop and mooncups and penis infections, but I’m finding my way.

I miss you guys.

Lots of things are more historic than a new famous baby.

July 22, 2013

A lot of historic things have happened in the last week. Marriage equality has happened here. TMD and I went away alone for a night. The kids’ adoption went through – we had no idea till today. But after almost exactly four years, the kids finally have two legal mothers.

And another thing. I wore skintight cropped leggings on the past two evenings for my walk. That shit is something I never thought I would say.

They are so gross but SO COMFORTABLE.

I am trying to reemerge, folks. These nightly walks have literally taken all my time and energy. It is a big commitment. I have a rest when TMD gets home, because my days can be tiring but also because it is currently hotter than the sun, then go on late night walks and come home and write a bit about them.

Oh, the sheer rocky ride of finding the discipline to go out every single night. It has been a tough settling in period, and even now, on day thirty four, I wouldn’t say I’ve settled. I have missed three nights – two due to pelvis problems, one due to a cat slashing my fucking toe open – but I am getting there.

More and more I am thinking about starting a more public blog. I miss posting pictures with heads, real names, being more easily able to connect with people who live near me. I hung out with a good friend I met courtesy of this blog earlier in the week and we discussed this a bit.

I have often started ‘niche’ blogs, only to drop them because I like writing about all of life. So I think a new blog would be like this, but with more personal details…and less ranting about family members. Something to think on. And whether I’d keep this blog going, which I think I might.

It’s a dramatic week. Snort’s collarbone is still causing him pain, I’ve found a brown itchy spot on my labia, of all places, and we both have doctor appointments Thursday. The kids also danced on a stage in front of 7000 people, which was awesome, and I got to hang out with a friend ALL BY MYSELF AT NIGHTTIME. Another historic thing.

Overwhelmed.

July 11, 2013

20130711-192335.jpg

I’m sorry I haven’t written. In a way, this challenge of walking thirty minutes a day is taking over. It sounds silly, but I have a quick rest in the evenings, then walk, then write about walking. Then, blessed sleep. So I am over on the Facebook page I mentioned in the last entry. Please come like it because I think I am hitting the point where i need lots of encouragement! Drop a comment here if you can’t find it. And if you are on there, leave a message on the wall telling me who you are and I’ll befriend you from my real Facebook account.

The next thing?

Snort broke his collarbone today. I don’t have too much energy left after today, so perhaps I will write more tomorrow, but wtf. Poor kid. He’s totally happy and mostly fine, and was SO HAPPY he got to have x rays. It was like all his Disneyland dreams came true. You’ve never seen someone more geeked about a trip to the hospital.

He wasn’t so pleased when it happened, and thank god my friend Lauren was there. He was hurting so much he didn’t want to walk, so he got to ride in Jazz’s pushchair back to the car. But that’s it for now. More soon. Hope you are all well…

I miss you.

The theoretical becomes possible.

June 27, 2013

So, the Supreme Court overturned the Defence of (heterosexual) Marriage Act. I think this means we could all theoretically move to Country A, at least as soon as marriage equality passes in law here. Then our civil partnership could be ‘upgraded’ to a marriage. And then, as far as I understand, the federal government of Country A would have to legally recognise our marriage and we would have a legal leg to stand on if we wished to immigrate.

If I have that wrong, someone please enlighten me.

I read a few minute ago about a binational couple – one was in the midst of being deported when the SCOTUS ruling came out, and the judge immediately stopped the proceeding because, lo and behold, this couple was legally married in a right on state, and therefore entitled to federal benefits…including immigration. Big stuff.

Of course, the rest of the dominos need to fall, the rest of that country needs marriage equality otherwise it is all a colossal head fuck, but still.

This brings real questions about our life up. I have dual citizenship, as do the children. So we could move elsewhere without any legal hassle if we wanted to move back.

But moving to Country A would require such a lifestyle overhaul. I’d probably have to be the one to work while TMD stayed home. We would have to move to a gay friendly state, namely worrying about insurance. Over here, everyone has ‘free’ healthcare. I could break my leg tomorrow and not have to worry about how today for x rays or painkillers. As far as I understand, some states (and most companies) do not allow benefits for same sex partners. Does the ruling stop this? What is the reality of insurance in that country? I’ve never been a real adult there, so I don’t know.

Home education would be protected in the areas we would ever consider moving to. So that isn’t an issue.

But JOBS.

Let’s be real, I know what field I would be ready to step back into….though I’d prefer TMD to do it….but it is an incompatible job for married people with a family. Totally time consuming and all encompassing.

I like our lifestyle here. I think moving across the planet is a huge undertaking, even when you are moving back to a country you have lived before. People move on, things change, and when you have lived abroad since your early twenties, well, there’s a lot to learn.

I’d love to live near my family, but I love living here.

I don’t think my mother understands the SCOTUS ruling or the implications. It’s always been easy to try to fob off the guilt trips, considering my relationship had no legal status in Country A. I have a bit more buffer time until the marriage equality law changes here, but the process has already started and it is only a matter of time. Once we are legally married, and Country A is forced to recognise that marriage, well…..no longer am I an exile. No longer do I HAVE to choose between my wife/family and my birth country.

But you know what, this is my country, too. My home.

No matter where we live, one of us will be far from family. I don’t doubt we would figure things out, probably be very happy in either place. But man, what a lot to think about.

What I just posted on Facebook. (30/365 ONE)

June 19, 2013

I remember how I felt that evening two years ago when I walked fifteen minutes without any assistance. I dubbed it ‘the summer I would learn to walk again,’ and after two years full time in a wheelchair, and still on crutches every day, it seemed a big task.

I developed symphysis pubis dysfunction during pregnancy, and I still have it – along with the resultant arthritis – today. But I haven’t used a wheelchair in a year, though I’ve had a handful of days where I couldn’t walk. I’ve only used crutches on less than ten occasions.

Today I start a new goal – thirty minutes of walking every day for the next 365 days. Walking can be substituted with a DVD, class, etc. I may have to be flexible in cases of severe relapse or illness, but would prefer to swap walking for meditation or stretching on those occasions.

These thirty minutes have to be separate from whatever other activity I may have done that day – like walking miles at the seaside today and being sore before I even went out this evening!

I’m doing this for head space, for time to rediscover me, to work on my next novel, to explore my neighbourhood, to get more healthy – and I guess, I’m doing this because I’m just so grateful I can. After being told I may be in a wheelchair for life, after finally coming close to coming to terms with daily, chronic pain, I can walk. I don’t want to forget how amazing that is.

Ever.

So here is where you come in. I’m posting this publicly because I need support. I know my motivation will flag and I will want to give up. I need likes and comments and support. I won’t flood your news feeds and I will never write a status this long again, but I WILL post every day.

Today is day one. I walked for 33 minutes, 2 mph, for 1.11 miles.

Thought processes of a mother of three year old twins.

June 4, 2013

Today is the day for ‘Pirate Ship Storytelling, ‘ the one day a month where we crowd into a room with lots of people, find a comfortable cushion, and let this totally amazing weirdo spin tales of goddesses, shipwrecks, and treasure islands. Then we wander around the top deck of a huge ship, because we are too afraid of the statue people (aka mannequins) on the lower decks. We eat lunch, maybe outside, always chips. Wander along the river, maybe climb into a boat for a breezy ride.

It is always an amazing day, and it is today, so then how come I woke up thinking, ‘Oh, JESUS, I just want to stay home’? Even at the risks of more Jehovah’s Witnesses, even with the annoyance of trying to stay awake in the late afternoon.

So then the guilt kicks in. And I think, ‘Hey, no big deal if we skip that even though we also skipped last month. It is a beautiful day. This may be the only beautiful week of the summer. Wait, I know! We should go to the zoo! They can splash in the little kid fake river and we can just wander around.’

Then my pelvis aches, my inertia keeps me sitting here in bed (though showered and dressed) while the kids lay together in Snort’s bed watching YouTube videos about people making Angry Birds out of playdoh.

So I think, let’s take it easy, let’s stay in, then maybe later we can go to the little farm around the corner. I test it out. No immediate objections of my mind or body. Coconut suggests the library, and I think, yeah, okay, I can handle that. No weird time limits, stressful drives across town, etc. We can wander and maybe buy them chips in the little cafe we sometimes go to.

Still I sit here, wondering if I am somehow shortchanging my children, even as my head knows it is GOOD for generic children and great for MY children to play outside, to have empty hours to fill with imagination, to just do what we want. My mother guilt kicks in, and I think, Jesus, am I depressed? Is that why I don’t want to go out? Or is this chickenpox hangover? Or am I just the laziest person in the universe?

I remember summers past, how time somehow slows down and stretches out, how we do less but it feels like more, how we have lazy days watering plants and drawing with chalk and splashing in the garden. And as I write these words, as the visceral memory of two babies who could not yet sit up stretched out in the sunshine, as two bigger babies crawled like maniacs later that summer, it comes back to me. I remember the next year, the daily trips to the park, the wandering hikes in the woods, eighteen months old and walking for an hour on narrow paths littered with roots and stones.

I remember all that a lot more clearly, more sweetly, than most of our trips out. The days we accidentally have a great time doing nothing, but what a shame- they can’t be planned. They just have to happen.

But I guess what I can do, what I can try to not feel guilty about, is giving them an opportunity to happen.

High tide.

May 21, 2013

beach

Oh, we have the time to see what it feels like for our feet to get sucked into cool, wet mud. We won’t cringe or scream unless we want to, but we won’t….we’ll be too busy laughing and figuring out how to move again. We will be hunkering down to watch sand swirling in perfect circles. We will be standing halfway between dunes and the ocean, in the halfway sort of place that is half land, half water.

And if we wander down to the sea, if we walk that long distance, no one will say no. We can get messy, we can explore, we can try it out. When we fall into the warm, brown water, our clothes will stick to our bodies and show the outlines of all that we are and will become.

We have the chance to watch the tide race in, fifteen feet distant to ten to rising to cover our feet. We usher the water in, it follows us and we stop now and then and let it engulf our toes, calves, knees. The waves are small and unrelenting, they rush us closer to dry sand, to the sandcastles waiting to be built, the sunshine wanting to drench us.

Oh, that water is so warm, so unbelievably warm, and it’s water we’ve never seen so high, the tide usually pulling it so far from our eyes we can only imagine the water at the horizon. But we tried, and we walked far, and we laughed and struggled through the mud. The water rewarded us, following us home like a puppy, lapping at our heels. We watched waves roll in, one after the other, spitting perfect small seashells onto the sand. We marveled at the millions of years that caused the sand, the many, many moments that led us to this spot.

And it was beautiful.

Home education ‘school trips’

May 9, 2013

We are lucky to live in one of the best places in the country to home educate – there is a huge and varied population of home educators, including more than a handful of mamas from Country A. We have home education classes/groups/social meet ups available every day of the week, with everything from drumming to rock climbing to ….well, anything you can imagine. If it doesn’t exist, you can create it. We also have regular family meets on weekends throughout the year, a large not back to school picnic in September, and lots of other stuff going on.

Including trips.

Now, we have avoided the trip circuit as I felt the kids were a bit young, but now they are a great age. We went on our first trip yesterday. These are basically the equivalent of a school group having a field trip, and yesterday we visited a working farm. We were so not what those farmers expected.

Our children were not all one age. There were kids there from babies through to teenagers. Our ‘uniform’ was whatever individuals were comfortable in. We didn’t stay in strict groups and keep quiet.

The bit that made me laugh was the opening tour. None of our children are trained into staying in a neat, orderly group. As individuals and families, we are all very used to doing our own thing. So while some people stayed right with the farmer, a few children would be looking at nearby stuff. Whenever we moved locations, our group strung out into a huge, rambling, evolving thing, as children asked questions of each other, the adults, and the farmers. It was fantastic. A day that really reinforced our decision to home educate.

And we get to have every day like this, if we want, not just once or twice in the year. That’s awe inspiring to me. We can do what we want….whether hours of play at home, or out exploring the world. That is empowering.

On a side note, we met our first real live person who appears to replicate school at home. Of the hundreds of people I’ve met, no one uses a curriculum or makes their kids sit round the table for formal lessons. This seems a more common approach in Country A, where this lady was from. It was interesting to chat with her….albeit while Snort was covered in blood from a trampolining incident!

These trips will further open up our world. Because most home ed families are fairly autonomous, they give us a chance to meet people we might not otherwise know. An interesting thing is the influx of three and four year olds who would be starting school next September – people new to the idea of home educating, and lots of new potential friends for the kids. Coco made a particular friend of a four year old boy who apparently liked being bossed around, and they stuck together like glue all day. Snort played with older boys, got upset with them, and the six year old ringleader came over to sort it out with him, so he and Snort ended up playing together for a long time.

The flexibility of ages, interests, and abilities means that getting together with large groups of home ed families is always enjoyable. Even when your kid is bleeding everywhere – the immediate concern and support of other parents and children was awesome. It’s a group of people who are ultimately very accepting, and we are a collection of individuals accepted and celebrated for our quirks and joys. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Next week, assuming chicken pox doesn’t hit us up, we have our second trip ….to a fire station! TMD is so excited for the pottery class in the morning and the fire station in the afternoon she’s taken the day off work! I really hope we make it, but suspect the pox are on the way. Soon.

Where I come from.

April 19, 2013

My heritage is in listening to medical stories over dinner. This heart attack, that injury. Words spinning and dancing in the air, describing microwaving blankets to heat the up for boring night shifts. How the full moon makes everyone crazy. What this doctor said to that nurse, and always, the quiet thread of lives she has saved.

My heritage is in music, his stunning ability to sing and play the saxophone and just about any instrument he tried. Long walks in the woods, no place to go, all the time in the world to waste. Board games and letting me put make up on his face.

My heritage is lying in a bed while her older hands lightly trip across my skin, scratching my back and weaving stories together, telling me my future, the future of my sister. Sitting by her kitchen table, eating long johns and cheap hamburgers. Sitting in the dust, feet over water, fishing and listening to the rhythm of the world.

My heritage is in his books, his silences. Reader’s Digest condensed novels handed to me like some people offer seven year olds candy. Big bowls of popcorn, almond praline ice cream. Hose nose shines from my mother’s face, my sister’s.

My heritage, too, lies within myself. Hours alone in the woods, in fantasy worlds, climbing over fences into areas that were off limit. Endless filled notepads, playing with little people on my bookshelf and creating worlds for them, composing music during other empty hours and being absorbed and whole.

Figuring out what authentic means. Motherhood and me-ness. Just being.

April 18, 2013

I read a status update on Facebook by an unschooling page I follow. It was essentially all about how difficult it can be to support others, to inspire them, and always have to push your own dreams aside. That it is okay to never achieve your dreams if you help others. The line that really hit me was something like, ‘Sometimes I feel I will always live on the edge of a black pit, helping others climb of their black pits.’ That resonated. Strongly.

The author finished the post by saying hey, that’s okay! This is the good life.

That bit didn’t so much resonate.

Parenting requires, no, DEMANDS more squashing of self than I could have ever prepared for. Of course, I transform, I submerge myself with abandon into this new life, mostly. I want my children to be more courageous and creative than I am, and I feel that I play an instrumental role in allowing them to explore, to be who they are, to experiment and wonder. I want them to be curious and engaged and philosophers. Scientists. Artists. Literary giants.

I don’t begrudge them these things. Sometimes I question myself and my own motives, wondering if I am already trying to live vicariously through them. I pull myself back. No one deserves that pressure, we all need to be our own selves in the most authentic way we can. And that doesn’t come from other people telling us how to live or what to think.

So this status update made me angry, and made me sad, and made me THINK.

Then a lone sliver, a wisp as white and frail as anything else, floated across my mind. That one of my happiest and most fulfilling times in life was at camp. And my job, my life, was about inspiring children, young people, and adults. To help foster an environment where children could play and learn how to be themselves and take risks in a supportive environment. My life was all about helping others, and fuck, was I happy.

But I can’t lie. The campers at that place fucking loved me, and that fuelled me. I was able to be more fully, authentically me there than I had ever been anywhere else. The crazier I dressed, the weird impulse to shave my head, the outrageous singing and making a fool of myself – the more me I was, the more people loved me. And so, of course, that sweetest of lessons helped me grow and be joyful.

I feel on the cusp now, but it isn’t the same cusp I know and am old frenemies with. This cusp has that black pit on one side. I don’t know about the the other side.

The grand dreams, the feeling of factual endless possibilities, I don’t think it is there anymore. Those things may actually be in my own black pit. I think of my best friends I’ve known fifteen years, longer. How we all started with big dreams, and the certainty they would come true. I’ve watched people’s dreams deflate, and I’ve mostly felt sad about that. Because I know what we are all capable of.

But now a quiet voice says, find a third way. You don’t have to always give of yourself so constantly and consistently, this is a season in your life. When that voice is pushy, it asks uncomfortable questions about what sort of model I am being for my children. When it is melancholy, it asks what sort of life I am living for myself. Can I look up to me?

How am I so good at inspiring others, at believing wholeheartedly what I say, but then I sit here, in my tattered and comfortable slippers, perched on the edge of a black pit?

Maybe it is the time to look for an overgrown path. It’s small, dusty. Meandering. I’m not sure where it leads, but I do know it is away from that pit.

Or maybe it is still the time to sit here. Trying to rest and regroup when I get small moments, stretching my neck and checking my supplies. Casting my eyes about for that path, debating if I even want that path, or something else. I’d like my black pit edge to have a stream for my feet to rest in, but then I don’t want it to be too comfortable.

So I sit here, helping my children be and believe in themselves.

While I wonder who I am. That old me, who is still in Country A, laughing in thunderstorms and driving golf carts wildly? Eating ice cream in the summer twilight?

The impossible me who was brave enough to move across the world for true love?

The new and older me, who is often achey and short tempered?

I think I’m all those, but I feel I’m something else, too. Maybe my dreams have shifted, maybe I don’t want to chase them, maybe I’m just taking a breather. Maybe it’s easier to try to forgive myself for not trying at this moment in time. Maybe it’s okay to not know. Maybe it’s fine to let the sun warm my back, to sip water, to extend a hand to others. Maybe it’s not my time. Not yet.

Maybe it will be, soon.


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