Monthly Archives: March 2013

First Crush

P1060201Tonight, I witnessed what I think was my son’s first crush.  I hesitate to use that word because people often associate it with lust or romantic love.  When I say ‘crush’, I mean he was really awed by someone.  This someone’s name is Lilah.  She has these huge green eyes and a stripe of freckles across her face.  She is seven.  M, being two, stood mesmerized as Lilah jumped from rock to rock, in a circle, over and over again.  He stared with his mouth agape with, perhaps, even a little drool in the corners, as she went round and round.  Then, when she slowed down and came to a rest, I encouraged M to say hello and to not just stare.  He waved and smiled and walked over to a big rock near her and sat down, alternating between petting the rock and smiling at the object of his affection.

I love the amazement my son derives from things as small as a child running in circles.  I love that he knows nothing of war or violence or hunger or injustice.  The other day at gymnastics M was using a piece of foam to try to get his teacher.  She was kind of rolling around pretending that he had stabbed her with a sword.  I explained to her that he had a tickle stick and was tickling her and that he knows nothing of violent play..not yet, anyway. I know I can’t always shelter him, nor do I think that would protect him.  What I want to do is feed his curiosities, encourage relationship building and allow him the opportunity to soak up the joy of other children running in circles.  I think that will help him grow into the kind of man who speaks out against injustice, of all kinds.  That would make this mama proud.

-Betsy

Intrusion

“No, you can’t ask me how ‘we’ (meaning lesbians) get pregnant,” is what I should have said.  I am so tired of people asking me that questions.  As if the intimate details of my child’s conception is public domain.  Have I EVER asked a straight woman how she got pregnant?

“Were you trying or not trying?”
“Did you use a condom? Did the condom break?”
“Where were you when you got pregnant? On the floor? In the bed?”
“Missionary position or were you on your knees?”
“Did it hurt or did you like it?”

Instead, I said, “No, I don’t mind if you ask.”  But I do.  I really, really do mind if you ask.  I don’t mind if you are queer and are doing research for your own process, but if you are straight and especially if you don’t know me very well, IT IS NONE OF YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS how my son was conceived.  If you are so fucking curious about how two women could possibly get pregnant, Google it.

-Betsy
(Sorry I said fuck so much.  It is a great word that feels appropriate tonight.)

The Great Reduction

And by ‘great reduction,’ I mean this is really what we have been reduced to.  My son has decided that he prefers for Horse to floss/brush his teeth and for Monster to read him stories.  Horse and Monster are hand-puppets.  The first couple of nights it was cute (although a little disturbing because he seems to think the puppets are actually talking to him).  Now, however, S has this really nasally/ high-pitched voice that she uses with horse and it is driving me…I mean, Monster, crazy.  Nails on the chalkboard crazy.  Tonight, Horse got to read to M before bed…in Hebrew…in the voice.  It felt like I had slipped into the depths of hell as the story dragged on and on, with Horse stopping to make “funny” faces along the way.  By the end, I told S she needed to skip a few pages for the sake of humanity.  When she continued, Monster leaped at her face (of her own volition, of course) in effort to get the train rolling.  It worked!  (The lights were out and Horse was reading by headlamp, so M couldn’t see that Monster had a little projectile help from yours truly.)

My mom had her hip replaced two weeks ago.  What this means for me is that she was my childcare two days a week.  Right after she had her hip done, S, M and I were to leave for a week’s vacation at the beach.  This has been a vacation I have been counting on since the new year.  Dreaming of reading a book on the beach with a cocktail in hand and my co-parent at the ready to manage our boy while I got a break.  Ahhh…While we had a lovely time, it was a bit soured by the fact that S threw her back out two nights before we were to leave, rendering herself utterly useless to me for most of the trip and actually in need of being taken care of as she really couldn’t walk.  Why am I saying all of this?  Well, I think Monster needs a break.  Monster didn’t mean to fly at Ima’s face with such vigor.  Monster just needed the insanity to stop!

While Monster is glad that Horse found the whole incident humorous, Monster is also glad that Horse gets to put M to sleep tonight so she can sit in the dark, writing to mostly strangers, drinking a gin and tonic, and eating chocolate chips.

-Betsy

People Say the Most Stupidest Things (Seriously, Y’all*)

I think this may have to be a new weekly post on the blog.  Since it keeps happening, I am assuming the pattern will continue.

While at a local restaurant (yes, I am now realizing how many sentences I have started this way), we were chatting it up with one of the owners with whom we have been friendly for over a year.  We aren’t best friends forever, but she is kind of loud and sometimes funny and I like that in a person.  Back to family brunch- There we are, enjoying our grits and fruit and eggs and said owner comes and sits down.  After a few minutes of catching up about her children’s lives, the restaurant and about us, we started talking about M and his luscious surfer curls.

Owner lady looks at S and, trying to determine the origin of such enviable locks, says, “Well, he’s half yours, isn’t he?”

The other “half” she was referring to was not me.

S looked at her kind of stunned for what felt like 2 minutes, but was really about 4 seconds, “Uh…I gave birth to him, if that is what you mean.  He’s half Betsy’s, too.”

“Yeah.  I thought so,” she replies without blinking.

The shit that comes out of people’s mouths is astonishing sometimes, like their question is so important it doesn’t matter who may or may not be offended in the asking.  To be honest, I wasn’t totally offended.  Because this woman is brash, it came as no surprise that she said what she said.  If we were closer friends, I would have said something to her and I am sure her response would have been (after a playful punch to the arm), “Oh you know what I mean, loser!”  Yes, loser.  I know what you mean.

-Betsy

*For those of you not from the U.S., y’all is a very southern term referring to ‘you all’.  We like to speak with as few letters as possible down here.

Cupcakes and Cheese

P1060033Sometimes I am amazed that my son is mine and that I am his.  Sometimes, his joy is so pure and true, void of any ego, that it brings tears to my eyes.  His joy is the kind that some people will never know but will search their entire lives for with too much booze or sex or chocolate.  His joy teaches me.

Yesterday, we were digging in the sand at the beach and my boy was so content to make me a pretend cupcake with peppermint-cheese on top, his only job to create and destroy and create again.  I have spent many years searching for a way back to that kind of joy.  So much of life gets filled with the minutiae of the day-to-day that I find myself forgetting joy, caught up in my own ego; striving for success and sometimes not remembering what that means.  My child is the one who reminds me to slow down and breathe deeply.  He reminds me that my connection to him and other people is my success.  His wide eyes remind me that the world is open if one just lets it be so.

2013 has been quite the year so far: two sprained ankles, four weeks of illness, an injured tailbone after a fall, a hip replacement (not mine), and lots and LOTS of rain/ gray days.  I have felt the tension that lack of sunlight brings balling up in my gut.  “I can not take another fucking day without sun!”  I have heard myself say that most days that end in ‘y’.  But the truth is, each moment can be filled with the joy of a child, if we let it.  Each moment brings possibility, if we open ourselves to it.

So tonight, I am reframing: 2013 is full of possibility.  I learned this from my boy, who earlier tonight, made me a sand cupcake sprinkled with peppermint-cheese and ketchup.  Really, the possibilities are endless.

-Betsy

Weekend Visitors

This weekend our donor’s parents are coming over to meet our daughter for the first time.  I have no idea how it will go.  I trust our donor 150%, otherwise I would not be up for this meeting.  Before I could even say the words, he articulated what I was going to ask for: that they follow our lead after this meeting.  We’ll see how it goes and how we’re feeling and we’ll be in touch if we’d like to get together again.  This could be the start of our daughter having two additional people who become part of her web of loving support- which includes my parents, my spouse’s parents, my siblings, my spouse’s siblings, my auntie, a long line of cousins, and a few friends who are integrally involved in her life and have thus been named “Uncles.” Or, it could be one meeting.  I just don’t know.

It’s strange- I don’t feel trepidation about this meeting. I just feel like we’re walking into the unknown.  I was not necessarily ready to take this step before this time, thus our waiting for nearly three years.  I think it’s a culmination of the trust we’ve build up with our donor, my spouse and I working on strengthening our relationship and communicating with one another until we fully understood and respected each others’ concerns about meeting them.  I could be being naive, but I feel safe about this meeting.  A big part of me feels like my daughter can never have too much love.  It reminds me of when I did my first ten day silent meditation retreat.  It was hard- brutally hard.  My ass hurt, my brain was driving me crazy, my back ached, and I convinced myself that I was getting lock jaw because my jaw kept clicking every time I would eat during meal time.  In the silence of that mess hall I listened to that dull click in my head and I was sure I was walking out of that retreat center not talking even after silence was broken.

But I also had great epiphanies and moments of such ecstatic joy I am certain that I had tiny glimpses of what is referred to as nirvana.  In one of those moments I had such a clear, intense thought that it kept beating through me like a pulse coursing through my body: you have an infinite amount of love to offer. you have an infinite amount of love to offer.  you have an infinite amount of love to offer.  It wasn’t even words really.  As I sat there with tears streaming down my face, my eyes pressed tight, but my neck wet with tears, I had a knowing in my entire body.  There I was at that center because I had suffered a heartbreak I was convinced I would never heal from and I could see more clearly than I ever could before that one’s heart is never fully broken.  Our capacity for love is infinite.  So I take that into this weekend.  I could latch onto my insecurities around not having carried and birthed our daughter… around the fact that she doesn’t carry any of my genetic material or biology… that she doesn’t look a thing like me, even by a stretch.  And yet, I choose to not take that path.  I choose to be open to the possibility of even more love in my daughter’s life.  Or at the very least, exploring the option.

– Charlotte

See you later this week!

Hi lovely readers!

Due to technical difficulties we’re taking a hiatus for a short snap- see you in a week (if not a bit earlier)!

– Charlotte & Betsy

 

(P.S. By ‘technical difficulties’, we mean Betsy is at the BEACH!