This Moment

sling in action

I started listening to Victoria Williams in college, thanks to some folk savvy friends and needing to cut my time at hardcore shows with something a little… sweeter. I don't listen to her very often anymore, but I do sing her songs to the kids all the time.

This moment will never come again

I know it because it has never been before

I listen to rain outside the door… a thousand voices singing songs that ain't been sung before…

****

This last year has been difficult. I am reminded at how limited some of our coping mechanisms are in response to stress. I am constantly asking myself to lower my expectations for myself as a parent. I fail my kids in small ways every single day. I champion my kids in small ways every day. August turned six this week. He sleeps next to Manny in a big bed and I laid between them last night and told him about first seeing and holding him. I told him how horrendous his gas smelled (wrong formula). And how we changed his diaper in the Target parking lot that first week and how his poop came out bright blue (a different but equally disagreeable formula). I told him how we kept him wrapped up in blankets once we got back to Portland, and how we put his bassinet over the heating vent to keep him warm. I told him how much better he makes our family every day. I told him how difficult it was for us to say goodbye to his mama and how difficult it must have been for her to let him go.

I'm sure you're not surprised to learn that he was a tiny bit fixated on the blue poop part of the story.

****

Thanks for having these conversations here with me. And for coming and reading. I have a lot to learn and I believe that there are folks out there that come to this space that have a lot to teach me. Sometimes we don't talk about hard things. Other times, we can choose to move past our discomfort. The latter option is proving to be almost always worth it.

 

20 Comments

  1. I struggle with the same issue daily. Feeling that I am failing in some aspect or another as a a mother and wife. I strive every day to be better but know that I need to lower my standards. I’m sure if I did that and could meet more realistic goals I would have a lot less guilt in my life.

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  2. I love that you are willing to talk about the hard stuff. Not many people are. I’m raising a biracial baby in Texas. I didn’t grow up here and I fear so much what he will find when he gets to school age. My own childhood was on an island where most everyone was black like me. My husband grew up in North Florida where almost every one around him was white, like him. So we both feel quite clueless and im grateful for your willingness to share your experience and your search for the words. Oh the words. They are so powerful and necessary.

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  3. we are all so messy… we make mistakes in our parenting and in our relationships over and over again. but i believe it’s when we are vulnerable that we are most beautiful. thank you for being real and having the courage to say what you do.

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  4. Thank you again for sharing. My own 6-year-old’s adoption story includes her having rotavirus, in Guatemala, at 7 months old, during the first few days we were together as mother and daughter. She is equally fixated on the poop part of that story!

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  5. Please, please don’t worry about the failing as a parent thoughts. Trust me, we all have them. I’m sure I could have been a ‘better’ parent but my children always knew that they were loved and when I am with them now that they are adults I realise that, actually, we must have done an OK job as they are just great. You have beautiful children who have produced blue poop. Wow!

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  6. Thank you so much for saying these things. That we fail and we champion our kids in small ways every day. That is the messy truth of parenting – I appreciate you writing it down.
    I, too, have hard things to deal with and I am afraid to talk about them 9 times out of 10. Your example is a breath of courage. I hope to get better at it.
    Love, Katie

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  7. i remember reading that post all those years ago, when you flew off to pick up august, and i still love watching pieces of the beautifully imperfect unfolding of you and your family. i hope to be just a fraction of the compassionate, attuned, honest, and loving parent that you are to those gorgeous children. thanks for having the courage to be real. if it’s any consolation, your kids will have “issues” with your parenting no matter what you do, and for things you’d never imagine. best to start forgiving yourself now. 😉

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  8. My friend Nerissa once introduced Victoria Williams at Rocky Mountain Folk Fest as “the unaldulterated voice of God”. I tend to agree. Keep on keepin’ on with your magnificent and mindful mothering. I will try to do the same with my brood over here on the East Coast.

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  9. I always always admire the way you talk about how your kids became part of your family. As an adopted kid (from a generation where it was common to not even tell the kids they were adopted) I love that you talk about the hard as well as the love. This is the reality. Your boys were given to you, for you to be their mother, for your love, for their benefit, for so much good, but still given away and that is not an easy thing for anyone in an adoption situation. You are so lucky to have each other. Rebecca

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