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Last night I slept lovingly curled up with my husband. It’s something that hasn’t happened all too often lately, mostly because of a certain 18 month old who has “taken a break” from sleeping through the night. It was wonderful. I drifted to sleep thinking about how much I love the way he holds me. That’s when Yum Yums decided to wake up. He was crying for “Mommy”, panicked and afraid. I tried to lay him back down, and he did lay down – but only for a minute. This is the second time he woke up last night. The first time I was successfully able to get him back to sleep – in his own crib. This time, though, he clings to my arm, so I carry him back to our bed & he snuggles in close. Throughout the night he reaches for my face, as if to make sure it’s really me and I’m really here, and makes sure at least one body part (a foot, an elbow, his head) is touching either me or Jeff at all times. I think it’s sweet, but I also understand that this is a boy who is terrified of being alone.
I know what some of you are thinking. Some of you are thinking that I am both a fool and a bad mother for not letting him cry it out. Not letting him learn to face his fear and “put himself back to sleep”. Not giving him the tools early on to be able to deal with “the real world”: a place where Mommy and Daddy can’t be with you every second of your life. But I’m going to tell you something: he’s going to find out what it means to be alone soon enough. He doesn’t need me to teach it to him at 18 months in the dark stillness of the night.
Sleep, (or lack thereof) was not, oddly enough, where my thoughts were when I was snuggled back in bed, though. Instead, I was overcome by happiness and comfort and love, and I did what I often do – I reached for my phone. At 1:30am. To tell all my family and friends how happy and lucky I feel.
Wait. What???. I then thought to myself “Seriously? You’re going to write a status update? now? What in the holy heck has happened to you?”.
That was my first reaction. Then I remembered all the family & friends who were in marriages that were struggling. Or broken. Or over. Then I thought of my friends who were trying desperately to have a baby of their own & I realized that I should never post about these particular gratitudes because at any given moment in time, such a post could be seen as salt in a wound. I would never want that. So I remained silent and preserved the sanctity of the moment.
Silence. On a social media outlet. Kinda defeats the purpose, doesn’t it? Or does it? Lately, things that should never be said have been plastered almost everywhere. In some cases, uninvited comments that degrade, demoralize and offend. In other cases, graceless and blatant examples of poor taste and superiority. It is because of this, that I have decided to try my best to keep my big mouth shut. No small feat for me, let me tell you! Instead, on Facebook, I have decided to communicate mostly via images. Can a person gloat or offend through a photograph? Certainly. Evidence of this abounds on Instagram, but it is still my favorite social media outlet; and, I think, it is less likely that friends and family could misunderstand what I am trying to convey. Or at least, it’s hard to put my foot in my mouth if I just don’t open it. That’s my theory at the moment. I’ll let you know how that works out… And anyway, I still have this blog.


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My Aunt P. and Uncle R. are special people. They met when Aunt P. was riding her bike and was hit by a car. Uncle R. was the “Good Samaritan” who stopped to help her. That’s been pretty much the shape of their relationship since then: they help each other, and they help other people. When they realized that they couldn’t have children of their own, they became foster parents. I’m not sure if they were ever given the choice of the ages of the kids they were to care for, but they took in the teenagers: the kids who’ve been bounced around in the system. The ones with a lifetime of abuse, neglect, and the scars – both physical & emotional – to show for it. They took them in, and loved them as if they were their own. As time went by, they became “grandparents” and cared for some of their grandchildren. Their house was always full. There was always someone home, even if it was just the dogs or the sheep they keep. So, it seemed only natural when the last of the “kids” left, that they should take in someone else. That’s when Levi came to stay, and then Pedro. My mom describes them as folks who “just need a little help”. I’m not sure of the extent of their disabilities, but Pedro seems to me to need a bit more than “just a little”. But to my aunt and uncle, it doesn’t seem to be anything but a joy to help him, and as Aunt P. says with a smile “he’s such a Love!”

This brings me to Easter Sunday at my parents’ house.

I was having a conversation with Aunt P. & she mentioned to me that the other day she was driving along & suddenly felt sad. Deeply and profoundly sad that she never was able to have any children of her own. She said that’s when she felt that God was speaking to her, and He said “I gave you Pedro.” In an instant, she felt better. Joyful. Grateful. Happy.

Now, normally, I try to stay away from the topic of God. Belief or disbelief in God is a deeply personal thing. It brings people together, but it is also something that polarizes. As for me, belief in God is something that I try very hard not to struggle with. A strange way to phrase it, I know. You see, I have a memory. As a child, I thought it was an actual memory of a time before I was born. I was with God. I was without form, but I was me. God told me I was going to be born, and where, and my job (for lack of a better word) was to not forget Him (again, I lack a better word). He told me I might fail. I promised that I wouldn’t. A promise to God is a serious thing, and I felt that everything depended on me succeeding – Succeeding in believing. Now that I’m older, the rational part of my brain ( and I do actually pride myself in being rational, despite all my little quirks and obsessions) tells me it was very likely a memory of a dream. This makes me sad. It makes me feel sick inside, so I try very hard not to allow myself to debate His existence. I try very hard to keep any belief – or doubt – I have to myself. I call myself an Agnostic Theist: I choose to believe in God, but allow that there is the possibility that I am wrong. And that makes me sad, too, that I should even allow for such a thing.

When I am at peace, I marvel at the universe and the beauty of this world and feel – actually feel – God’s presence in something as simple as a flower, or in the air itself. I feel lighter – actually, for a brief moment, I feel like light; and I am so grateful to have been put here on this beautiful planet. It’s wonderful. Then “reality” pushes in, and it has its way of fighting light with reason. I shouldn’t have to look for signs, and I don’t feel that I have the right to ask for them, but I wish for them and I try to keep those wishes from God. (As silly as I know that is). I think that’s why I – and humanity in general- love a good ghost story. I will swear up and down to my kids that there’s no such thing as a ghost, but I will listen in earnest to any of you with a tale of the supernatural to tell. I want you to have a real life ghost story, not because I want you to have been frightened out of your mind; but because it means that we really are more than flesh and blood.  It’s a sign – or at least more than a hope that there is more. It means that I really am feeling God in the wind that blows through my hair; and I really was standing in blissful innocence next to Him before I was born; and He really did send my Aunt a man-child named Pedro, and in her moment of sorrow tell her so.
Tonight, when I pray I will quiet my mind, let my soul dance with the stars, and with a heart full of love and apology embrace what I believe is the light of God.

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