Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

On mom fails and tears and grace.

Contrary to popular belief, I'm not that much of a bawl baby. It's just my eyes. Despite my best efforts toward Stoicism they tend to fill with betraying emotion and well, well, well up right to the very the brim. Though the bonafide wetness usually stays tucked neatly beneath the lidded surface. Saved by the blink.

So you can imagine my surprise when Sunday morning found me lying in bed with legitimate moisture legitimately spilling over the edge, easing down, dripping on my pillow,  for no particular reason at all. Tap, tap, tap. I didn't feel like I was, say, crying. It's just that there were tears. Streaking my face.

Not that anything had actually, you know, noticeably happened.

The kids had some friends over to spend the night on Friday. Six of them to be exact. All adopted from foster care, into a family that has a adopted a whole big slew. Like, 10. After they birthed 5. And they have welcomed more than one "unofficial adoptee" into their home as well. Um...rockstars? Yeah, pretty much. Ultimate Rockstars.

I love this family. I love their kids. I love their mom. And their dad is pretty amaze too but I won't say I love him because, creepy. They are the kind of people that make you want to do something better. Yet they are the most down to earth folks you'll ever run across. They're all, "Yeah we've got a BAZILLION kids, but it's not big deal and everything..." (That is, by the way an exact quote. Or not.)

While a mere portion of their flock was here gallivanting with mine, I was struck (for the millionth time) by how incredibly well adjusted they are. To me, their kids appear chatty and confident and articulate and wonderfully at ease.

Meanwhile, here at the homestead, I can.not.get. my adopted daughter to tell me the truth for THE LIFE OF ME. Can't do it. Literally, no joke, every.single.question. I ask her is met with a lie. All of them. Not all the time, but in spurts. Like the one spurt we're in now. Mostly, the girl avoids me (and every other adult on the planet) like the plague. She may be slightly not quite yet well adjusted.

And my son. The biological 8 year old? The boy cried like the dickens nearly the whole 24 hours the precious friends were here. Almost all of it. Over this and that and that and this and nothing at all. His screams didn't exactly scream well adjusted.

Then there was the one who has spent a decade on this earth, also born from my womb. The child who suffers from a few sensory processing issues that make him rather, shall we say, intense. He protested being left out and schemed to be allowed in and may have ruined some of the fun for the bigger boys.

And I couldn't forget one of their delightful daughters sharing with me that the most dreadful word her mother ever uses is stupid. (Only occasionally.) (Plus, she never really yells.)

Me, on the other hand? I was conceived by pirates aboard the dark bowels of a ship and switched at birth. I'm sure of it.

And I do yell. Shout? Raise my voice in earnest every now and again. Because it's the only way to get the deaf little buggars to pay attention when they just aren't listening to my nice mommy sounds. Other than that, I always speak softly.

Oh, and I've been trying to get together with a variety of friends over the last couple of months and just can't quite make it happen. The school year schedule is packed too tight. I'm a bad friend to my friends.

And I gained a few lbs. during my blissful 6 weeks of pregnancy that JUST WON'T COME OFF. I weigh the exact same today as when I came home following my sad, sad D&C. No matter how much I sweat in the midsection while sporting my ridiculously unhelpful new belly band, the scale refuses to budge.

And I'm reading the book Pastrix, by Nadia Bolz-Weber, a heavily tattooed, female Lutheran pastor who freely welcomes the homosexual-and-all-the-other-letters community into their church, under no condition that they change. It speaks to me. In the depth of my being. See? I'm too liberal. I fear my children's friends' parents will no longer allow them to come into our presence lest I pollute their holy, more-conservative-than-those-wild Deutsch people minds.

And signed my kids up for basketball at the local school before I found out I was going to have to drive to and from practice 5 nights a week at 2 different schools with 3 different start/end times for 5 separate teams with 5 separate games on Saturdays and sell my soul itself to the Ravenous Basketball Devil, so I unsigned them. My poor babies. They are forced resign to a life of certain temporary incarceration for petty crimes and the unending bind of leather couch weekly therapy sessions because their mother  couldn't deal with the demands of the hoop.

And then school. I could not possibly accomplish every absolutely imperative item on the long to do list each day. I simply could not. The 6 year old should be writing reports about historical figures, like her peers, by now. She's not.

And my dear jet black poodle. He's almost a year and a half and he's soiling the floor again.

I must have failed a thousand ways before I roused myself from sleep Sunday morning.

So I cried. Pitiful, wet tears of anguish over the woman I am not, over the mother I am not.

And I've felt a bit fragile, vulnerable, weepy ever since.
But then there was today. Where I accepted hugs so numerous I could not count, the ones that kept me constrained, still, immobile though I had work to do from the 8 year old who shrieked and sniveled his way through the weekend.

And today I found a glass of ice water with a note that said, "To Mom" waiting for me when I returned home from my sweaty belly band jog sure to produce not a single pound of weight loss.

And today I received a barely-legible-though-I-can-make-it-out love letter from the darling daughter who has yet to write a report of any kind.

And today I remembered that through time and age and friendship-there-isn't-ever-enough-time-for and parenting and good books of those who have gone before me and God ministering to my heart I'm learning to accept a new, gentler, more palatable experience of grace. One where I don't have to perform or measure up or behave myself into favor. One that just is. There. Faithful. Present. Pursuant. Unending.

Liberal in its generous application. Grace I'm learning to afford myself.

I could not ever be mad at a boy who made me a picnic lunch.


One Thankful Mom said...

Tisha, your tears are just fine. It's a lot - your life is a lot. So much that is beautiful, and painful, and wonderful, and tiring.Today I pray sweet peace and little touch of joy for you. I love reading your words!

Dawn said...

I needed this. Thank-you.

Owlhaven said...

Love this!!!!! me too.

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