Cherry blossoms, cherubs, and choice.

I  really need some forsythia to make me feel like I live in a castle.

This was my waking thought. I cleaned the house top to bottom, let go of another fifteen or so bags/boxes/unused things in corners over the past week. My living room reclaimed from the little people who thought it was supposed to be the upstairs rumpus room. Marcel love the change, proclaiming; This is so et-ci-ting! when he woke to the major restructuring. Sammy looked around, and said; “Are you kidding me? Mom? Is this OK?”

My bedroom is now divided into a home office and the place where I sleep when I am not in the home office.  (This is something single mothers can do without seeking consensus.) The kitchen is now a kitchen, and not a home office in piles around a kitchen.  House pride is more important to me then I like to admit.

I stopped by school to do some vacation planning and grading when my waking thought, was translated into cherry blossoms. The tree pruners were at work, huge piles of robust in bloom branches sat in piles below the four trees lining the parking lot.  I set to work with my pen knife trying to cut the little branches apart.  I had vases to fill! In New York at the 14th St. Farmer’s Market  these would cost $25.00 for a bundle, I told myself as I sawed into the rubbery joints with little success. (Always a New Yorker at heart.) But, in Portland it’s free! Before I managed to saw off a finger instead, one of the pruners came up to me with an armful just the right size saying; “You are working way too hard.” You speak the truth Maestro! I almost hugged him. It’s been awhile since anyone handed me a bouquet.

My friend Sage would call that moment, the finding of the cherry blossoms, a living “in the flow” moment. When the universe sends you what you need and you notice.

Cherubs–well I’d like to say that is how I’d describe Marcel, or Sam, or ideally both of them. But they are both completely nuts. What I can say is that having had an entire day to myself (I negotiated with preschool a slightly reduced rate if I kept my kids home part time during school vacation weeks-it works out well for all of us.) allows me to see them in a cherubic light again. Without solid chunks of this time alone to write, communicate, dream, eat in peace, and just stare at cherry blossoms, I’d unravel.

And, for those who have been following my decision making process around staying on this coast, or leaping to that one, I am choosing to stay here.  Choice is a big word here.

I did some intense research emails, calls, job searching, and Craigs-listing. I made Venn diagrams, outlines, and wrote long rambling journal entries. I talked to myself when everyone else had heard enough. I woke up with talons around my heart. Then somehow miraculously I landed quite squarely in a new place about the old place.

One wise Mama of Hue  said to me that she found her greatest delight when she created something new for herself and her family where it didn’t exist before.  That resonated deeply.  Then another dear friend reflected back to me that she doesn’t think anyone feels like they really belong, we just get better at accepting that as we grow older. I also suspect that we get better at surrounding ourselves with people who accept themselves as oddballs too.

Then Uncle decided to accept the invitation to move upstairs when our dear friends/neighbors for three years move on to Lesotho in August.  When pieces fit together, they fit.

I am here for a reason, and that is just beginning to reveal itself. (Here with a little “h” and a big “H”.)  Part of rearranging my house was my way of announcing my decision to stay, and to create what I am missing.  A book needs to be published, and this city needs my help, my energy, my vision.  I have work to do in the adoption and mixed family community. The Mom Congress was not a fluke. I see that now. I have a calling here, and it is et-cit-ing to acknowledge that in full. Thank you to all who listened, wondered, and bit their lip. Thank you to all who offered friends over there, or relatives who knew someone who… Thanks to this audience for giving me the space to wonder where we belong.


Coming this week:

Monday: Over on Mom’s of Hue: Choosing a Mother’s Day card for Sam’s first mom.
Wednesday: Our open adoption part II: What Birth father?
Friday: New Crayons: What is new on the Mama C bookshelf/YA Reading Challenge

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  1. I used to read Hints from Heloise too! (Albeit secretly, my progressive feminist mother would’ve come unglued had she known)

    You’re there…the cherry blossoms, the cherubs, the choices. Everything is in its place Mama C-now sit back and enjoy it, you deserve it. Have a wonder-filled week.

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