toot tooooot toot

My kids are rocking their worlds. I am feeling damn near accomplished these days as a result of their success and mine. I have a piece (that previously appeared here) over at the redesigned Single Mothers by Choice website today.  I’m tickled about that. Continue reading “toot tooooot toot”

Significant Males in our Lives Day

Last night we celebrated; “Day of Meaningful Adult Males in Our Lives-Day.” Not the name that was agreed upon 100 years ago, when Father’s Day was first celebrated in this country. But then again, donors and adoptive families were not likely whom  our forefather’s had in mind when designing the scope of the day.

This was marked by a handsome freshly caught piece of salmon, local corn, a salad and peas from our own container garden-and a bakery blueberry pie. This was the  menu requested by the one and only Uncle Buncle, the most present and meaningful adult male in our life today.  Having been apart from each other for a few days (insert golden lake water, loons, bullfrogs, kayaks, canoes, the great friends who hosted us and Sam at the helm of a Boston Whaler here), the reunion energy around here last night was something akin to popcorn on a sugar buzz.

The presentation of the #1 Uncle gifts after dinner was a sweet reminder of what an amazing job of normalizing the holiday our preschool does.  I basked in what a great thing we have going here, and how damn near perfect a meal I can cook if I want to.

Then I tripped over the elephants asleep on the kitchen floor this morning.  The birth father and the donor take up a lot of room in the kitchen, and in my heart. I meant to address you last night, I wanted to tell them but they were not listening as they rolled over, and knocked over the sink. I wanted to thank you for the wonderful men you helped to create, and all of the ways in which I have fallen in love with the traits that you have clearly bestowed on them including charm, musical ability, athletic genius and must figure out how to take it apart and put it back together-ness. Those snoring elephants, wanted no part of my-next-day-if-I-had-only-thought-to-mention thinking.

After making a cup of coffee, I tried another approach: honesty. Last night, I just wanted it to be about what they have in their lives. By have I mean-who they can reach out and high five, and kiss, and hug, and climb all over-and not who they can’t. The elephants began to stir.  You are both here all the time, I whispered, as I scratched them behind the ears, in pictures, and stories, and the ways I tell them how you must have gotten that move from your donor, or that smile from your birth father, because it sure is suave and will level a room in about five years… The more I explained all the ways that we do honor them here, and can honor them more the smaller my elephants seemed to become. Now one is the soft plush elephant under Marcel’s arm, and the other has crawled back into the picture of Sam’s birth father on the shelf.

For me another close call, a reminder that what I don’t have (a relationship with my son’s biological fathers) is not the same as what they don’t have (a relationship with their biological fathers).  My work is to honor what they do have- deep and meaningful relationship with many men in their lives (several of whom are pictured below), and the certain grief and confusion of not knowing the two amazing men without whom I wouldn’t be Mama C.

To all the significant males in our lives we love and cherish you. A slideshow to honor those of you unlucky enough to come in contact with my camera in the last few years:

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Say “Uncle”

My latest post on Moms of Hue is the first published version of my thoughts on co-parenting with your sibling. (I am working on another version for a Co-Parenting 101 Guest Post, and one for the Modern Love column of the New York times.) This is my intro to the way it looks on the light and lovely side. Meaning it has it’s moments, as does any kind of co-anything relationship. It’s how we handle those moments that make or break you.   The piece starts like this;

When I invited my oldest brother Marc to live with us, it was not just because my mother was worried about her grandchildren not having a father figure-even though she never said as much. He didn’t have a job, and I was a single mom raising two boys under the age of five on my own. He landed in the United States a year before after his twelve year European chapter ended in divorce. He had no kids, and a 12×18 color picture of the beloved sail boat he had to sell when he moved stateside. Stateside could have meant Virginia, where we grew up, and where he has a zillion connections. Instead it meant Maine, where they have a zillion sailboats and two boys who call you Uncle-Daddy and say; I love you Uncle Rabbit Will You Play Airplane With Me Now Silly Head after they give you the bump, and lunge into their footy pajamas because you want them to explore their own “gravitational pull”.

Sam had a great reaction to Uncle coming home from Washington D.C. last night. Uncle asked if he could come give the boys a hug when he got in-or would it be too disruptive. The boys were in bed, and we had sung our songs. But it is Uncle and he had been away for six days!  After Uncle went back downstairs Sam says; Mom you know what? Seeing Uncle just now, and giving him a hug, well that just made my whole day! I was laying down in bed next to Marcel who is going through some intense separation anxiety at bedtime these days when Uncle came up. Seeing Sam climb out of bed and into Marc’s arms was pretty damn sweet. They just hung out in that embrace for a minute or two.

By not being in a traditional parenting arrangement, I’ve missed out on moments like those. I used to wonder what it would be like to see my partner, whomever I might have had in my life if I had lived that story instead of this one hold “our” child.  I used to feel some deep longings for it in fact. Noticing how much I appreciated that tenderness between them awakened those feelings in a gentle and appreciative way. Once again reminding me how what we have created here for the time being, is nurturing all of us.

Having Uncle away also reminded me how much I love our Mama C and the boys existence too. We do three well.  I am such an inclusive person by nature that I forget it is OK to create outings, and time for us to just be the three of us too.  Uncle can do the dishes while I throw the football in the rumpus room. He has offered many times. And a good catch, and a humming pass is not only satisfying, it happens to be when Sam is at his most effusive. Yes, at five, the I can talk when I have a ball in my hand phenomena has commenced. (Evidence is in the birth mom conversation two days ago.)  As the three of us, Sam is allowed to be more of a helper, which in small doses he thrives on. It allows something other in Marcel too, but I can’t explain that one yet.

Oh my elusive shadow balance, there you go again, skirting in around the periphery..