Singing delievery

I got to thinking this morning (since I was up at 5:50am anyway thanks to the dogs), and was reflecting back on the differences between when D entered the world and when Boo entered the world.  This thought process was brought on by two things, first the fact that at 5:50am, no sane human being should be awake, much less trying to think anything without coffee well in hand.  Which reminded me of what it was like having a crying infant the first month or three of Boo’s life.  The second was reflection that our upcoming preacher today at church is currently awaiting the birth of their second grandchild and that if things go a little sideways we could experience a very interesting birth at church today.

When D was born, D’s mother and I had not been together for several months.  She had decided shortly after she announced that she was pregnant with D that she and a former best friend of mine were going to start dating.  Needless to say this caused lots of soul-searching and a not small amount of angst to this 20-year old single male.  I didn’t get word when D’s mom went into the hospital.  But a short time afterwards I received a call from her mother telling me when I could come to the hospital to view and see D in the viewing room as the mom did not want to see me at the time… and the feeling was quite mutual.

I went to the hospital at the appointed time and found my way nervously to the delivery ward.  I saw family on her side walk past, we exchanged polite greetings and they helped direct me on where to go.  As I was walking around the nurses station I went past her room and saw her cradling this little dark mop of hair on her chest.  Realizing that I would not be welcome if I entered the room I kept walking around to the opposite side of the station where I found a seat practically vibrating in place with anticipation, anger, nervousness and more.

After spending almost 30 minutes waiting for her to release D back to the room where I could see D, I finally gave up and left.  This was my first introduction to my oldest child.  The next time I would see D, the baby was two weeks old.  I got to spend one afternoon with D before D’s mother took D out of state for 11 months.  Needless to say this has always impacted our relationship.

On the other hand, when Boo was born, I was in the room the entire time.  I had spent the entire time N was pregnant reading, singing and talking to the baby growing inside.  We had a bit of a crowd in the delivery room that day.  In addition to my wife and I, the doctor and nurses, we also had decided to let our mothers join us in welcoming the newest member of the family.  As is a tradition in our families, we were singing to help pass the time and ease N’s stress.  As it turned out we also sang Boo into the world.  We had to laugh as the doctor and nurses told us that they had never experienced such a musical birth.  We even had to turn down a request to come back and sing for more births (albeit it would have been fun)~!

The start to these lives I think both has and will continue to shape the relationship I have with my children.  With D, life continues to be a struggle.  Currently residing with D’s mom because of drug problems, stealing and lying while living with me, I still love D…even if right now I do not like D very much.  I can only hope that as D grows older, the wisdom will come that D has a strong support system waiting for D to turn D’s life around, and that D will hear the music in D’s soul that longs to be played out.

As for Boo, she and I continue to enjoy our cuddle time, train building and bath times.  I know she will present me with her own set of challenges and tribulations, all children do.  But I hope the songs she heard coming into this world will also continue to reside within her and lift her up and guide her during those times of stress and trial.

Music makes the world go round….

How I like to remember my kids
How I like to remember my kids

Old memories

I found my diary a couple of days ago.  My actual physical diary.  I’d been talking to my son about writing down some of the things he’d been struggling with, his feelings of betrayal, loss of trust, and abandonment.  We’d talked about ways we coped with what has happened and I’d been sharing about my diary and about this blog and he had stated that he didn’t know what to write about in his, if he started one.  So I shared with him the very first entry of my diary, from March 29th, 1991:

Dear Diary,

today was a bummer of a day.  we just left Bizmart and a totally awsome turbo graphic 16 for $125.00!!  & my dad wouldn’t buy it.

p.s. the day wasn’t a total bummer because I hit the jackpot, found money, and get to go to C.P. [Children’s Palace – btw] if dad doesn’t stay too long (he he ha he won’t!!)

p.p.s. He did!!

total bummer

After sharing this with him he had less trepidation about writing something down.  If I can just get him started writing something, to get in the habit of putting his emotions down on paper…it may not be a perfect solution but it would be a start to perhaps allow him some healing as well.  So since I hadn’t read my diary since I last put an entry in it I’ve been reading it off and on, skipping parts and going back to others.  The last entry in the thing however still strikes me.  Not the whole thing, but here is the last part of the last entry in my first diary, dated Jan. 6th, 1999:

Have you ever seen a man so consumed w/appearances that he even orders his own thoughts as to make them more poetic?  The thoughts that one utters when one is alone…?  I have, I see him every day in the bathroom mirror and we cross paths as we get ready for bed.  But I don’t really know him.  Or understand him.  His loss, his hurt, his anger.  Maybe one day I will.  Either that or maybe I’ll become the man on the other side of the mirror.  Never can say…

It’s interesting how things come full circle.  I may have come back to a similar place, a single father,nervous and unsure of what the future holds, but I have gotten to know the man in the mirror.  I have become the man in the mirror, and the man looking in.  It has not been easy blending the two, but I am who I am.  I am loved for who I am, I am forgiven, and I know my boundaries.  My need to be needed and to control others has made my life unmanageable.  I can let go, usually.  I am at peace with being alone – most of the time.  I am not perfect.  And those in my life don’t have to be.  There is a new day dawning and God walks with my son and I.  We don’t always realize it.  We don’t always want it.  But God is there.  And God will not leave us.

It has been hammered home how much my life means to the people involved in it.  People I am ashamed to say I have not taken the time to get to know as well as I should have, have reached out to me, via emails, Facebook, in person, to share their love and support with me.  And I am so grateful and so thankful.  I love you all.  And for those who have ridden this journey with me from the beginning… well, there really isn’t anything else that needs to be said is there?

And with that, I wanted to share the first poem I ever copied down in my journal.  It was from a book of Favorite American Poetry, a book my mother owned and for all I know, still does.  And a friend recently sent me a power point with the first verse of it, something else that was a blast from my past, but I think is very appropriate here:

Love

I love you, Not only for what you are, But for what I am, When I am with you

I love you, Not only for what you have made of yourself, But for what, You are making of me

I love you, For the part of me that you bring out

I love you, For putting your hand, Into my heaped-up heart, And passing over all the foolish, weak things, That you can’t help dimly seeing there

And for drawing out, Into the light, All the beautiful belongings That no one else had looked Quite hard enough to find.

I love you, because you Are helping me to make Of the lumber of my life, Not a tavern, But a temple, Out of the works of my every day, Not a reproach, But a song

I love you, because you have done, More than any creed could have done, To make me good, And more than any fate could have done, To make me happy

You have done it Without a touch, Without a word, Without a sign You have done it by being yourself Perhaps that is what Being a friend means after all.

Returning to the desert…

And yes, that’s desert, NOT dessert…the sandy kind not the sweet one…

In Old Testament theology, the desert is seen as a proving grounds, a testing place, a place to create a firm commitment, to lose all the chaff of one’s self, to be challenged.  It is never a fun place, it is at times a deadly place, but it is ALWAYS a necessary one for those who are sent there.  Without implying any ability/mission link with those people, I left my desert too soon.

I thought I was past all the hurt and the stress and the angst and the rest of the mess that was going along with letting go.  I thought I was okay with being single and with improving my relationship with my son and myself.  I imagined that I was ready, healed and roarin’ to go.  None of which was really true.

There were moments and lessons that I have learned this past year and a half that I will not soon forget.  And indeed I have traveled farther than ever before on this journey I’ve been put on.  But I got caught at an oasis in the desert.  It wasn’t the oasis’ fault, it is what it is.  But it become the destination, rather than a stop on my journey.  And I’m not done yet.  There is much still to be dealt with, to be learned and to let go.

This December has been the roughest one in several years.  We lost yet another family member (my son lost two more, one on his mom’s side) during this month.  It makes four for me.  My official divorce hearing to finally settle things is in about three weeks and I’m trying to get everything ready for it, myself included.  My oasis and I decided to call ourselves friends rather than push it towards anything more serious…but it still hurt leaving.  Then there’s the holiday stress, making gifts this year, rather than buying them, hosting Christmas for the family, dealing with work, etc etc etc…

But, there is still joy.

Joy in the remembrances of good times had with the family, joy on people’s faces when they tell a good story (or bad depending!), joy in the simple things and good sounds and smells of life.  And yes, I like to cook.

My life is still surrounded by music and love.  My son’s birthday party went off really well this year.  Pics to come I’m sure.  He is doing well, almost a teenager, so any advice on that front would be most welcome.  I have great friends, awesome co-workers, a great job, a loving family and a warm place to stay with food on the table.  I can pay all my bills and have a path to walk.  I have much to  be thankful for this holiday season.  And much I can share.

First thoughts back in the desert…I find it odd that it’s thankfulness…but it’s also comforting.

Cheers.

And Merry Christmas.

Blue Man Group

Okay so this is like the coolest thing ever…well okay so maybe not ever. Anyway, my son and I have started watching Blue Man Group vids on Youtube before he goes to bed at night and I found this one tonight and just had to share.