Writing the Things

Writing the Things -stopdropandblog.com

I’m supposed to be writing a thing.

Actually, I’m supposed to be writing three things right now. One medium thing, one large thing, and one colossal-hugetastic thing. I mean, I’m also supposed to write here on this blog, in this space dedicated to the writing of the things in my life, but …

And I have been, haven’t I? Writing the things? Here, at least? Maybe in less volume, in less constant tippy-tap of keys. But I’ve written here. I am writing here. I even have drafts saved here, snippets of drafts in my iPhone Notes, little bits of things scrawled quickly in colorful pens in my planner or umpteen notebooks. One liners, great paragraphs, ideas, flops.

I do not have writers block. Exactly.

I possess some quality ideas for quality pieces. But I’ve found my quality making seems to take more time as of late. I’m kind of stuck in slow motion. Or as LittleBrother says, “Stuuuuuuuuuck innnnnnnn slooooooooooooooow mooooooootiooooooooonnnnnnn,” as he molasses in February moves toward his bedroom at bedtime. Funny, that kid.

And yes, boy howdy, I am busy as of late. Work keeps me on my toes in the best way possible. I’ve sorted out a cleaning schedule that maybe I should write about someday. I’ve been doing this weird thing called reading books and finishing them—I still can’t return them on time though. Baby steps. Half marathon training started again, and I’ve been working out daily since early January. Workouts with a Capital W that make your legs kind of Jello like and, when you wake up in the morning, you can’t quite remember why you cannot lift your arms. For the record, I’ve lost no weight but I seem to have found my tricep muscle. Bonus. I’ve been cooking real meals, and sometimes not, and sometimes just serving delicious leftovers of those real meals because sometimes leftovers are even better than the first time around… but not always. The dog got sick; she’s better now, but she’s still a Special Snowflake and needs lots of attention. I’ve enjoyed some time with friends and learned a bunch of new things.

And sometimes when I get home at night or put the boys to bed, I’m just kind of spent. Not kind of. Just really.

I don’t want to force the writing when I don’t have the energy to do it, even though I read that one piece about not waiting for the energy or the right time and just freaking do it. Maybe I should. Maybe I shouldn’t. Maybe I should stop reading about writing and writing about writing and just write. Maybe I should eat nachos at 11:55 PM.

I know I have some great pieces inside my head and on bits of paper and cloud space. I know I’m going to write them, give them voice, push them out into the great unknown. I know it’s all going to happen. I feel like 2016 is my year. I’m turning 35, even though I just accidentally typed 25, and I think that just sounds fantastic. The 35; I wouldn’t want to do 25 again. I’ve already started in on some Big Things for the year, and I just know that with some work, some time, some dedication, some more work, and a little bit of faith, more Big Things are coming for this year.

For now, I’m going to be patient with myself. I can’t do all the Big Things at once, just as I can’t do all The Things at once. In fact, cuddling with the dog seems to sound a little more my speed right now.

There’s always tomorrow.

Talking

Talking with my birth daughter in open adoption during a visit. -stopdropandblog.com

During our past few visits, I’ve braved some harder discussions with my daughter.

I won’t delve into the things we discussed, because that’s neither here nor there. The point is that my daughter and I have been having real discussions. Words and thoughts and fears and joys and favorite songs exchanged.

This past weekend we found ourselves flat on our backs in the guestroom, the air mattress rolling underneath us. I found myself running my fingers through the top of her hair but then balked.

“Is it okay that I’m touching your hair?”

I mean, yes, she’s my daughter. But I don’t parent her. I touch my sons’ hair when we’re cuddling in bed, but I know for a fact they enjoy, anticipate, and expect such a touch. It’s just when her head was tucked into me, resting on my side, my hand just found its way to the top of her head. My fingers started mapping out the top of her head, started memorizing the way her hair meets her skull.

I’ve never done such a thing. It felt very motherly, and it nearly blew my socks right off.

She assured me that my touch on her head was just fine, and we kept talking. A number of times we cuddled and hugged when the moment felt just right. Sometimes we just rested in the silence, rested in the presence of one another. For me, it felt like a homecoming and a come to Jesus moment, all in one.

My therapist has asked—repeatedly—why I shy away from these types of moments, these conversations, these cuddles. She understands our open adoption reflects a best case scenario and that our relationships—mine with my daughter, mine with my daughter’s mom, the boys’ relationships with their sister, and so on—are somewhat unique but possible with a lot of work by all parties in an adoption. That said, I’ve always felt concerned and ultra-respectful regarding boundaries.

I don’t like to cross them. I don’t even like to really near them; I like to stay far away.

When I have these real, big conversations with my daughter, they feel like mothering. While I accepted the title of mother, given to me by my daughter’s mom without the determiner of “birth” or biological, mothering feels different. Mothering feels like a privilege given to those who are present, day in and day out. But then again, aren’t I present, day in and day out? Haven’t I made myself available, for questions and answers and support and back up? Haven’t I supported my daughter’s mom’s decisions?

And yet, I didn’t think of these questions during our talks this weekend. We just talked. We talked about the things we needed to discuss at this time in her life. I asked a few hard questions, and she answered them to the best of her ability. She asked me a few hard questions, and I answered them honestly.

There was a give and take that felt just right.