Friday, November 22, 2013

Links to Actual Writing

Steven asked me to update my blog so that he wouldn't have to see that terribly sad picture of Melese anymore.

Here are some links for a bit of writing I have been doing between school pick ups. (My apologies if none of them are new to you.)

My column for InCulture Parent-Thankfulness, Insecurity and Adoption: A Messy Lesson

A couple of posts I wrote for a new website-

Family, Lost and Found

Happy Halloween?

Have a wonderful weekend.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Sometimes I Forget.

Dear Melese,

I made a mistake today. I’m sure it’s not the last one I’ll make before the day is done. We went to Meazi’s school like we do every weekday morning. We played on the field. You met a new friend named Tyson. When it was time, like all of the other families, we made our way to the classrooms. You ran in and starting playing with a ball one of Meazi’s classmates had on her desk. Meazi hung up her backpack in her cubby, and ran to get a book she wanted to show me. I lost track of you for a second “Where’s our little guy Meazi?” I asked. She laughed and pointed to you now playing with a toy attached to someone else’s backpack. I came over to you, tickled your ear, and asked you half-heartedly not to play with other people’s stuff. You smiled and scampered off. I turned around and Meazi was gone. “I can’t keep track of both kids,” I said aloud to no one in particular, just a loony mommy talking to herself in the third grade classroom. I looked all over the room for Meazi. One of her classmates said she saw her in the hallway. Thinking that maybe she had gone to the water fountain down the hall, I walked out of the classroom to check. This was my mistake Melese. The door closed behind me. It was just a few seconds. Suddenly I heard a commotion. There was a loud noise coming from her classroom door. I walked over to the door and there you were on the other side of the glass desperately trying to open the door. I tried to open it as fast as it could. I looked at you and you were so very panicked. You looked like you thought you were about to be consumed by a raging fire, that if you didn’t get out this second your small body would be consumed by flames. We struggled with the door, finally getting it open. You ran into my arms and sobbed deep, deep sobs. “I wouldn’t leave without you Melese,” I said in a soft voice, realizing what I had done, realizing that I had forgotten for a moment what it is like to be us. I was foolishly thinking that like some of the other moms in the room, I could step away from you for a minute without mentioning it to you first. I’m so sorry Melese.
 Four years is a long time. I got relaxed for a minute. I thought I could just step out, find Meazi, and come back to you. I was wrong.

We sat on a chair in the hallway. You continued to weep into my shoulder until my sweater was soaked with your tears. I continued to whisper in your ear, telling you that I would always come back. I reassured you that I would never leave without telling you. But that is just what I did isn’t it? I left without telling you.

I’m sorry Melese. We aren’t a normal mommy and son at drop off are we Melese? I forgot about that for a moment. Sometimes I get too casual and confident. Sometimes I forget. 

Please forgive me.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


In a rare twist of events, Meazi asked if she could sleep in our bed tonight. After years of co-sleeping, she had finally made her way over to a single bed in her own room last spring. Just this past weekend, at Ikea, she picked out light blue sheets and a toile comforter cover that she liked.

Overwhelmed by the complexities of third grade (primarily the introduction of substantial homework and angst about being the youngest girl in her class) Meazi surprised me with this request. I told her she never had to ask and that she was always welcome to sleep in our room if she wanted to. Melese still sleeps with us. He still kicks us incessantly in the ribs and Steven inevitably ends up on our lumpy couch in the living room. Our house is so small that it doesn’t really matter where any of us sleep; we are still very close to one another.

I need the room to be pitch black to sleep. This drives Steven crazy. If a curtain is open anywhere and the smallest sliver of a lamppost light slips in I go ballistic, "What is that glaring Lighhhhhhhhht?” I wail. I also need to be up against the wall; anxiety about rolling off the outside edge causes me to wake up throughout the night. If I am not smashed up against the cold, dark wall, I will never ever sleep.

It has been a tough couple of weeks for Meazi. I always forget that September and March are really trying times for our kiddos. March for obvious reasons, September for more subtle ones.

I was secretly gleeful as Meazi brushed her teeth. I miss her. Nighttime is the time when Meazi used to talk to me the most. These days she is knee deep in a Boxcar Mystery each night armed with a tiny reading light and a silky sleep cap. I can’t get a peep out of her when I say goodnight. Instead I get a “Please mom, five more minutes to read?” Who can resist. I let her read until she falls asleep. I leave and go in the next room to lie down with Melese. Melese talks a little bit before he falls asleep. I’ll say, “What was the best part of your day Melese? What was the part you liked the least?” He’ll answer, throw his skinny arm around my neck and fall fast asleep. I’ll wait a few minutes and then get up.

Tonight I lay between them. Meazi stuck her cold feet under my legs for warmth. “What part of your body is this mom ?"(Who could tell in this deep dark sleeping chamber with nary an ounce of light). “It’s my thigh.” I said. “Oh, I thought you just had a really fleshy calf.” She says laughing. “Don’t get up Mama,” she says, “Stay here with us.” Melese is chatty, anxious about a couple of things “What happens when you miss a connecting flight Mama?” I tell him about later flights and other airlines but he still seems worried although we have no immediate travel plans that I know of.” “What will happen with Doc and Zeppo?” Our friend’s pups had a serious scuffle and Melese is worried about them. He says, “Our dogs did something much badder remember Mama? They ate all those Easter eggs!” We didn’t know Melese when our three dogs consumed thirty-six dyed Easter eggs, but he remembers it as if he had been there.

There is a little more chatter among them. I am relishing being in the middle again. Time ticks on, 8:00, 8:30. They continue to talk. Melese says to Meazi, “Don’t be surprised if mommy gets up and is tempted to read a little bit. She’ll want to get a small snack and watch her Mad Men on TV.” I laugh at this very true statement. I do like to get up after he falls asleep to read a little, have a little snack, and have a cool glass of wine with Don Draper, err I mean Steven.

I realize why they are not falling asleep. I quietly move out of the middle to the outside of the bed, fear of falling be damned. “Mommy don’t go!” Meazi says. “I’m still here.” I reply. Melese rolls into her, flings his skinny arm around her waist, and the two of them are asleep within thirty seconds. Just like it used to be.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Having a Hard Time Letting Go of...

(I apologize in advance to my Facebook friends who had to endure these photos already).

 The kids and I got to spend almost seven weeks with my parents at their house on the lake.
We did a lot of this.
Meazi became an equestrian.

Steven joined us for the last week.

Best Papa Ever.

My Bro. That is his tap. Yes, BEER on tap, on the deck.
My Sis-in-law. Lake Girl.


We did a lot of this.

Nana and Papa
Aunt Kate

We did a lot of this.

We got to see these guys.

World's Best Nana

We did some of this.

My Bro-in-law

Whipped Cream as a food group

Family Movies, directed by my niece in the blue.

We did a lot of this.

Cocktail hour.

Wake up call.

Barn Cats.

We did some of this.

My parents got us a cake celebrating the day  Steven and I met Meazi and Melese.

To say that we had a good time would be a huge understatement. My parents wrapped us in their warm embrace. Every time I hear someone talking about how poorly their parents have dealt with their adopted grandchildren, I want to slip them my parents' number. I want my parents to call them and tell them what they are missing. My parents have welcomed Meazi and Melese into our family in a way that is beautiful and profound. They are so very kind to them. They treat them as if they are their own children. They love them as they are, while gently guiding them in areas where they may need guidance. My dad would take Meazi out for chocolate chip pancakes before anyone else was awake. My mother arranged for Meazi to have riding lessons this summer, giving up her own seat in the saddle. My parents shopped, cooked, cleaned, bought me gallons and gallons of WINE. They have restored us and renewed us, giving us strength to forge ahead into a new school year.

Thank you mom and dad.  Thank you for making sure they finally got a home cooked meal this year Melese is suddenly not a vegetarian when Nana cooks. "Her steaks are just so much better Mommy!"

Thank you for loving my children as much as I do. You are incredible parents and wonderful grandparents.

You can see why I am having a hard time letting go of summer.