This weekend was bookended between tragedy and joy.
“Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.”
Friday, of course, was another day in America where a single gunman managed to kill tens of people in moments. This time it was a barely not-baby killing a bunch of sweet 1st grade babies. I asked my facebook feed that afternoon – between checking the news, sobbing, and working – why I would want to bring children into a world where this happens? Not just a world where children might go to school on a sunny morning a week before Christmas and end up dead in piles – but a world in which a child would kill his mother and then continue to unleash his fury on children he didn’t even know. I am equally terrified of having children and losing them to the increasing militarization and violent world I live in as I am raising a child who could participate in that way. Neither option is off the table, no matter how hard I try to instill certain values or put protection in place.
“You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.”
I was a 11th grader at a school less than 10 miles from Columbine High School in 1999 when the first school shooting of record happened. We had no understanding of the gravity of the situation. We left campus to eat 99 cent ice cream cones at Burgers Plus and watched news coverage on the scratchy TV there and no one knew what was going on but it never occured to us that someone would be killing people at school because that didn’t happen. In 15 years, it has become not only something that could happen, but something that does. Regularly. The fresh horror is only how young the children will be and how many will be killed and by what kind of advanced technology assault rifle.
I got a lot of thoughtful responses to my question, for which I am grateful. I am still struggling with the idea of intentionally bringing children into a world that is so broken and busted. But that is still my plan . . .maybe that’s the best explanation of humanity: that even when faced with evidence of unending pain and struggle, we still choose to bring forth life.
“The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.”
I am grateful that the remainder of my weekend felt much more life affirming that Friday did. Saturday I spent the day with my fave fatties talking about supporting awesome body love and working wingman magic for my buddy SB – we totally scored her a phone number! In the evening, we watched the Bee and the Bug and made them pages for their scrapbooks.
The best, though, by far was Sunday when the Bug and Bee had their 1st birthday party and baby blessing. I put my masters degree in theology to good work and facilitated a little ritual for them and their parents. It was really lovely. They are such beautiful babies and were brought into the world with such intention and love. I am grateful for the two of them and their wonderful parents and the many things I am learning about the struggle to raise children from their family. This morning, La went to do her regular gig watching them and found this:
I am very similar to Bug and Bee’s mama – we work in public health, are anxious type A overachievers and feel like we should be in charge even when we aren’t. It is beautiful to watch her parent and learn viscerally some of the things I know I will need to learn – about letting go, letting your children be who they are, recognizing your own limits and learning what your priorities really are. One of the readings we used during the blessing is a poem by Kahlil Gibran that I think is really wonderful. I have shared pieces of it above,but you should read the entire passage here (it’s brief!)
In less heady updates: I started bleeding today, which makes us in Cycle #1 of trying to conceive. Holy shit balls! We have about 20 days until the swimmers will come to try out the pool and I’m hella nervous + excited. La is also pretty giddy, which is probably even better. This morning she said we should order our supplies – until I reminded her we were going to be in Indiana in less than a week. We decided to order towards the end of our stay since it will be a short timeline thereafter. We also agreed to have BFF and his BF over for dinner this week before we head out, since the next time we see BFF it will be sperm date night and it seems like we should have a little social time before that. Right?
Once again I am shocked at my lack of freaked-outedness at my shorter-than-last-time luteal phase, which was 10 days, if you care. Everything I’ve read suggests that’s about as short as you want it to be, but that pregnancy can definitely still be sustained. I picked back up my B6 intake (though it is still well within normal ranges) to give the ol’ LP a little boost, but am totally not sweating it.
So, now’s about the time I let you know that 1) I may become a more anxious and frequent poster come mid-January and 2) please feel free to send me whatever woo you believe in – baby dust, happy thoughts, good juju, prayers, etc. Please know they will be returned, for sure.