Where each day's colors blend to become "My Stained Glass Life"

Archive for the ‘April’ Category

Finding it hard to breathe

So, Mother’s Day is drawing to a close.  It seems appropriate that I am the last one awake.  I know that I will not sleep much tonight, so I am going to write and keep myself company.

Mother’s Day has been a day of mixed emotions for me for the past 25 years.  As a birthmom, it has always been difficult to know how or what to celebrate on Mother’s Day.  I wanted acknowledgement of the fact that I was a mom. But I had made a decision for my child that took away my right to be a mother – I placed April for adoption.  I prayed, cried, and agonized over the decision to release her into the world for the opportunity at a better life.  I was told I wasn’t adequate to be her parent.  I believed it.

And so the heartache began.  It is a pain so deep, so a part of me, that it is always there, always lurking below the surface.  I have been told that there is a quiet sadness about me.  It is engrained in my skin, my eyes, my smile.  There came a point where I thought that I could heal the heartache.  I believed 10 years ago that opening the adoption with April and her adoptive parents would allow the wound in my soul to close, creating a scar in its place.  Instead the wound is left raw and sore, aching when I breathe.

I believed that celebrating Mother’s Day with my other children, as they arrived and blessed my life, would help ease the pain.  I was wrong.  While I could celebrate my motherhood with them, it would never take away that I cannot celebrate my motherhood with April.  It is gone.  I loved everything about her before she was even born.  I would do anything for her, even if that ultimately meant not being her mother.  For one week, I got to BE her mother.  The next 25 years have belonged to someone else.  How can I ever reconcile that?

The fact is that I lived a life in my head as her mother every day.  I lived it from a distance, through the stolen moments in other people’s lives.  A woman in the grocery store check-out lane jiggling her baby girl on her hip as she waits in line.  A little chunky toddler sick and crying at the doctor’s office as her mom tries to keep her entertained.  The little girl standing waiting for the bus with her mom on the first day of school.  A mom disagreeing with her 8 year old daughter who wants pierced ears.  A secret smile shared between a mom and daughter over a cute boy walking past.  A mom crushed by the callous indifference of a 14 year old daughter.  These people did not know that for a moment I was stealing their lives, letting myself play out their responses, imagining the next step in their lives belonged to April and me.

As we opened the adoption and got to know each other, I didn’t have to steal those moments from strangers anymore.  The painful reality is that I could now steal them from April and her adoptive mom.  But I subjected myself to it, creating my imaginary life as April’s mom by watching her life.  I was still stealing moments from her parents.  I watched her in her school play.  I watched her crowned prom queen.  I watched her cross the stage for graduation.  I watched her drive away to leave for college.  But the memories of getting to those places didn’t belong to me.  Over time it became clear that she was doing the same all along, watching me parent her siblings.  We were both trying to create something that could never exist.  It could NEVER exist!  What a sad realization…

We tried to create our own relationship, renew our bond.  That bond was still there.   But it is so mired in pain, disappointment, unmet expectations, and fantasies that can never be.  So where do we go from here?  We are both living our separate lives, not talking, trying not to think about each other or care anymore.  Maybe this is the best we can do.  Maybe the best we can do is to look the other way and pretend it doesn’t hurt.

Like so many days, I am so grateful for my life.  I had a wonderful day with my beauties!  My little Lulu Grace lost her first tooth.  Bass cleaned out my van and vacuumed it for me.  Queenie hugged me A LOT.  I think she felt my ‘heart of blue.’  Jon worked on his labor of love for me in the yard.  We had lunch outside.  Lulu entertained us with her swimming pool ballet routine.  We examined a caterpillar.  We made fairy furniture for our ‘Fairy Hollow.’  Queenie and I had a nice time making dinner together.  I’m so blessed.  I had a wonderful Mother’s Day.  I’m just finding it hard to breathe.

Trash to Treasure

It’s a beautiful April morning, and I should really be outside working on some spring clean-up and outdoor chores.  I’m lacking motivation, however.  Maybe it has something to do with the 2 a.m. wake-up call from Lulu Grace, who came down with a stomach bug.  Nothing like washing sheets and her comforter in the middle of the night, let alone bathing a pukey rugrat!  So here I sit with my morning coffee, organizing my thoughts, and hoping that if I think long enough about yardwork it will be done through the power of my mind.  Kind of like in Sleeping Beauty, where the mops and brooms dance around the house by themselves.

I actually love flowers, the outdoors (minus the bugs), and the feeling of satisfaction that a long day of work brings.  I am a notorious starter of projects.  It’s the end I have trouble with!  As my husband will adamantly attest to, I am always so excited to begin gardening in May, but by the time June hits I just want to be at the beach!

So I am trying to become a more effective and efficient gardner this year.  It may have taken 40 years, but I am finally beginning to understand the benefits of perennials!  🙂  I began planning about six weeks ago.  My planning includes developing a theme for my yard.  Can you guess?  Yep, our theme is going to be ‘Trash to Treasure.’  Over the coming weeks, I will post updates and photos of work completed as we go along.

I am going to break the yard down into zones.  Each zone has to have a purpose if I am going to be spending my time on gardening in it!  As much as I LOVE to plant, I HATE to weed.  So we will have a play zone, a water zone, a meditation zone, and a food zone.

This area is traditionally where we grow veggies and herbs.  We also grow sunflowers here.  It’s always a fun area, where Lulu Grace and I splash in the kiddie pool, Queenie catches some rays, and we play with our beloved chocolate lab, Junior.  So this will be our play zone and food zone combined.

Our water zone is our Lulu Pond, which I created when I was pregnant with Lulu Grace.  April and Queenie helped me dig the hole.  It was a lot of fun and has brought us a lot of joy over the years.  We watch the birds take their baths here, host frogs all summer long, and love to sit on the front porch and listen to the fountain.  Yes, putting the fountain in is one more of those chores that I need to get done today!

I think this is the area that I want to use for a meditation zone.  Lulu Grace calls this her tree house and hides under its long, overhanging branches throughout the summer.  When the leaves fill in, it casts a green glow to this splendid little hideaway, where you can watch a whole insect world come to life.  It is a great place to just sit and watch the world go by.

Unfortunately, I peeked outside and there are no rakes or shovels dancing around my yard.  I guess that means it’s time to get moving, but that’s okay.  After laying out my plans, I am suddenly feeling motivated.  Thanks for the push.