Happy 22 Malcolm!

Malcolm turned the big 22 on Friday...he's getting all grown up!

I just wanted to acknowledge that it's been a while since I've written. To say the least, I have gotten away from the blog for quite some time. I was overwhelmed with self imposed challenges, and didn't have the emotional energy to put myself out there. Specifically, I picked up where I left off, career wise, when I adopted the kids many years ago, and doing so had consequences. I'm learning how to find the balance between being Gretchan and being Mychael and Malcolm's Mom. I read something one time in which Moms were asked to describe the emotions that they often experienced as Mothers. One word was consistently repeated by all the women--Guilt. Mom's overwhelmingly feel guilty when they focus on anything other than their children. We feel guilty about everything. When our children suffer, we feel as though we somehow inadvertently caused it. When they fail, we wonder what we should have done differently. When they hurt, we hurt. It's hard to find that balance.

For most of us, parenting means that you are ready to sacrifice just about everything (including your sanity) for the sake of your kids. Parenting is the hardest job in the entire world. You don't get a minute off, and this notion that once your kids become adults, you're off the hook is delusional at best. People warned me about the intensity of this whole parent thing, but I didn't listen. I was naive. And thank God for that. And by the way, are these sentiments enough to prove that I'm worthy of being perceived as a real Mother? Are these emotions genuine enough that people might actually refer to my children as my real kids? Am I legitimate now? Nah, but whatever. You can't have it all.

Regardless, we hit a few speed bumps over the last year. Yet, we pulled through...are pulling through just like we always do. And in the end, I have no doubt that we'll say that we're better people for having been forced down the alternate path yet again. But whatever, I'm not sure if I'd even recognize the regular route anyway. My normal is the alternate route. Sure, sometimes you dream of taking the easy route--to just for once have the opportunity for things to just work out the first time you try, and for everyone to just do their part. Yet, for may of us, it's not who we are.

When you get through the stress and start to see light at the end of the tunnel, you once again convince yourself that you didn't want it to be easy anyway. Soldiers like us can't survive when it's too easy. We get soft and weak. It's survival of the fittest and we are the survivors. Darwin says that the strongest are those that prevail in the face of the most adversity. So, bring it.


Tony and Rett said...

SO glad you're back! I've missed your insights and writing!

We're fostering (hoping to at least get guardianship soon) an eleven year old now. I LOVE IT! She's a joy!

Thanks for inspiring and challenging me!

Her Artichoke Heart said...

I'm glad you're back, too! I want to adopt in three years. Your blog is inspiring me. :)