- Can you believe that it’s already the middle of June? This year is really just flying by. Sometimes it’s just dizzying to think that we’ve been home due to the pandemic for about 15 months and counting.
- Hope is in her third week of work. Earlier this week she called in sick; she didn’t seem sick to me. That said, we all need mental health days, right? I also have been chastising myself to remember that Hope has been a slug for going on a year–some days she didn’t get out of bed. So yeah, working a 5 to 7 hour shift is probably beyond exhausting. She’s going to have to build up her endurance.
- I’ve also been really thinking about Hope’s behavior this last year. The pandemic has really been tough on her. Her first year of college was disrupted; she lost her developing friend group. There was a love affair that went super sour. There was a lot of isolation, and honestly, a lot of suffering. It is no wonder that she nearly clings to me like a baby sometimes.
- This last year and a half has been traumatic for all of us, but for some, like Hope, it’s been especially so.
- I do wonder how she will bounce back from this. It’s like she finally was making soooo much personal progress; sure her grades were what I hoped they would be, but she was beginning to thrive in so many other ways. As usual, I have lots of things to fret about in terms of her recovery.
- How much has this time stunted her emergence into young adulthood? Has it made her afraid to step out again?
- Will it further extend what I already thought would be a slightly delayed launch? Home has been even more a a “safe” headquarters for us; hell even I have anxiety going too far from home for too long. With home having an even stronger association with safety, how can I help her get back to stretching her safety bubble?
- The fact that she’s working actually gives me hope for her. I’m hopeful that she will be able to regain her lost confidence and figure out what she wants to do next. It’s really about my commitment and ability to support her and be patient with her.
- In other news, there are 19 days before I head to the beach. I’m looking forward to sleeping in a big bed, working on getting nice and bronzy and spending lots of time with Sister K’s family.
- I’m also looking forward to making a final decision about a bathroom renovation. I think I’ve saved “enough,” though I’m constantly running the numbers. I know that it will be fine, but it’s a huge thing to commit to. It’s just that every time I set up my bath ritual, I start thinking…this is good but it could be so much better IF….Stay tuned.
Tag Archives: Parenting
A few nights ago, I stumbled across old episodes of John Edwards, the medium, on TV. I used to love his show. In fact, in 2012, I actually attended one of his in-person events here in Virginia. I”m absolutely a believer that some of us can talk to folks on the other side. I talk to one of my late grandmothers all the time, and yes, sometimes she responds. It’s kind of like in my head but almost like a whisper outside of my head–it’s hard to explain, but I sometimes hear her. I sometimes hear my paternal grandmother as well, not as often. And I sense my grandfathers’ energies as well.
It’s been this way since each of them passed on. It’s not limited to them–certainly I had other episodes with family that have passed on as well. I can’t do it for others, but it’s been a wonderful comfort for me over the years.
Anyway, back to the show. I was posted up in bed one night, bingeing the show when Hope popped in. Sometimes she loves to hear stories of my childhood and family. I told her about this weird thing that happened when my great Aunt died–her spirit jacked up my GPS just to make me drive past one of her favorite places after the funeral. I was just telling her story after story; I could feel myself getting animated. I love my family, and we’ve had some good times. And then…
“Gosh you know so much of your family. All those people…” Hope said.
My mouth hung open. I snapped it shut, and I stilled. I felt horrible. Here I am chattering along about my ancestors, people I have been so privileged to grow up with, to know, some to still feel. And for Hope, there are just gaps, big huge gaps. While we do have a relationship with some members of her family of origin, it’s often strained. It’s complicated for Hope; there are still a lot of big feelings, and I’m not sure what resolution will look like for her.
I apologized for making her uncomfortable. She waved me off dismissively. But this is sitting with me. I want to share with her that this is what family is, can be, maybe should be. I am so fortunate to have the family I have, to know so many members of my family, to claim and be claimed, to know my generational connections. I want that for Hope.
I have make it clear that I will support her relationships with family always, unless they seem unhealthy, but even then I’ll support her and be there for her. I have no idea what the future holds in that space for her. I also know that as much as we love one another and my family of origin, we may not fill any of the gaps left over. We’ll try. We will always try, but I worry that there will always be limitations.
When I resumed my chattering, I pivoted to talk about how Hope will talk about me to my grandchildren and to her grandchildren, and what they will tell their grandchildren about us. I told her to imagine visiting my mom with her own kids and how wild that will be. I told her that we would create our own dynasty.
I know it may not fill the gaps from her biological inheritance of memories, stories, beliefs, and more, but I promise to pass on everything I can and everything I have. I want so much for her to feel, believe, and know that she is anchored with me and all that I have inherited.
- Busy, busy week. I’m really glad I really rested last weekend. Back to back meetings, and tomorrow I’m running a training. I”ll be ready to crawl back into my bed this weekend.
- I’m looking forward to another restful weekend. I skipped baths for a while, and well, that was not wise. I’m all about maintaining that ritual.
- Hope is working and she got her first paycheck. She’s improving a bit every work day. I”m optimistic about her regulating and rebuilding and rebuilding.
- It’s slurpee season, and that makes me happy. I really, really love slurpees. Last night I pulled over on the way to Beau’s house to get one. The are one of my favorite parts of summer.
- I am *almost* really to renovate my bathroom. My bath situation has made me realize that I would soooo love some upgrades. A deeper tub, heated floor, bidet and more storage would totally improve my quality of life. Obviously, right? I know exactly what I want, but it’s a big project and frankly, it sounds exciting and terrifying.
- And there…I’m tapped out.
- I’ll owe you four!
- I’m just floating on through the week. It’s busy, but I’m…content. I’m rested. I’m secure. I’m breathing deeply. Work is busy, but not overwhelmingly so. I’m feeling good.
- According to my fitbit, my resting heart rate is the lowest it’s been in a month.
- Today was Hope’s first day off since she started. She has been in bed for nearly 24 hours. I do believe she is truly exhausted despite working just 5 hours a day. She has barely gotten out of the bed for the last 9 months, and she hardly eats. Working is going to be rough until she is able to get used to it. I left her alone, and just let her sleep. I am pretty sure she was up for a short spell during the day, but I was in a meeting so I said hi in passing.
- Today I took Yappy on an evening walk that was apparently exhausting for him. I decided to take a short soak in the tub, when I got out, I found him burrowed under the pillows and covers on my bed. He’s now stretched out sideways in the middle of my bed. I’m on the edge. I’ll indulge him for a little while.
- Yes, I took a midweek bath. I missed several of my luxe bath situations last month. I also keep finding new things I want to try to enhance the experience. I love Dr. Teal products. I picked up the sativa hemp and the vapor bubble baths not long ago. That vapor situation stopped my seasonal allergies in their tracks. I also just got some more of the CBD bath bombs.
- I’m 2/3 of the way through another book. I am admittedly annoyed that my reading continues to be so slow. It’s a constant reminder that my brain was hurt. smh. Anyway, I realize that I never stopped loving to read; it really just became a chore. It’s taken me nearly 4 years to be ready to tackle it. Not including my audiobooks, I have read 4 books this year. That hasn’t happened in a long time.
- The trip also seemed to give me a little more energy to begin exploring a trip. I sense my comfort and confidence is headed in the right direction. Now, I want to take Hope, but I also know that by the time I go, she may really want to stay and work. In any case, I’m feeling closer.
- This weekend, Hope and I are going to see RuPaul’s Drag race at a drive in. It’s one of our big Pride events this year. I think we’re going to try to do a few events this month. I”m looking forward to it.
- I just realized that this weekend, Hope and I will have been a legal family 7 years. The time has flown, and the time has dragged on at the same time. It’s been a helluva ride, that’s for sure! We barely mention these days much anymore. I always seem to remember them, but I no longer mentioned them. A few weeks ago we both realized in the middle of a conversation that our family-versary was coming up; we acknowledged it and moved on. I dunno, we survived a pandemic; I think we should celebrate this year.
- I think I’m going to try to spend some time at the pool this summer. The thought of it sounds good. I always get my passes, and never manage to go. I’m going to try to change that this year.
- Hope is fully vaxxed! Yay! She got her second vaccine yesterday. I’m so excited that we are protected now. Of course I’m still operating life as though there is a full on plague…because there’s still a full on plague. I’m not down with the lifting of mask mandates. Folks are just nasty.
- The downside is that it seems Hope might be having some nasty side effects this evening. It’s always hard to tell with her though because she is super dramatic when she’s sick. She has a low pain tolerance and just doesn’t do sick well at all. So, after all these years, it’s still really hard for me to gauge if we need to go to the urgent care. I’m hoping she will be better really soon.
- I’m supposed to go into the office for the first time in more than a year tomorrow. I have a meeting in the afternoon. Yes, it could be done by Zoom, and if Hope doesn’t feel better, it may have to be by Zoom. There’s a part of me that it looking forward to it, another part that is wary, but really I’m more anxious about remembering to go into the office at all. I’ve got a nice routine. I get up at 6, walk Yappy and finish my exercise, tidy and shower and get dressed for work. Commuting is walking to the living room. I’m seriously fretting about remembering to go to the office.
- Is it bad that I already am planning a trip to Starbucks when I get into the office? I miss my starbucks run. I also miss my starbucks points. Of course, I now get my cold brew delivered in a box from Amazon every two weeks so…I’ll be fine if I don’t make it.
- I’m tired of working in my living room, but I’m honestly not ready to go back to the office. Outside is just gross.
- Hope finally has orientation for her new job next week. Finally. This is a long onboard for a retail gig. I’m eager to get her out and going and getting back on track to find her way. She is doing much better emotionally, but still not having something meaningful to do every day continues to weigh on her.
- She recently told me that she has no idea what’s next for her. She’s not ready to go back to school. She doesn’t know if she wants to change course–maybe pursue something entirely different. Her interests seem to be changing a bit. She’s a bit lost, and it’s hard. It’s hard as a parent because this part is something she has to figure out on her own. I am here to support her, to cheer for her, to financially help with figuring it out, but the hard work of figuring out what you want to do in this chapter of life is kind of a solitary thing to figure out.
- Somehow I’m finding getting sufficient patio time difficult. That’s especially frustrating since my desk faces the patio. It’s been so gorgeous out. Patio time is one of my favorite parts of spring/summer/fall.
- Still no movement on planning a vacation. I might really just have to put the idea on ice until I no longer sense this emotional block from just dropping a text to the travel agent. I mean, this ain’t hard. I can just tap out a quick message–location, time frame, price point. I might circle back in a month and reevaluate.
- I can’t really think of a 10th thing, so I’m going to sign off and finally go get the cocktail I should’ve had 3 hours ago!
- Another Mother’s day is upon us. I’m really so so about Mother’s day. I mean, I definitely try to make a big deal about it for my mom, and I send flowers to Hope’s grandma. But when it comes to me, it’s just…I dunno. My first holiday, I graduated from grad school, so the celebration was consumed by that accomplishment. I was so glad to have Hope there; it made it extra special since it was my first. But since then, meh.
- All that said, Hope actually planned ahead this year, announcing several times that she purchased last month. That’s pretty special. So, I’m looking forward to seeing what she’s got in store.
- Work is driving me crazy. I’m currently not enjoying it. Honestly, I haven’t “enjoyed” it since things blew up last summer. It takes a lot of emotional energy, and being cooped up this year it’s been hard to fill my cup. No real vacation and minimal in person interaction with anyone besides Hope. I could use a few weeks off. Not gonna happen though.
- Hope has determined that cereal is the go to meal of choice. We are going through milk like she’s a calf. I usually just by a half gallon once a week or so. Last week I had to go back to the store for more milk twice. I went ahead and bought a gallon jug this week, and by Wednesday it was half gone. It’s crazy. I suppose cereal is perfect–filling, sometimes sweet, satisfying. I mean, I get it, but gotdern it’s a lot of milk.
- Ok, I gotta confess something: I used Mother’s day as an excuse to buy myself a gift. When I bought my treadmill a few months ago, I settled. I didn’t buy the one I really wanted. While I enjoy the treadmill, it just doesn’t have some of the features that were important to me. So, yesterday I bought the one I really wanted. One of my good girlfriends is taking the current one. The new one arrives sometime tomorrow.
- I need to find my checkbook. <<<<- This is basically a note to myself.
- Hope seems close to landing a job. I’m almost afraid to say much because I’m afraid I’ll jinx it. Of course, I did write about it a couple of days ago. I just am hopeful because I think it will make a real difference for her emotionally. And now that she’s learned you don’t date where you work…#sigh
- I finished a book on my kindle. Honestly, I don’t even know why I have a kindle. I bought it at xmas during a moment of retail therapy. Anyway, I finished a finished a book. I have finished just a handful of books through traditional reading since my head injury, so I’m excited to have finished a romance novel. I’m trying to figure out what to try to get lost in now.
- I do most of my reading via audiobook. It definitely has its perks–author’s actual voice, ability to speed up or slow down the pace. Of course, most academic books are *not* available in this format, which when you think about it is ableist AF. I’m hopeful that once day more will be since that is a lot of the reading I do.
- I took Friday off; I needed a mental health day. Just to be able to sleep an extra couple of hours and breathe. I’m really looking forward to it.
- Happy St. Patrick’s Day. I wore my green glasses today.
- Things are…all over the place. I almost hate it when someone asks, “How are you?” Like, there’s a pandemic, I’m an extrovert trapped at home; my daughter is struggling and I don’t know exactly what I can do to make it better, work is emotionally draining 99.9999999995% of the time and my own mental health always seems precarious.
- So, I”m doing fine.
- Except, that’s not really true.
- I am fighting the good fight though. With daylight savings I can get more outside time and I’m delighted by that. I’ve taken Yappy on an evening walk every day this week. The increased sunlight and exercise is always great for my mood. I’ve started sleeping with my weighted blanket again. Sometimes that added weight, pressure just is so soothing.
- I’m really struggling with parenting right now. We have a good medical team. We’re really trying to give Hope autonomy with her care as a young adult. I’m trying to give her structure, but it’s really a lot with everything that’s going on. The issues are just like whackamole; we get one thing under control and something else pops up. Depression is getting better, but now the anxiety is debilitating. I can only imagine what it must be like for Hope. Not being able to find a “fix” is killing me. I really feel helpless and super frustrated. I don’t see this ending anytime soon.
- At the end of every day I’m exhausted. I would probably allow myself to get in my bed at 7:30pm if it didn’t sound SOOO early. Sometimes I do it anyway, but days like today…I’m trying to wait until at least 8pm.
- In other news Yappy is now using steps to get on and off of my bed; I’m so proud of him. A few months I noticed he was starting to have to work harder to get up on my bed; it’s a big jump. I bought some doggie steps, tried a couple of times to train him to use them. He looked at me like I was stupid. I shrugged and just left the steps there. After a month he started randomly using the steps, just like that–no prompting, no treats, nothing. He just started using them. Now he uses them consistently unless he’s feeling frisky and wants to hop up. If only everything was that easy.
- I am supposed to get my second vaccine next week. I’m now able to really count down the days until I can see my parents, who will be getting their second shot tomorrow. Just knowing I will be able to hug them in a matter of weeks nearly brings me to tears.
- I still wish I was motivated to write more, especially about parenting and older child adoption. Sometimes I get so frustrated because so much of the adoption conversation is dominated by infant, international and transracial adoption. I really wish more folks were writing about families like me and Hope. There are absolutely threads that are similar, but there are narratives that are different–not better or worse, just different. I often find myself trying to decide if I want to weigh in on posts even though I know the conversation isn’t about older child adoption and I want to hear about those stories and from those adoptees. I’m realizing that I might need to reconstruct my adoption squad. Our challenges never really go away, but I don’t necessarily seek the same kind of engagement and help that I used to seek. This young adult thing is different, and while in some ways it’s hard to remember what life felt like before Hope, it’s only been 7 years. It’s crazy. I just wish there were more folks talking and sharing about this kind of journey. Sometimes it’s lonely out here.