Monday, May 11, 2015


There are multiple safeguards that God built in to make parenting doable. For one thing, babies are adorable. Not at birth, mind you. A very select group of infants come out looking like humans, but the majority are more what my dad (RIP) often referred to as "boiled monkeys". The man had a way with words. But later, some time post-birth, they get fat little elbow dimples and ginormous Disney-eyes or what have you, and the cuteness gets significant. That is super useful, because they scream a lot and they don't really sleep, and the whole constant-poop thing- it would be a deal breaker if it were someone that just looked like a normal guy or a goblin or something.

There are other safeguards but I'm a pretty lazy blogger so I'll just skip to the main one.

This is a condition that occurs in childbearing women, often immediately after delivering a baby. I call it mom-nesia, which is an arguably unclever amnesia reference. Maybe I'm rusty.

Here's how it goes down, a lot of the time. (disclaimer: this is not how it goes down with me, because I am in labor for 4 full months and then give birth to miniature children. but this is how I understand it goes down):

Mother: (screaming, etc)
Everybody else: "Breathe, relax, push, etc."
Mother: "Never mind, I will just stay pregnant. I don't want to do this, I'm getting up and going home AIIIIEEEE *&*&&!!@ MADRE DE DIOS."
Childbirth: "LOL"
(general screaming, pain and blood, magic fairy dust and daydreams for the natural birth crowd)
Days later
Baby: "Waah."
Mother: "Let's have more children!"


I get momnesia every time I take my kids on vacation.

Me: "Let's go have a magical Amaro filtered beach trip with our 4 well behaved children."
the Man of God: "Vacation with kids is not vacation."
Me: (a lot of things, sounds of vacation beginning)
All of our money: "See ya suckas!"
(general sounds of our kids fighting and falling down and refusing to eat overpriced restaurant meals)
the Man of God: (not saying anything)
Vacation: "LOL"

Much later, in the last 30 minutes of vacation, we watch a sunset together. The children, sun-weary and full and content, sit beside us, and for a moment there is magic
Me: "Let's ALWAYS go on vacations!"


It happens everywhere. I ground them and forget they're grounded. I take them to the store because I forget about what happens when I take them to the store. "We can handle the post office," I think, because I have a disease. "What is your name?" I ask them, "you, with the hat." I let them stay up late because surely they will sleep in tomorrow.

I would think there was a cure, a pill or an amount of time that will heal me and I will remember. The cold reality is, momnesia is terminal. You will live with it forever.

My mom: "You kids never acted like that."
Me: "I have VIDEOS of us acting EXACTLY like that."
My mom: "Nope"
Memory: "LOL"

On the bright side, I think I'll get an Amaro filter for my old age.

Me, in my senior years: "We used to take magical vacations with you kids."
My Adult Children: (guilty) "We should take our kids on vacation, why don't we ever do that? It will be beautiful and perfect."
Life: "LOL"
Why am I not writing? It's not like I don't have anything to say. I am saying things all the time. It's rallying the brain space to put it in words - I'm not finding that space. Not writing feels like I'm missing something crucial, like I forgot how to breathe normally. I am finding that life is not slowing down any, so I guess I have to figure out how to process on the go. 

I tread lightly through these months. They are filled with anniversaries of promise and dreams and loss. In these months I cradled babies in my womb, felt them kick. In the months to come I released them to God, to live or to die. Some died.

I lost my innocence, I learned that life could be cruel. I said goodbye to my dad and tried to navigate life without a father. Many of the dates I couldn't pinpoint but I will wake with an ache in my chest and remember, "One time, today was a dream," and "once upon a time, today was a nightmare".

I am finding, as time passes, evidence of God in my memories. I remember the grief and then I remember Him, close at hand, a God who knew how it felt to lose a son, to ache. I remember my pain and my rage and my anger and I remember His faithfulness. I remember floating out to sea in grief, prepared to let the waves drown me- I remember my life preserver, my Faithful Steadfast who carried me back to life.

I still carry the ache of what-could-have-been, but it has been tempered by the beauty of what-is. In the midst of these gravestones, I see altars of remembrance. He carried me then and He carries me now.
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