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Like glue

April 8, 2007

Growing up in a chaotic household family situation and being an only child for most of my life did some weird shit to me. Singularly I grew very dependent upon my parents for their approval and praise but also in an agonizing pull of opposites I despised everything they ever did or said and wanted desperately to get away from them. When I heard Hannibal Lecter whisper to Clarice Starling about, “…dreamed about getting away, all the way to the F.B.I. …..” I felt like he was talking right to me. No I did not want to join the F.B.I. or anything but I wanted out. Away. Different. Whatever. Whatever it was that was not what I thought was expected of me. Although I feel strongly that my mother raised me to be independent and to push away from her part of her resented she had done it and subconsciously I knew it.

I don’t think I actually thought very much about what I was going to do. I am not a long range planner kind of girl. Oh, I can plan things and do stuff but I am more into instant gratification and so that other stuff like planning things long range are too boring and weak. I like the fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants thing and feel comfortable with weirdness, uncertainty and strange. I think that is why nursing school has been so draining for me. There is all this preparation and planning and the future is not predictable because it is not just a given that I will graduate because I have to do things that I have to learn and do not yet know and then be judged and graded on how well I do them. Usually I just do something and if I think I suck, I quit and I usually don’t because I can either do it or fudge it enough to look like I know what I am doing. But I digress.

Having children seemed like an idea that just popped into my head for real after my mom died. Part of me feels slightly guilty for it because she would have loved being  a grandmother and my kids, as much as I complain about them are delicious and funny and smart and loving. Maybe I couldn’t be a mother with her around? Either way it really is and what difference does it make anyway I think that having children was one of those things I just got into my head to do and didn’t really think it through.

Having a family seems so weird to me because it was just my mom and I forever, since I was 4. She was it. The two of us. Now in my family I created with my husband we are 4 people and it seems weird still that I have these little people literally stuck to me like glue most of their waking  hours and sometimes while they sleep. These strange little monkeys clamoring for my attention and approval and praise and acceptance and understanding. It is exhausting and familiar in a way.

They are always here, in my house, my children. Once I was asking Chica, who is 3, why are we a family? Her quizzical reply was, “Um, we all live here. In the house. Together. That no why Miss Debbi our family…she not live here with us.”

I choose to have children. It was a conscious decision and now when I look back on it–kind of impulsive. I thought one day after moving back to my hometown after my mother died that we should have a baby. I was almost 30 and getting to think it was now or never. I still hadn’t decided what to do with my life and I was afraid that I might figure it out and then be tied down to kids. So away we went. Poof…a year or so later our son was born. Then poof a year or so later we were pregnant and lost our first girl and then poof a year or so after that Chica was born.

There are always around. Climbing on me, laughing at me, making me laugh at them, kissing them, yelling at them, hating them, loving them, teaching them new things, learning from them, wiping their asses, their noses, washing their hair, dressing them, driving them around, watching them do things and talking to them endlessly. You get caught up in the day to day stuff and it all just blend in together.

Sometimes I have these moments when I see them and feel outside myself and watch my daughter wrap her little arms around my husbands neck and kiss his face calling him a poopy or watch my son as he rubs his hand on my cheek and stares into my eyes and wonder where did they come from? How is it possible that I made people? People should be expensive and there should be a waiting list and documents to stamp and approve. Adoption makes so much more sense to me than one day you may have sex and that may result in making a person inside your body and then it grows and then it comes out and then you take care of it. Forever.

Time seems to be rushing forward and then two steps back like the Red Light! Green Light! game you play as a kid. My children are racing toward me but once they get to me do I win or do they? I know I am not the last stop or the final line to cross but actually the starting line for the rest of their lives.

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