Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Inspiration

Inspiration, people. I needed to feel moved. Compelled.

And now I do.

Let me tell you why.

I spend a lot of my time reflecting upon how much people suck. I'm really not a misanthrope, but sometimes it's hard to see anything else.

But every now and then, you run across people that touch you; truly, deeply, profoundly. And those people reignite the little spark of hope that lives inside each of us. The things that they do aren't necessrily big and flashy. Even a small kindness can illuminate the hugeness of a human heart.

These are people, however, who are capable of amazing geneorosity and selflessness. They are the ones who should be figuring so prominently in the media that we devour on a daily basis.

Not politicians. Not celebrities. Not fame whores and poptarts.

Because they are the ones who illuminate the goodness of which we are all capable. They are the ones who battle the monsters that walk among us. They are the ones who make human beings worthy of the value we place on ourselves; arrogant creatures that we are.

We don't always know who they are because they don't go about proclaiming their benevolence. They simply live it.

Such was the case with a woman I met recently.

At baseball practice last week, all the parents huddled together, sharing a small patch of shade and getting to know one another, as they always do at the beginning of the season.

As a seasoned baseball Mom, I tend to get a lot of questions from the newer parents. I've been doing this for 9 years. I know the ropes, the rules, the regulations and the rumors.

One Mom approached me, and asked me about athletic supporters. At nine years old, it was her son's first time playing baseball.

When Husband asked the child if he had a cup, he quipped, "No, but I have a water bottle. Are you thirsty Coach Antagonist? I can find a cup."

Truly a neophyte, this kid. Husband chuckled over that for a week.

I told her what I knew, and eventually we began conversing about other things. I liked her right away. She and I are about as opposite as two women can get, but she has a directness that I like. She's a no nonsense sort. No affectation. No pretension.

I suspected that she might be a lesbian and that was confirmed when she mentioned her partner. It doesn't matter to me in the slightest, but you don't see many openly gay couples here in the ultra conservative South.

I hoped she wasn't in for a rough time of it. Southern suburbia isn't exactly an enclave of diversity and acceptance. One of the Moms had already made a disparaging comment about gays, not realizing, I'm sure, that there was one standing right in front of her.

During the course of our conversation, it was revealed that the boy is not her biological son. She and her partner had recently gone through the process of being approved by the court for adoption. They had scarcely completed their evaluation, when they received a call from the social worker who had been guiding them through the lengthy and laborious process.

There was an emergency.

They had three children who needed a place immediately, as the court felt their domestic situation was unacceptable. Would they be willing to take these children until a foster home could be found? There was the boy, a five year old girl, and a 15 month old infant.

Now, most of us get to transition into parenthood; adjust to the phases as they come. We have time to fall in love with our children in the womb and as blank, sweet smelling bundles of potential before they plunge us into the challenge of parenting autonomous beings.

Even then, it can test our mettle in ways we never imagined. It can break us. Who among us has not found ourselves questioning our fitness as parents? Who among us has not, at some point, curled up into a tiny ball and cried, certain we were failing our children?

Recognizing, this, the woman and her partner had expressed in their application that they would rather adopt an older child, as they did not feel equipped to deal with a toddler or an infant.

So they were hesitant. But the social worker assured them that the situation was temporary, and the need dire. These children were in grave danger.

They put aside their plan.

They took the children into their home, and unknowingly, into their hearts.

They realized that their well constructed idea of how things should be, was insignificant in the face of what was. These children needed them.

Instead of one child, they got three. Instead of just one older semi-independant child, they also got a fractious five year old and a wholly reliant toddler. But they dug in and did their best.

Several weeks later, parental rights were terminated, and the children became wards of the court. They could now be placed in a semi-permanent foster home.

But the women found that they could not let the children go. These little beings that they had regarded with such trepidation had become their family. They told the social worker that they wanted to begin the adoption process.

I listened to all of this, noting the joy that suffused her face as she told me that in a few weeks, the children would be theirs.

"I had our name put on his jersey." she said shyly.

She humbled me. I mean really, really humbled me. She made me ashamed of my complaints, my sniveling about losing myself, and the challenges of raising my spirited, head strong boys. She made me ashamed that I had forgotten what a privilege it is to be a mother.

It was clear that she is determined to give these kids all the trappings of childhood. Baseball is part of that. And never, ever have I seen a child so unabashedly overjoyed over a simple game. For him, of course, it more than a game. It is a chance to let go of the responsibility he has shouldered for so long and just be a kid.

Free. Unencumbered. Innocent. Normal.

The first game came, and I watched her as she watched him. As he stepped up to the plate, she clasped her hands tightly beneath her chin and waited for the pitch. He swung, which in itself is a testament to his bravery and resolute nature.

A whote lot of kids who are new to kid pitch league can't make themselves stay in the batter's box while the ball comes hurling at them with questionable trajectory.

But he did. He stayed and he swung and he hit the ball. It was a glancing blow and the ball dribbled slowly toward third base. But he ran like the wind, just as he had been told. He made it safely to first base, where Husband was waiting to give him a high five. When he turned to look for his new Mom in the stands, the grin on his face shone wide and bright behind his metal face mask.

And she? Was beside herself. She clapped and whoopped and hollered as if he had hit a grand slam. She ducked her head and wiped away a tear, but others shone in her eyes as she beamed at him. And when he crossed home plate, she couldn't keep them from spilling down her cheeks.

Later, during a break in the action, he and Husband conversed. The kid was frenetic and as wiggly as a puppy in his excitement. He danced on his toes as they talked.

"Coach Antagonist...didja see that? I hit the ball. I really hit it!"

"You sure did man. That was awesome. AND...you scored a run."

"Yeah. My first home run EVER. Do you know why?"

He jumped up, twisted around, landed flat on his feet with his legs spread and pointed with both hands to the back of his jersey.

"Cause you're lucky number 13!" said Husband.

"Yeah. AND, because of my new name."

I turned to his Mom.

"Man, that kid is walking about six feet off the ground."

For a moment, she didn't answer. Overcome, I think, with gladness. Then she said,

"Well, he's not the only one."

Goddamn that made me feel happy inside. Really, really happy.

There are good people in the world. And sometimes, we get the privilege of knowing them and seeing how they change it.

Now that...is inspiring.

40 Comments:

  • At 1:50 PM, Blogger cndymkr / jean said…

    I'm not sure who is the lucky one, the children or the new parents. I wish them all the best!

     
  • At 3:38 PM, Blogger Magi said…

    What a fantastic encounter.

     
  • At 4:20 PM, Blogger flutter said…

    I love it.

     
  • At 4:55 PM, Blogger R.J. Keller said…

    Thanks for sharing the inspiration with all of us.

     
  • At 5:23 PM, Blogger womaninawindow said…

    And now it's my time to blubber. OH, I hope and hope and hope for them. I hope the adoption is a success and then rest just works itself out in time.

     
  • At 5:54 PM, Blogger Angela said…

    I am wiping away my tears.
    That is so grand

     
  • At 6:17 PM, Blogger Ruth Dynamite said…

    Awesome.

     
  • At 6:59 PM, Blogger Mac and Cheese said…

    Fabulous story. Thanks for sharing it.

     
  • At 7:56 PM, Blogger SUEB0B said…

    Oh man, you made ME cry too. I will say a little prayer for their happy family.

     
  • At 8:03 PM, Anonymous ame i. said…

    Oh, that was just great! I can see the glow on that precious child's face
    Love knows no bounds, nor does it recognize the "rules" and "regulations" that some want to impose upon it.
    Some children don't get that kind of love from their biological parents,which is very sad. Instead of feeling sorry for kids with 2 moms or 2 dads, we should realize how lucky they are.
    We love, therefore we are. It doesn't matter a hoot where and from whom that love comes from.

     
  • At 8:19 PM, Blogger margalit said…

    Ya come back and make my cry. Again.

    Missed you.

     
  • At 9:07 PM, Blogger Pgoodness said…

    What a great story - thanks so much for sharing it with us

     
  • At 9:16 PM, Blogger Amy Nathan said…

    And what's amazing is that are people like you, open and able and just waiting to the good instead of the bad, the wonderful instead of the treacherous.

    She was lucky to meet you too.

     
  • At 10:21 PM, Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said…

    See? There is a reason for you to keep this blog: to share such beautiful stories with all of us who are privileged to come here and read them.

    And, whenever I hear someone say that people who are gay should not be able to adopt, I will repeat this story and think of those couples I know who have taken children who might still be in the hell hole of their previous lives.

     
  • At 10:40 PM, Anonymous betty said…

    Thank you, that was an awesome story.

     
  • At 10:46 PM, Blogger the only daughter said…

    ...AND, because of my new name Priceless and glorious.

     
  • At 11:53 PM, Blogger Major Bedhead said…

    Ohhhhhh man.

    I need a tissue. And I need to go hug my kids. And then maybe another tissue.

     
  • At 7:36 AM, Blogger Chicky Chicky Baby said…

    I'm crying.

    I'm so happy for them.

     
  • At 7:48 AM, Anonymous Jennifer said…

    Thank you for helping to start my week in such a positive way :-)

     
  • At 8:27 AM, Blogger Avalon said…

    OMG. What a lucky little family.

     
  • At 8:36 AM, Anonymous Aprylsantics said…

    Simply beautiful. Thanks.

     
  • At 8:36 AM, Anonymous Aprylsantics said…

    Simply beautiful. Thanks.

     
  • At 9:57 AM, Anonymous Shutter Bitch said…

    Sometimes, I think life has other plans for us, and it takes a certain kind of person to be able to let go of their plans and see where life takes them.

    Thanks for sharing this story. I hope they live happily ever after.

     
  • At 11:03 AM, Blogger sltbee69 said…

    What a beautiful and heartwarming story! That little boy is very blessed to have that woman and her partner as parents.

    Good to see you blogging again.

     
  • At 6:10 PM, Blogger IIDLYYCKMA said…

    I knew you'd be back:P):)

     
  • At 9:15 PM, Blogger Kiy said…

    Thank you for sharing this. The power of adoption is great, I wish more could see it. I still get comments "I couldn't love a child who wasn't mine". I just walk away, shaking my head.

    I so hope many see your post. It was inspiring and wonderful and warm, and I had tears running down my face.

    Thank you, and, welcome back.

     
  • At 9:24 PM, Blogger Tootsie said…

    Totally tearing up.

    Thanks for the reminder of what's important.

     
  • At 11:10 PM, Blogger Boliath said…

    I needed that - thank you.

     
  • At 11:24 PM, Blogger Karen Sugarpants said…

    What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it with us!

     
  • At 9:26 AM, Blogger anne said…

    How wonderful. What a happy little family.

    I can understand how that could inspire you.

    I'm sorry I haven't been by in a while to read. Trying to get caught up today.

     
  • At 9:40 AM, Blogger jen said…

    there are heroes everywhere. everywhere.

     
  • At 10:25 AM, Anonymous AA said…

    So glad you were inspired. That is an inspiing story, as well as an emotional one.

    Those baseball moms among us can totally relate to what she was feeling too. At least the baseball part.

     
  • At 11:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Your friend should move inside the perimeter. She would feel much more welcome. It is not as uncommon to have gay parents as it might be in the burbs.

    Very sweet story.

     
  • At 1:55 PM, Blogger (In)Sanity Gal said…

    Oh, so not fair to make me cry out work. Geez.

     
  • At 3:22 AM, Blogger Emma in Canada said…

    That was so very moving. And it managed to make me feel guilty for not enjoying my 4 as much as I should.

     
  • At 3:22 AM, Blogger Emma in Canada said…

    That was so very moving. And it managed to make me feel guilty for not enjoying my 4 as much as I should.

     
  • At 5:47 PM, Blogger Amy Y said…

    Got behind again, dammit. ;)
    what a great story ~ thank you so much for sharing! And good for that new family... I hope they have many many more happy moments like this one!

     
  • At 7:13 AM, Blogger Antique Mommy said…

    As so many others have said, that is a great story - a pin point of light in a dark world.

     
  • At 8:24 PM, Anonymous Susan said…

    I just came across your blog and wanted to let you know just how beautiful and awe-inspiring this story was. Thank you for sharing it, thank you for the reminder that there are good, strong people with caring hearts and beautiful souls. And best of luck to the family - theirs and yours.

     
  • At 2:48 PM, Blogger Teryn said…

    What an inspiration- you just made me cry in an office full of Men! Eeek!

     

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