new year new you

IMG_2486Car inspection 12/30/15 4:50PM: Check! I completed that final task for the year, and just under the wire.  I was not alone. The line at the garage was around the block and they were clearly not going to be closing on time.

Sure, there are lots of items on my new year/new you/to do list 2015 that didn’t get checked off this past year.  There always are things left unfinished.  Let’s be honest, there are also always things left un-started.  In retrospect though, and not to toot my own horn, all things considered,  it was a pretty good year.  I learned.  I grew.  I struggled.  I kept working on things.  I didn’t give up.  In most instances I was a decent human being.  I wasn’t mean.  I didn’t lie (ok ok, I did lie.  I told my children the park was closed when it wasn’t because I didn’t feel like going).

To complete the year, rounding it out nicely and ending it on an interesting note, Emily and I got a call just a few days ago that there might be a baby for us.  {cue screeching tires}  I guess I should catch myself up here.  Since the miscarriage over a year ago, we’d met with a local adoption agency.  We got our paperwork checklist and sometimes diligently and sometimes intermittently we have been checking items off that list.  We were basically told that because of our ages and because Emily has had cancer it was much less likely that a birth mother would choose us as a family with which to place her baby.  We were ok with that, choosing an “if it was meant to be” attitude.  We both agreed that if there was no baby in our home by my 51st birthday, we would call it quits.  We were both ok with that and went about our lives  – canning, knitting, playing hockey and being a family.  And then somehow the stars aligned.  I saw a hawk in the tree across the street (hawks having long been my prophets of prognostication).  And this complete stranger, making the most painful and difficult decision of her life, chose us.

The papers are not yet signed.  We still have not completed all of the items on our checklist.  It does seem pretty *bashert* though (Yiddish for meant to be) in so many ways.  But, like my grandmother before me, and even though I may claim otherwise, I am highly superstitious.  So I should probably not write more about it until things are more definite.

And as the new year begins, we have other beginnings on our plates as well.  Three years in the making, planning, anticipating, our kitchen is set to be demolished on January 4th. Let the renovations begin!  A full-gut renovation slated to take a good 6 weeks of pounding, hammering, dusty noise and house-shaking wreck and ruin.  Yeehah!

What’s that you say? A kitchen in the throes of remodeling and a brand new baby, not great timing?  Clearly you are not familiar with moirai or the notion of destiny.

If you are going to say “if it was meant to be” then you have to put on your big boy panties and be ready to deal with what comes your way.  Kismet should not be taken lightly.  Neither should the appearance of hawks.

What’s been really interesting is people’s reactions.  My automatic reaction was to cock my left eyebrow jauntily, roll up my sleeves and let the adrenaline flow.  Because I not only survived, but thrived, the year Emily had chemo, Nina was 2 and both of Joita’s legs were surgically broken and reset.  If I rocked that year, I can certainly do something so life affirming as bring a new baby into our amazing family.  It is also my personality to rise to a challenge.  This is one area where Emily and I are quite alike.  So Emily is in similar “let’s do this” mode (she has already secured a lineup of milk-producing mamas to fortify this little one with nature’s best nutrients).  Nina is over the moon with big sister happy dreams.  Joita is somewhat underwhelmed, but has already said she’ll get on board when she needs to – in typical Joita fashion of being a real team player.

It always amazes me though, when people give unsolicited advice and uninvited opinions.  And we have had those aplenty recently.  We expected Emily’s parents to not be overly happy; to be worried about us financially and otherwise.  But they surprised us and were quite genuinely joyous when we told them.

We have had a number of people ask if we are crazy.  Quite literally.  They have said, “Are you crazy?!”  I’m not even sure how to answer that actually.  What do people expect someone to say when they ask this?  We have faced more than a few (far too many for me) feigned-puzzled looks of judgmental bewilderment.  “You are 50!”, someone said in the same tone I use when I see that Nina has taken off her socks and shoes and has been running through the sprinkler and around the dirty playground in bare feet.  “You’re going to be 63 at her bat mitzvah!”, as if I won’t be 63 in 13 years anyway.  Though I was quite impressed with the utilization of those mad math skills.  Some have asked me, “Is this really what you want??” in incredulity as if I’ve signed up to go live on a riverboat on the lake in Malawi for the next 20 years.

I guess it comes down to how people choose to spend their time here on earth and how people prioritize and value how they choose to live.  I try not to judge people (or at least not share my opinions) who spend their precious time watching endless amounts of mind-numbing, brain-melting, stupid reality television instead of living their lives.  We each have the right to choose how we spend our own time though and I try to remember that.  Like the woman sitting next to me at Nina’s gymnastics class this week, who looked longingly over at me as I knitted my 30th winter hat for homeless people and said, “I wish I had time to knit.”  Without missing a purl I said, “You would if you stopped playing candy crush.”  I don’t think she’ll be sitting next to me next week.  Which is entirely her choice.  Happy New Year everyone!

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About halitentwo

i am. god is. we are. as soon as i write something about me i change, am different, evolving. i am trans. i am a parent. i am a partner. i am a human. i am attempting to live a well-lived life in the spaces in between, beyond definition, fluid, dynamic, omnifarious and always changing. hopefully growing.
This entry was posted in blessings, everyday stuff, feelings, parenting. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to new year new you

  1. Kris says:

    Cap off to you! I’d rather raise 20 pooping and widdling pups than have any alterations done on our home again… Good luck with the baby, dad – hope every piece of the puzzle of life falls in place for you. Superstition and religion? Weird bedfellows! Take care.

  2. Jamie Ray says:

    I hope the stork drops that baby down your chimney soon. It will be one lucky kid.
    Having been through a kitchen renovation while living in the apartment (6 weeks of dust), I have an inkling of what you are about to go through. We set up a kitchenette in our living room (Fridge, hot plate, toaster, electric tea kettle) and managed to survive without resorting to either Ramen Noodles or Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. No regrets.

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