Pleasures and Ponderings

Friday, March 18, 2011

Letting Go as a Parent

A few years ago, I realized that my two kids were not ever likely to be interested in the philosophical discussions I so loved. Holding on to that desire didn't serve any of us. So I've been focusing on what I do enjoy with and about them. I was grateful that, though my daughter had proclaimed triumphantly the first week that she turned 13 that she was "a bitch and proud of it," she has turned out to be a very responsible woman, employee and mother.

And though I might have wished retribution during her demanding years as a teen, I am pleased that her relationship with her 15-year-old daughter is less rocky, more intimate, than ours was two decades ago. And my son is married and produced my second granddaughter in April.

I am grateful I can enjoy our easy conversations, and that they've never gotten into smoking or drugs. Having chosen to accept them as they are, rather than as I might wish them to be, we've enjoyed decorating our Christmas trees, angling for the crisp skin from our Thanksgiving turkey--I usually win the biggest strip--and, in earlier years, children's theatre, the zoo, walking in parks, etc.

When we took home our adopted children, each at three weeks, we were just delighted. Period. My decision to love them as they are has given me freedom to indulge myself for my idiosyncracies. Though I know my daughter doesn't like my asking others at a restaurant for what they aren't going to eat, the rather large part of me who dislikes waste will ask and/or gather for a take home box, rather than see food thrown out.

When my son gains weight from enjoying beer, I choose not to give advice. He already knows my preferences for his health. When he recently sold his grocery delivery business, against my advice, he managed to find a job (though paying less, it offered more freedom) in a few months.

I've gotten clear that if anything happens to my daughter, I'd stay as close to my granddaughter as she'd let me, but I wouldn't be her primary caregiver. I'm sure she would rebel at how I'd guide her.

And letting go of my longing for deep discussions with my kids has helped me look for and find what's special about them. I think I'll call them right now.

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Wednesday, March 09, 2011

You're Leaving--To a Housemate of Seven Years 3-9-2011

Chris, you've been a housemate for seven years.
And you were the only one in 26 years I didn't meet before you moved in.

I will miss your hugs, your grins and laughter,
Our mutual teasing, playing with words and ideas,
Shaking our heads about a common friend.
Our shared appreciation for Abraham Hicks, the Law of Attraction
And the Focus Wheel for my relating to a difficult friendship.

I see a parallel to your moving with the death of my friend Charles.
Knowing he was dying, I visited him every two or three weeks.
On the day he died, I went and sat with his body for two hours
And wrote thoughts and fees as I absorbed the finality of our friendship.
That night, nine of us shared stories and tears and memories.
I'll always remember how complete I felt that night.

Having time to "take in" the fact of your leaving
Has made this transition easier.
I feel a numbness and a sadness, a wistfulness and a heaviness
AND I am so glad you chose what your heart said "yes" to.

I'm grateful we both are staying aware of what lessons might be there
By way of our connection with a complex mutual friendship.

It was lovely to see how you and my brotherAllan connected.
Our potluck discussion took you in warmly when you joined us.
The small Christmas tree in the hall brought back the days
When I loved to decorate the tree with my kids for Christmas.
It was a joy to see and contribute what collected under the tree those weeks.

I'm tickled that we can giggle at those earlier times
When your temper surprised and even shocked me.

I value your generosity: the Saeco hot water pot, the microwave,
Rearranging the basement with James, sharing your Vortex DVDs.
And I was so thrilled when we worked on GMoneyPro affiliate marketing
Until we both got discouraged by puzzling messages of not "following policies."

My experience of Friendship has broadened these seven years.
You have become a Forever Friend, one who'd be on my Christmas list
(If I sent out Christmas cards), one whose birthday I hope to remember.
We've both grown in tolerance and acceptance of different housemates' behaviors.
I've loved seeing the closeness you and Ashley have with each other.

And the little things--your bringing matches for bathroom odors,
Doing the vacuuming every week, fixing it when it needed parts,
Putting Easter egg candies outside each of our bedroom doors,
Even hauling MY boxes to the basement as you cleared out yours for the move.

I'm sure I've overlooked some shared adventures or conversations,
But our friendship is a sculpture, a Friendship Oscar, that will take its place alongside
My leaves, frogs, ducks, dried bouquets, and boxes of "treasures."
There will always be a place in my heart and my home for you, my friend Chris.

Love, affection, and openness, Moreah

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Sunday, March 06, 2011

Listening to Elle Flute Trio Jan. 30, 2011

The Japanese folk songs took me to the local Japanese garden.
Women bow and I bow in return for the gracious invitation to the tea house.
The stream cascades over shallow rocks
And flowers wave back to the music.
A final bow cements the bonding between music and me.

I imagine walking gingerly over the slippery rocks
From one side of the stream to the other.
Before I get across, I feel heavy, doubtful,
Torn between stepping back and moving forward.
A lasso, a jump rope, are thrown out, willy nilly,
And no one cares if or how they convert to anything solid.
They are notes left out to recess
With no one monitoring their movement.

The Irish medley glides me to the Dublin pubs
With proud players of musical heritage.
My 2009 trip stands at attention
And I alight on a pub stool, wrapped in melody.
I celebrate their history,
Their obvious pleasure in listeners' movement.
Hands are joined, my mind tells me,
And feet kick in twirling delight.

Bach's sonata guides me from circles of vitality
To a procession of solemn intent,
Honoring the sacred all around and in us.
Presto shows off its freedom,
Its right to do whatever moves it,
And I want to taste, no, gulp, mouthfuls,
Breathfuls of total abandon.
No restraint here. Go, girls!

For Strauss' polka, I can almost imagine
Rising from my seat, even without a partner,
And doing the polka up the aisles
And around the chairs.
Oh, can I keep up?
It doesn't matter.
I just keep up with the unleashed child,
Never to be restrained again!

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