Wednesday, June 10, 2009


i think i've written before about crawling under enchanted's like a cave, but i don't know if it's technically a cave. i'm not a really technical person. but it gets really cramped in there and sometimes you just aren't sure you're going the way you're supposed to go or if you're making your own path that will not eventually lead you out into the light again. but people who have been through before you have put little arrows along the way to let you know where to go at certain points and that is what i look for, desperately sometimes. it's reassuring to know that you are, in fact, on the right path...or at least a path someone before you has traveled. and this image of these arrows comes back to me again and again and again...sometimes i wish there were arrows, little markers in life, to tell me yes, some one's been this way before and they felt good enough about it to leave an arrow telling the next person "this is a good way."

when i was pregnant for the third time, my ultrasound revealed a soft marker for down's syndrome in my baby. a second ultrasound revealed a second marker. down's syndrome isn't fatal...after working at camp for years, i could honestly say it would probably be on my list of the top five syndromes i'd choose for my child if i had to choose. but it was emotional. i cried. researched and found resources. it was just a little different not hearing "this is another perfect baby"...and i eventually got past it. my thirdborn did come thirty-five weeks due a placental abruption...spent nine days in the nicu...and was three days old before i remembered to ask the neonatologist if he, in fact, had down's syndrome. he is now a perfect nine year old...although his brothers would probably disagree a little...and he doesn't have any problems related at all to any of those markers. i am pregnant for the fifth time. and we have another marker. it is not a huge marker. but it is a marker for a syndrome that is fatal. and (this part makes me roll my eyes and laugh and cry all at the same time) my age affects the odds of this baby having this syndrome...which are still really, really low... i believe things will be fine. other than this one marker, this baby is perfect...out of all of the other markers this syndrome can come with, this baby has none. and we got really good pictures yesterday. but i've cried...felt overwhelmed...researched and learned...and decided things are really probably going to be fine.

i went to bed last night thinking about markers. the ones i'd find under enchanted rock, the ones i've looked for since, the ones i've learned about during ultrasounds. sometimes i get angry that ultrasounds can cause such worry and concern...i am sure they are helpful to those who intend to do more testing and perhaps make different choices related to that testing...but for me, they just shake me up. but then getting my world shaken up is not always a bad thing. i admit, it is rarely what i purposely choose, but it is not necessarily bad. it can be exhausting because it can be a lot of work to put all those shaken around things back into different can be especially hard to remember where the hell you've put some of those things once you've gotten it put back together...but i think i'm rambling here. but i always ramble, so what difference does it make?...

anne lamott talks about circles of light to step into...sometimes we're doing well just to find the next circle of light to step into, move forward. arlo guthrie talks about you can't have a light without a dark to put it in. and on a very basic level that i can't put into words, i understand this...way down a place i don't usually feel it when my words probably capture it better.

it feels like a quiet time. like a think in something other than words time. i often feel i can minister to my fears...quiet them by asserting some illusion of control in my life. make them disappear for awhile. and it usually works...well, a little. but now is a surrendering time. not laying over on my side and letting someone or something else take over and do the work, but a becoming a part of something bigger than just me. and maybe my fears don't need to be let go of so much as just join in the energy that propels me and not what guides me.

i've been thinking lately about how weird it can get inside my head when people compliment me on my child's behavior...or make critical remarks. how over-identifying who i am with who my children are can be a dangerous thing for can be crippling when they "misbehave" as children do...but it can almost be worse when they are doing the amazing things that children also do. my children's successes are theirs. not mine. someone told me the other day what an awesome son i had, and i replied, "yes, i'm glad to know him, too," because he is not mine...he is not me...he is his own. and, i admit this makes it easier for me to learn this, he resents the hell out of me taking any ownership of his successes. (now, his failures...he's all about offering up his failures for someone else to own...) and when i was thinking about this, i thought about how i often think of babies i'm pregnant with as my baby, as an extension of me. but this baby isn't me...anymore than this baby will be me when this baby is a teenager. i am charged with loving and caring for this i am also charge with loving and caring for the children who can already walk and talk back. i am charged with offering myself, openly and honestly, in service and in guidance, to these children...accepting that i will affect and change who these people are...and allowing them to affect me equally. i will do the best i can...out of respect for myself, these children, and the guiding force that binds us all. and i have come to accept that part of that responsibility includes and necessitates getting a little shook up and finding new places for the things that are not yet where they belong.



spiritualelements said...

Sometimes the arrows are hidden within friends and I am here.

JO said...

Biggest hugs, mama. Little G had markers too. Enough so that I had to have an amnio. You know how she is. And you know that I am praying for you, for N, and for your whole family.

Yours words about your children are wonderful. Thank you. I needed that perspective this week....

*Jess* said...

Trust your gut. I, too, believe that everything will be fine.

Stuff like that is just plainly out of our control. What if there were markers for autism that could be determined in utero? I wonder if that would have prepared me any better, or just worried me any more. Who's to know?

Big hugs (hug, as I try to sneak code in here by accident :hug )