Thursday, April 16, 2009

There's something I need to say

"I would be remiss if I didn't mention wanting to punch the universe in the mouth right now.

Really hard."

Thanks, Whoorl.

So, I will preface what I am about to write by saying that I am not a mother. Not unless you count my cat (plural now that I am cohabitating with another person), but I don't get to count him as a tax deduction so for our purposes today he will not be considered my offspring.

No I'm not a mother. But I know mothers. I have a mother. And I love mothers.

Occaisionally, I read Mommy Blogs even though I'm not a Mommy Blogger. I also hate the term "Mommy Blogger" because I think it's slightly derogatory. Like, "Oh, is that all you do? Raise children and write on a blog. Hah." Do not mistake, people: keeping up with a blog is h-a-r-d. I've heard that raising a child can be mildly challenging, as well. So the combination of the two is most likely somewhat of a task.

I guess I read blogs written by mothers because it moves me to see how much one person can be inspired by something that they love so deeply. They paint such a clear picture of the beauty and depth of this world, even though this world seems very ugly and shallow at times.

The best example of this is Nie Nie.

She was my first foray into the world of Mommy Blogs. I found her little piece of the internent though a link on MSN (of all things...this was back in the days when MSN was my end-all, be-all of popular culture...gross) that was part of an article describing her horrific crash and how the world rallied around her after news of it got out; people donated money, food, gifts, time...anything that they could contribute.

I am, despite my sarcastic and sometimes cynical hard-candy coating, a gooey-centered individual with a penchant for human-interest stories. This little blurb drew me to Stephanie Nielson's blog, and into her beautiful life.

From there, I found her sister Courtney's blog that narrated her own life as a mother of one small child, and then as mother to her sister's four children while their parents were recovering from their injuries sustained in the plane crash.

After that, there was Dooce and Anything Said, and Gorillabuns.

All of these women have children, yes. But make no mistake: they are not defined by being mothers.
They are defined by the person motherhood has made them become.
Each and every one of them discusses often and at length the changes having children in their lives has brought upon them. It's difficult, yes. There aren't any lies about how seamless and easy motherhood is (I know this because I babysat every kid on my parents block...maybe it's not quite the same but it's my only point of reference here). But being around young, inexperienced minds seems to add a different sort of clarity to life.

Maybe I'm just a big dork because of all this.
There's a point to what I'm saying.

A few days ago, Melinda from Anything Said wrote a brief post about how Shana from Gorillabuns had tragically lost her infant son, Thalon.
As I read the original post, the comments, and all the subsequent posts linked to the first, I started to cry (yes, at work again. Lara is going to fire me).
Like I said, I realize I'm not a mother.
But when I think about how I would lay down in oncoming traffic for Sophie and Ethan, who are my cousins and NOT my children, it proves to me that the power of being a parent is real and not just something people make up to project an image of domestic bliss.

And it is with this thought in my head that I cannot even imagine what it is like to be Shana right now.
I don't know her.
And she sure as hell doesn't know me.
I've never commented on her blog or linked it or officially followed it or anything like that.
It was just a peek into a life that didn't belong to me, narrated through a funny and intelligent voice.
And that's the other thing: I think everyone expects mothers, particularly ones with small children to be all about Gymboree and diapers and graham crackers. But read these blogs and you will be amazed, as I was.

The problem I've always had with organized religions is that many of them put their faith in one entity. Which I'm sure gives people comfort, but is also really scary if you think about. One being. One being for all these people.
I know that God or whatever you choose to call it is supposed to be omnipotent and doesn't make mistakes. That there's a big plan and everything happens for a reason or whatever.
But a plan that involves taking someone's child away from them?
A plan that causes someone so much emotional pain they can't breathe?
A plan that allows someone to create a life through love and happiness, bring it into this world, only to have it taken away from them before they really had a chance to show it the full measure of everything this world has to offer, thereby leaving this person to feel like they've done something wrong?

That is a plan I cannot support.

Because the point is that bad shit happens.
And sometimes there's nothing we can do about it.
More often than not, the awful things that happen to us make us stronger and more determined people.
But sometimes...sometimes the things that happen to us are so painful that they don't make us stronger. They tear us apart and we're never completely whole again.
When we did nothing to deserve them.
And there are those who would try to tell me that something planned for all of this? That there's a bigger scheme out there that involves to total and utter destruction of a person's character?

How is that fair?

Oh wait. It's not.
Not to Shana, not to Thalon, not to anyone who has ever had to deal with the kind of pain that only that kind of loss can bring.

I know that this is usually a venue for me to sit and talk about how I ate too many cookies or my car blew up or something like that.
But occasionally, it becomes necessary for me to say these kinds of things. Because they're important to me, and they should be important to you too.
I'm not trying to offend anyone (all four of you who are reading this).
Sometimes, certain things just need to be said. And quite often, I'm the one saying them even though I probably shouldn't.

I'm going to step off my soapbox now.

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