Archive | April 2017

Microblog Mondays – Life Story book

You know what?  I don’t think I told you that I actually finished Boo’s life story and had it printed and delivered it to him.  I took me a while to get the last perfect picture but I finally did it.  That only took 7 years.

I included his one and only sonogram, the picture of his birthmother and us, the day he was born, etc.  I did not include a picture of his biological father, even though I have one somewhere that his birthmother sent me.  We never met and he did not come to the hospital when he was born.  I guess if he had, I might not have my son here with me.   Sigh, I only wish I had taken more pictures at the time.  He loved it!  He didn’t ask as many questions as I thought he would.  But we had a really good chat about everything.

I do remember how strange it felt to have this teeny tiny infant in my care and even though I was smiling in every shot, I also felt quite sad, too.  That bittersweet feeling become an obstacle for me (never mind my age or the issue of finances) in entertaining the idea of another adoption.   It was hard to let go of this idea that I would magically become this unconditionally happy woman despite the loss it meant for my son and his birthmother.  I held it together like a rock in the face of this woman sacrifice and tears.  Why does everyone keep telling me I should be happy now?  I had an idea of what I would feel and what transpired was most decidely different.  I read a blog post from a woman who did not have the ideal birth experience that she had prepared for.  She felt robbed somehow of the blessed experience for events that were beyond her control.  Maybe I had felt something like that.  Like, hey look I have a baby but….. why do I feel so traumatized?  Expectations versus reality.  I learned a great deal about equanimity.

I remember the wash of unconditional love I felt for him as I held him, the awe of it all, how humbled I was at being given the opportunity to mother, how badly I wanted to remove his loss.  I wanted to be perfect, not make any mistakes.  I would not be afforded another opportunity in this lifetime.  I was terrified of failing him.  And yet sometimes I did.  And then I get off the floor and did better.   I now know it’s just part of the job, the hard part of being an adoptive mother, knowing you won’t be the answer to his question of where he came from.  He will one day look to you for answers that you hope you can answer.  To be the bridge he crosses.  You just hope he comes back.

I had built up this book to be such a momentous big deal, but Boo just seemed to be happy to marvel over how tiny he was once.  His big foot next to my wine glass.  His dog nuzzled next to his sleeping body.  He liked his life story and was eager to share with only those closest to him.  He didn’t see our doubts, our fears, our hopes.  He only saw how much he was loved.  Which I suppose, was the whole point.

 

Taking my bow

This is long overdue, but my play closed Saturday night, so instead of running around on Mondays (which was my day off) I can slow down a little and write.

Yes, my play.  Refuge by Mary Vingoe.  I don’t cry very often, but let me tell you I cried in 15 out of 17 performances in my last scene.  I played an Eritrean refugee mother who has lost her son to suicide. Refugees issues are front and centre these days and audiences were really engaged in the topic.    It was well received by audiences and I have to say I had a wonderful time.  It brought the joy of my craft back to me.  Friends saw me recently on an episode of a major network show and I have to tell you I got far more out of doing this play than I did with that role.  I had my issues with the play itself but I still had the time of my life. The crazy actors, their different personalities, the crappy dressing room, the “places” call.   It was like getting back the part of me that I thought was beyond reach.  Like discovering sex can actually be so good that you just want more and more of it.  I just tingled down to my toes.  It was emotionally exhausting no doubt, but when I came home, I would slip into my son’s tented bed and watch him sleep.  That shit never gets old.  Just watching his lips purse in sleep, hearing his deep breathing, kissing his impossibly soft skin.  The play is based on a real Eritrean refugee whose claim was rejected and eventually he committed suicide rather than be returned to his homeland.  I still had my son and feeling his breath on my face was an antidote to the despair and pain I portrayed on stage.

My part wasn’t huge, in fact, I was only in 4 short scenes, but I believe they were impactful.  It was just what I could handle at this time and it was just what I needed.  I’m not sure how people handle all the pressure of a huge, demanding role and also a family life, but I guess that’s just a matter of expanding one’s capacity.  Oddly enough one of the actors commented on how much I had to do as both a mother and an actor.  I have to admit that at times I feel as if my capacity is not big enough, I often felt frayed when I straddled both worlds.  None of them had children or were responsible for taking care of other people.  They had lifestyles that supported them. They just cleared their schedules and did the play.  They had spouses to make them lunches or quiet spaces to retreat to.  If I had an early rehearsal day I grocery shopped or walked the dog (and memorized my lines at the same time) or attended to some errand or another.  I checked in with my Buddhist colleagues for updates, cleaned the house, did laundry, put things away.  I had a couple of auditions (which I resented) but I did them anyway.  I was basically working 6 out of 7 days just over a month (seems longer) but it didn’t really seem like work.  I guess that happens when you really love what you’re doing.   Hubby had to go away for work for a few days and it was spring break.  I arranged a few days in a day camp for the boy.  The inlaws came over during that final week of rehearsals (long days).  That was a blessing to be sure, but of course, that also means I cooked meals ahead of time for them.  Being at rehearsal came to mean an escape;  all my energy could be focused one direction not several.  The minute I was on my way home, it was about juggling and picking up things and meeting others’ expectations and it was jarring at times.

Still, I learned a lot about my capacity to juggle things and handle stress.  All in all, I think I did alright.

I’m sad right now though.  It was great working f/t doing something I loved.  I received a good review for my work, got my picture in the paper and I admit it, it was good for my battered old ego.  It was the first show my mum missed, but she was with me in spirit.  I learned a lot.  Onward and upward.