Sunday, June 24, 2012

#NMAM "Dear Genie"

Put together a wishlist for your life. There's one big thing that I've always wanted from my life, and that was a family of my own: a partner with whom I felt a true bond, children of ours to raise, and all the trappings that go with it, plus a small corner of the world to call our own. Right now, that's not possible. My female hormones from my pituitary will randomly quit on me. I've never been pregnant. They don't know if I can be. This breaks my heart. There is hope, after my cure, that it would be possible for me. However, that means starting a family in my 40s, which in itself is high-risk.

I wouldn't mind marrying in to children. I love all kids, whether they're mine or not. When I was a teen, my family called me the Pied Piper, because I used to take care of all my little cousins, from crib age to age 9 (I was 14). My mother, when she couldn't come up with a reason for why she did things, would say, "Well, that's how they taught us in Mommy School." Even as a child, I knew she was shining me on. There was no such thing as Mommy School. But then, as I grew older, I realized... No, there really is such a thing as Mommy School, and it's the wisdom of every mother, every grandmother, every great aunt, every woman who's ever had a child... They all have something to teach.

So I learned. We all would vacation together in a small area of Michigan. And when I say "we all," I'm talking 3 generations of 5 families, wherein each family averaged four kids. Around 100 relatives, some of whom are double-first cousins. I sat myself at their knee and I asked them how they did it. And they told me, and showed me, and I listened. I would take care of my younger cousins, and put my lessons into practice. I vowed that I would raise them to be cooperative and kind towards one another; something that my generation did not experience.

During vacations, I would gather up all my younger cousins and take care of them, collectively---as a group. One summer, I decided to teach them a choreographed dance. This is something that I knew would be difficult for them (ages 5-9). Everything about childhood is about instant gratification. I wanted to show them the secrets of delayed gratification. So I came up with a little dance, set a popular song at the time, and I asked them it they wanted to put on a show for the adults. They, of course, were skeptical.

I bribed them. I told them that we would practice for 15 minutes and then play for 15 minutes. Play and practice would get equal time (unlike in school). They thought I was being generous with all that play time, and it only seemed fair that work and play would equal... They figured they could put up with my teaching them something for 15 minutes. I was known for teaching them cool things, but their patience would naturally wear out. Fifteen minuets wasn't too long of a lesson time. They accepted.

At first, they were all about the play sessions. The dancing was work. It was hard. They would get things wrong and disappoint themselves. Play was all fun. There was no disappointment there. But then, as they started to get better and better at their parts, as they started to achieve, and get applauded by their fellow cousins for that achievement... well, then, the work started to be more fun, and they wouldn't want to stop to play!

But I made them stop anyway. I stuck to the script. some rules are there for a good reason, even if it doesn't make sense at the time. Even it it seems counter intuitive at the time. I told them Even when you're excited and want to press on with your work, take a break and go play to refresh your mind. Then when you return to your work, you'll find that things flow more naturally. They didn't believe me, and at first, it was hard for them to want to play again. But they got back into the grove, and before they knew it, it was dance time again. Sure enough, this time when they did things, it was easier, and they hadn't even been working at it! They looked at me like I'd just done a magic trick. I told them it was they who had done the magic trick---their mind did the work for them, because they had rested and stopped thinking about it.

When they put on the show, their parents couldn't believe it. They couldn't believe themselves and the reaction they got. twenty years later, that generation is still loving, inviting, encouraging, accepting, and fun. They've grown up to be amazing adults, and I'm so proud of every one of them. One of them even told me later of our time together, "You gave me the courage to be who I am."

There is nothing I have wanted more than to have my own family, children born of my own body, nurtured from my own breast; Raised in a family that is nurturing, protective, and spiritual; Part of a community that is connected, supportive, and accepting; A very extraordinary, normal life; Suburban or urban (I lean more towards the urban and the slower pace of life).

I want to be there to watch another set of beings grow into this world. I want to teach them how to manage the hurts and deal with the hardships, and find joy and happiness throughout. I want to show them how to be supportive and loving towards one another, so they can be there for each other once we're gone (my partner and I). I want to see them fly to higher heights than even I dreamed of, soaring to success on their own wings, launched from our shoulders. I want to see them find love, and make families of their own. I want to grow old and wise with my partner, and spoil my grandchildren in that delightfully wicked way that grandparents do.

I want to write a book... or maybe books. Paint paintings, sell my artwork... Make enough money in a career I love to be able to support that dream...

That's what I wish for.

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