Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Anything for your child; and knowing what "anything" should be. I tried.

Once you have been a mother, you will never not be a mother again.

The mother in each of us can leak out because we feel a responsibility to all children. It takes a village. Indeed.  

Years ago I read about young mothers choosing childbirth because they so needed 'love'. Today's 30-something gals are more likely to choose a dog. How do we support the journey of girls between ages 15 and 30? How do we help child mom's; especially, those who believe "I will do anything for my child": create a healthy and nurturing, not smothering in MY love, experience?

From one study, here is how those who wanted to be young mother's explain the want: Of those who had wanted to become pregnant, more than half gave reasons that reflected their desire for a baby--e.g., "I like babies, having something that's mine," "I like children a lot, and at least with that, I will entertain myself" and "It's weird, but something or someone is telling me to have a baby. My mom can't take care of me, so I will have one to be a better mom and show her how to take care of her kids."  ... the "time was right" to begin their family.

Raising children well is a challenge for all families. Where challenges of mental health already destabilize, the impact can be life-long. Good Mental Health partners well with good parenting and good support systems. Pestered by voices in my head taunting "walk the talk" I tried to overcome inertia and be supportive within my immediate village. All I can say now is:

Dear Brother, 
You were an anchor in more lives than you knew, not that your blunt for breakfast approach to life made you a super-star; but, I do believe it contributed to your ability to keep your cap on the "voice of rage" which all family members have. What we did understand is that you loved the wind against your face, the visceral real of life which you left behind before turning 40, and your daughter. 

You left behind a daughter in a very unstable world; a world that could not logistically and legally be supplanted. We 'the family' all pretty much gave in to inertia. Swimming against her tide was complicated by the arrival of another man's child, her half but everything in the world to me, brother. Some of us occasionally checked-in, bought an essential gift, made a cash contribution, connected enough to be known but never know what we could not bare to see. We were the 'other' way of life and reminders that daddy was gone. For her mom, we were cash-cows, resources that could be culled into magical appearances for birthdays and emergencies.

As the years go by, your brothers in their own way try to extend a hand until they ultimately disown, disavow and dismiss.  I stayed clear until the passing of our Dad forced me as Executor of his Estate to reengage. In his fairness world-view which was his heart you lived on in your daughter. 

Your brother's were right. They feared a distribution to her, being you, would be throwing good after bad. They were certain that maturity was absent and wants too great. It took a few months for the small windfall from Dad's estate to evaporate with no residual good.
                                                            ~~ As we age we try to be wiser, a tricky business. Some of us seek some illusive meaning to life and think about life already gone; thus you Dear Brother become an anchor in our unfinished lives. 

Today I post this late to you: My Valentine. All I can say is "I tried."  

After 2+years my voice raised for 30 seconds showing me that time had run out on trying. The universe was again weighing heavily with mysterious illogical 'anything' of a baby mommy.

I sense a poem in my head that is too snarky to write. It is the pain and hurt of my failure to be an extension of your shoulder, your smile and your grand daddy-ness possibilities for a child born from a hole in your daughter's heart. There have been good words delivered with hugs and food and shelter and cash. But it is the words of a parent that I wish they could hear, her and the baby-daddy; from the you I knew and she imagines wrongly.

I tried, truly. I awaited the apology of changed behavior knowing the mountain of pride she holds is very much you in her. That pride and a firmly entangled misappropriation of motherhood is a wall I am not willing to batter my head against any longer. I have other things to get on track which I put on hold in love of you.

I will hold out hope for changed behavior. I will know the gifts of stories and walks and pets and time will be memories and with your heavenly intercession, more.  

I tried, dear brother, with love.

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