I'm just me. This cool broad that married a cool dude and thought it would be cool to have a job and a family and do the boring American family thing. Those were my aspirations. I'm not a licensed professional counselor, a trauma therapist, a psychologist, a psychiatrist, a medical doctor, or a pharmacologist. I'm just me and I made the selfish decision to be a parent.
Yes, I said selfish because with infertility, I could have chosen to invest my life in other equally productive ways but I wanted to be a Mom. I HAD to be a mom which meant I HAD to have some other woman's children. Doesn't matter that she wasn't capable of parenting them herself. It can be argued that my educational skills would have been best employed in a proactive way to benefit humanity by helping ill-prepared moms like my kids' first mom, parent their children. It can even be argued that given her mental health issues, she should have never been in an opportunity in which she could get pregnant with children she would never be able to parent. Which in turn begets the need for educated, unencumbered persons to invest in community health programs that redirect and assist challenged persons toward a meaningful adulthood that is functional and without the undue trauma of unwanted pregnancies and court-appointed revocations of parental rights. Which subsequently brings about the birth of equally impaired children that need adequate parenting.
Dizzy yet? What about all of the mentally capable parents out there that have made ill life choices that have resulted in trauma for their children? Who is being proactive on their behalf so that they can get their lives straight and be adequate parents? I could have spent my life investing in them, attempting to prevent children from being placed by repairing and rebuilding healthy families. What about all of the ill-educated, lower class persons that don't know there is another way to live their lives beyond sex, drugs, alcohol and birthing 5 children by age 22 to keep getting the welfare check? I could have spent my life helping them. I could have spent my days teaching and mentoring in an inner city school.
I'm not saying I chose the wrong path, I'm just taking my pulse to make sure I'm still alive and living my life the way I was supposed to be living it. Because what if I got it wrong taking the reactive approach to help manage humanity's chaos instead of the proactive road? What if no matter what road I take, I still muck it up? What if I blaze a trail on the road I'm on, full speed ahead, adopt another sibling group or two of impaired and/or traumatized kids and I crash and burn because for my life, that road was a one-way ticket to disaster and I missed the warning signs in my blindness to do what I thought was right?
My pulse says I'm just Jennie, a cool broad that married a cool dude who thought it would be cool to have a job and a family. I'm nothing special. I like to love and be loved. I like music and reading, sewing and laughing, being outdoors and being alone. I just want to embrace me and all the wonderfulness that is me and not feel guilty about it. I don't always want to be therapeutic RAD mom that has two bins in her cabinet full of some pretty strong pharmaceuticals that she has to dole out to her children every day, manages the five doctors for one child and four for the other and all the paperwork that goes with it, attends 504s and RTIs and IEPs and finds herself educating the educators, fills out reams of psychometric testing questionnaires semi-annually, drives to and from therapies ad nauseum, reads stacks of books to learn more but never gets a degree for what she learns even when she finds herself educating the multi-degreed professionals and does it all with grace and style and a smile on her face and a grateful heart because it could have been that I never got to parent at all.
No. I don't want to be her every day. Just like I didn't want to be any of those other people that do amazing things for humans every day. I just want to be me and to feel like that is enough. I want to put my fingers on my wrist and feel my pulse. Count the number of heart beats in a minute and be glad I'm alive. I want to be happy, with a happy home, a happy husband and happy children. I want to fill our tummies with nurturing food and read wonderful stories at bedtime. I want to wake up and smile and go to bed still smiling. I want to get to the end of my life and say, "it was hard work most days, but it was fun and it was worth it. No regrets." I don't want to wonder if I should have adopted more children. I don't want to feel guilty if I never do. I don't want to be afraid that I'll parent my RADish incorrectly or miss some crucial turning point in her recovery. I don't need to beat myself up for getting annoyed with her therapist that doesn't have challenged children and unwittingly makes ill demands of moms that do. I don't want to feel bad that she's had to be at an RTC. I don't want to always think about their first mom because gosh golly, I'M the mom! I don't want to spend my energy feeling like I've let God down because I didn't "die to my self" enough, whatever that means. I don't want to worry that I'm letting down all of the family and friends in my life. I don't want to wear myself out always trying to be a better person. I don't even want to think all of these stupid questions in my head anymore!
I just want to be Jennie, the cool broad that married a cool dude and wanted to be selfish in life and have a cool family and a cool job. I really didn't want anything more than that. Regardless of how many hats I try to wear in this lifetime, how many hoops I try to jump through to be the best possible person I can be or how many coulda-shoulda-wouldas I run through my head, my heart will keep beating ... until it stops. Somehow, in the middle of the insanity that is my life, I must be allowed to just be Jennie or my heart will stop beating sooner than I'd like.