I’ve been fighting the transition for weeks. The first whisper of it came mid-March and I ignored it. I avoided writing in this space because for me writing is an act of honesty and I wasn’t ready to be honest with myself but I wasn’t going to lie either. Fear of becoming just another mommy blog kept me from writing from a place of passion and ability. I have nothing against mommy blogs with their recipes, arts and crafts idea, developmental wisdom, and hilarious anecdotes which help us all feel connected to someone else through shared foibles and failings. I enjoy reading quite a few. But I do not want Parrot & Ox, the site I started to puzzle over and toy with and celebrate all the delightfully mystifying morsels of life, to become one. And yet here I am, taking the plunge into a blog primarily focused on what I’m learning and living as a foster/adoptive parent to a tween and a teen.
This transition is daunting. Embracing my need and ability to write about motherhood and parenting seems dangerous, a hop skip and jump away from contorting myself into someone who will pass as an ever-cheerful mum with all the answers, endless patience, an array of healthy recipes designed to promote bonding while cooking together, and 117 rainy-day activities to inspire creativity and minimize arguing sprinkled with enough dashes of self-deprecating humor and hints of failure to keep people from vomiting while reading my posts. I am a strange person who has chosen to be a mother in an unconventional way and I want my blog to reflect who I am as authentically as possible but I’m a bit afraid I’ll lose myself to the path of least resistance (and least authenticity) in my desire to be read and liked and accepted as one of the gang.
Owning my ability to share what I am learning on this journey and embracing the possibility that something I write might help other parents understand themselves, their children, or their journey just a bit more seems a tad arrogant. But I’m good at what I do. And what I do, in this case, is parent children I did not give birth to with fierce love, a sense of adventure, willingness to make mistakes and own them, and an awareness of how very much I do not yet know and still have to learn. Sometimes I cry into my pillow or ask my husband what we ever thought we were doing when we said yes or sit on the couch and zone out to Buffy the Vampire Slayer because it’s so much easier to watch the slaying of imaginary demons than to deal with the real ones which haunt my children, but I always get back up, swipe the chip crumbs from my lap, and get back to the business of loving, teaching, supporting, and advocating for my kids. And although I cannot save every kid in foster care or ensure that every adoptive home is a nurturing place or even help every child in their biological home feel safe, loved, and wanted, I can do something. I can use my writing gift to share what I know about parenting through pain, loss, grief, crises, and bureaucratic red tape, and celebrating the moments of authentic connection, honored vulnerability, and pure joy. So that’s what I’m going to do.
Welcome to the latest metamorphosis of Parrot & Ox. I hope you’ll join me on this new leg of this offbeat journey.