Monday, December 10, 2012


Baby Gibson has some little illness and has been running a bit of a fever and sleeping fitfully which means that Lily hasn't been sleeping well either and neither has Jason and throw in the fact that they both have had to work, one closing, one opening, and well...I am sure they are exhausted.
So Lily and the boys are coming out today and I am going to play with Owen while Lily hopefully gets some nap time in with Gibson which works out well for me because I haven't seen my boys in days and I miss them.

I've been reading Diane Keaton's memoir and it's interesting. I mean, I love the woman's work as an actor and she's definitely her own self and here she is, in her sixties, raising two kids she adopted when she was almost fifty and I don't know how she does it. Sounds like she's pretty hands-on about it too. She writes a lot about her own mother, how she never found an outlet for her own creative spirit and how sad that was. Lately I've been identifying with the mothers a lot in things I read. The women who raised the writers of whatever I've been reading. I've been thinking so much about them, the good ones, the bad ones. I read an article in the New Yorker that tore my heart out about the homeless LGBTQ kids in New York City. How there's an entire society of them, many of them there in NY and homeless because they got kicked out of their own homes because of their sexuality or gender differences and what they have to do to survive and it's horrible. It's mindblowingly horrifying. And they have formed these societies, these families and they call each other mother and father and uncle and aunt and grandmother and the mother and grandmother may be transgendered women who were born male and so forth and none of that really makes a difference because it's the spirit. It's the nurturing that everyone needs even more than a bed, a meal, a shower.
How could anyone kick their kid out of the house because they were gay?
What sort of love is that?
What in this entire world is more important than knowing that your children are safe and feel loved? I mean, isn't that the most basic thing there is?

So yeah, I guess I'm thinking about mothering and being mothered and grandmothering, too.
One of my favorite movies is The Family Stone, which is one of those holiday movies, at least on the surface, that'll jerk your tears and Diane Keaton is in it. There's a gay son in the family and I love the way the family not only accepts this man and his partner, but adores and cherishes them so fiercely and naturally and supports them so whole-heartedly in their desire to adopt a child. It's a crazy (i.e. normal) family with disfunction and worries and heartache and joy and at one point, the character that Sarah Jessica Parker plays asks, "What's so special about you?" and the mother, the Diane Keaton character says, "Nothing. We're just all we have."

And isn't that it? If there is anything a family should be for shouldn't it be to love and support each other? Without reservation? To hold on tight and never let go and to simply be there? How can this most basic of instincts be tainted by society's mores or by religion? What IS society, what IS religion if not a function to provide love and support to those who need it? To include, not exclude?

Well. I'm sort of all over the map this morning but this is what I'm thinking about. About how very different each of my kids is and how I cherish those very differences and how I am so fortunate to have married a man who does the same. In fact, he reminds me a little of the father character in the Family Stone who is played by Craig T. Nelson. Maybe that's one of the reasons I love the movie so damn much. I don't know. But I do.

I better get ready for Lily and the boys. "What do you want to do today?" Owen will ask me.
"Love you," I will say.

Really. That's all. I just want to love him and his brother and his mother and his aunts and his uncle and all of them. If I have one purpose on this earth in being a mother, if I have one responsibility, it is to respect and love my children. Not to direct their paths on this earth but to give them the knowledge that whatever path they choose or have been given is respected by me.
Hell, I can't even direct my own path most of the time but merely stumble on in the darkness and yet, I always know that this family is there for me, as I am for them, to offer light, to lend a hand or a heart when I am weary.
Isn't that what it's all about?

Well. I think so.

"Which of your commandments is the most important?" Jesus was asked.

"To love one another," he said.



  1. Family is nice when you have a good one, but sometimes I think our culture makes a mistake in putting so much emphasis on biological family. I say this because there are so many people who don't have loving people as relatives and live a life of sad betrayal always feeling a victim. I think there might be a better way than the family unit. The need to belong is such a strong force but I think we can make our own families separate from blood relatives. Just as the children in NY have.

  2. I watch Family Stone all year round. My favorite.

  3. i hear what ruby says above, and that's what i think is so powerful about your post, the way people can create their own family units, like those homeless kids in nyc, who show us that family is about taking care of one another, showing up for one another, not about blood.

    Now I will have to go and watch The Family Stone, I've never seen it.


  4. Beautiful mothering advice. In the thick of things, I find it not so hard to love but am struggling with my children's problems, hoping for the best but worrying that I'm not doing enough. I know that love is all, love conquers all, etc., but sometimes it's not enough.

  5. Yep. Amen indeed!

    FS is a great movie. I loved it!

    Also, you are doubly lucky if you have a loving bio family AND a precious chosen one. (And you have both!) It's sad when people are forced to create a chosen family, but thankfully, as humans, we do have that option.

    Hope your day is sparkly and you feel every drop of love that is yours. (And I'm saying this to everyone who visits here too.)
    Much love,
    xo m

  6. I am happy for you that you have a family to love and that loves you. S. Jo

  7. Love is what this life is about. At least for me.

  8. The lgbtq kids of NYC have some good allies in a group called Green Chimneys. I'm lucky enough to have been an "uncle" to a kid who was taken in by them back in the 90's. Thanks to their influence nationally, homeless youth shelters everywhere are more gay-friendly and knowledgeable about gender identity.

    I met a woman years later who had been an "aunt" to that same kid in the 90's. I essentially handed the kid off to her in NYC via telephone. when we figured out the connection we hugged like proud parents.

    Great post. A village of support is great, but one person can change everything for someone.

  9. My feelings are this, if your family is toxsic mine is my Mom passed when I was young, my Mom and Dad divorced, never saw him after age 14..I choose my friends who are really family, my husband came from a dysfunctional family after his Mom passed 12 years ago coming up the 17th of december we rarely see any of his siblings only his brother with ptsd and the sweetest brother who is a tad bit slow, but works each day and is sweet in his soul and spirit..I have better friends than I ever had as biological family, most were good to me and treated me like their very own, one lady passed it nearly did me in, she was almost 90 and called me her daughter, the foster family who loves me and my brother and my sister they have passed, they took us away because they were not the religion of my Mother, the family who was were horrible people, each one suffered a lot their Karma for being wretched I say..I like to believe I got to choose my friends/family cause I lost my Momma..My husband too we could never ever be terrible to our only child for anything, & I mean anything, she is our blood daughter people who torment their own children pay their KARMA HERE ON earth and they don't have happy lives I have seen it! It is Hanukkah and soon Christmas who calls themself a Jew or Christian and mistreats their own flesh and blood, it is abhorred by those religions.....just saying

  10. Love that movie! This is beautiful. My insides feel cozy reading it.
    I hope you've had a wonderful, loving Monday.

  11. I have probably uttered your exact words... ' i mean, isn't that the most basic thing there IS? ' I agree, agree, agree.

  12. Rubye Jack- I completely agree with you and even if your biological family is a wonderful, loving family, you will still need another community or two. In my ideal world, though, the family of origin would be the place from which we all go forth with love.
    But you know. I know that's not how it always is. Believe me.

    SJ- It's a good one, ain't it?

    Angella- I'll bet you'll like it.

    Elizabeth- You are doing everything you can do. And I am here to tell you that.

    Ms. Fleur- You are perfectly correct.

    Sweet Jo- I am so damn lucky. I know it too.

    Syd- What else really matters more?

    Juancho- Oh goodness. I love you so. Funding is getting cut for so many things. Yes, there are good organizations but they are not nearly big enough or comprehensive enough to do what really needs to be done to serve this community which is a very, very large one. Bless you for what you've done. And you're right. One person can make a difference. That is not just a cliche.

    Anonymous- You're right. Many families of origin are so horrible and yes, toxic, that other families must be formed for our own peace of mind and support. What I'm saying is- WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN What happens to people that can allow them to misuse and abuse and deny their own children?

    Rachel- I had a beautiful day. Thank-you.

    Maggie May- I know you know.

  13. Amen indeed. The simplest, most central message of Christianity, and yet the one that is so often neglected!

    I think I saw "The Family Stone" years ago, when it came out, but I can't really remember. Maybe I need to watch it again.

    I haven't read that New Yorker piece. I am SO behind! But it sounds amazing. It's incredible how those kids band together to form their own family groups.

  14. I just read that piece in the New Yorker last evening. The loss, the monstrous loss, was all I could think about. A mother rejecting a child because of sexual orientation or gender identity....well, it leaves me speechless. But then I lost my son to adoption. Missed 21 years of his life. Those children without parents on the streets of New York, and the parents somewhere without their children--I hope they reconcile some day soon.

  15. You're brilliant, in case you didn't know.


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