Every year, on my son’s birthday (last week), I get to contemplating where I am and where I’m going. Son’s birthday probably seems weird, but getting knocked up at 18 as someone who didn’t want children, giving birth when scheduled to write my OAC French exam and scared and running and idontknowwhatthefucktodobuti’mhavingthisbaby is a bit of a big deal in one’s life. I would imagine.
He’s now 16. He’s probably the most compassionate, thoughtful person I know.
The daughter just graduated grade 8 and will be going to high school. She’s probably the grooviest, most imaginative person I know.
I. Made. Them.
They. Came. Out. Of. Me.
We share genes and jeans and dresses and makeup and cups and sometimes underwear (inadvertently).
We could have been statistics, but we’re not. We’re thriving.
It’s been a while since I’ve been in this place. The one from which I feel atop a mountain my goaty hooves got me to and can look around and breathe and say ‘I did this’. The one in which I feel deserving of all that has been accomplished.
I’ve been brow-beating myself away from this space for a long time, but I’m here now. Thank you, home. Home that we created. Home that somehow came from nothing and manifested itself as a thing of the heart and that is shared and spread no matter where we are or have been or live.
I can look at this and feel like a unicorn again.
Life isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty fucking magical.
Dear Uncle Dale,
It’s been 10 years. I miss you a lot, think of you daily and talk of you fondly (even when it’s describing your bloody-mindedness). You were one of the coolest, most sincere people I’ve ever known and still are one of the most important people in my life.
You introduced me to new/old music and taught me the art of haggling (and I even got kind of good at it even though I don’t have the wheelchair card to play). You praised my printing and drawings, then my handwriting and paintings, then my writing and art.
From your wheelchair you coached me on how to dive; the very act that landed you in said chair. From there I learned back-flips and rolling and tumbling of all sorts. I will take it all to my grave.
You taught me about vulnerability and strength and friendship. That everyone deserves a friend, no matter their faults or circumstances. That our limitations make us no less lovable, just more difficult to understand by those unwilling to scratch the surface and that we have to put our very selves on the line most of the time in order to be happy. And that that’s going to hurt, but it’s ok because the ones that see you through to the end will be worth it.
You did understand, though. “So dark for someone with such a bright smile” were your words, I think. You saw through me, and saw the dark and didn’t judge. You taught me authenticity.
You were there when I was 18 and pregnant and didn’t know who else to go to. You were the first person I told. I can’t think of a day in my life when I didn’t trust you. You and Aunt Judy inspired me to ensure that my children were surrounded by a host of cool adult people with whom they could make friends and trust on their own terms as well. And they have that and are amazing people for it.
Some days I wish I could be small again and refusing your whisker rubs to my cheeks or you correcting the way I connected my cursive Ees to the Esses, but mostly I’m just so glad you were there.
I wouldn’t be me without you.
I did a tarot card reading the other day that has had me reflecting heavily on the meaning of this card. In the reading, it came up as my significator and I immediately thought ‘how à propos’. I used to choose my own significators; always choosing more ‘mature’ cards like the magician or mother of cups as my significator. Letting the cards fall as they may is certainly a sign of the fool; fumbling blindly and a bit wrecklessly through this mortal coil.
The fool reminds me to not only follow my passions, but to really realise what they are. To ignore all of the lies the world has told me about what I’m supposed to want and to figure out what the fuck I actually want. To question it all. Everything single thing that is implied: monogamy, promotions, sexuality, self-expression, emotions, parenthood. The fool reminds me to discard everything that is implied but does not fit. To figure out what does fit and act upon putting it in place. That nothing comes without perpetual motion. That if I stay in motion, the other bits will fall into place. To not just think about doing it, but actually do it. Try it on for size, prance around in it a bit. Figure out if it works and move on if it doesn’t. I thought I had done this last time I was in the fool’s position. Turns out I was wrong, which is precisely why I’m here again.
The fool also reminds me that I already have every single thing I need to stay in motion:
The sack: My job, my home, my family, and my support system.
The rose: Blind, beautiful faith in my passions. The thorns remind me to not follow them without thinking of the consequences.
The dog: The loyalty and trust of and for my circle that keeps me from falling off the cliff.
Above all else, the fool reminds me to stay a fool. To keep becoming instead of easing into the comfy clothes of the magician or the mother. To keep being in those spaces between things instead of settling in one place.
I’m here. We found me.
Tomorrow? Not sure what tomorrow brings. I have a big fucking zit on my face that’s probably attained sentience. My teenaged loin fruits don’t have zits like this. If it doesn’t eat me alive, I may be back for another day.