January 18, 2015


I believe that it is possible to be happy and fulfilled without children, and I absolutely believe that a woman can live a meaningful life without ever being a mother. But for me, having my son is what changed my mind about living. It made me not just want to live, for the first time ever, but to live the best possible life. To set goals and pursue them, for real, not just say something that sounded nice and then dwell on all the reasons why it was impossible. The goals I have for my life now still seem big and far away, but I know that I can reach them, and I am determined to show my son that adversity does not guarantee failure and delays do not equal defeat.

I won't ever say, "If I can do it, you can do it." I don't know what you can do; only you know that. But I have room in my heart for you, and for your struggles, because of how I chose to deal with mine.

January 6, 2015

freedom of/in/from religion

"What's God?"

"You know when you want something real bad, and you close your eyes and wish for it? God's the guy that ignores you."

The Island (2005)

I have been pretty torn over the question of whether I want my son to grow up with or without a religion. Phil was raised Catholic but has not quite settled into anything as an adult. I grew up in a non-denominational church; Sunday School and bible stories, starring roles in Christmas and Easter choirs. I was a youth leader for several years, only ever listened to Christian music, went away to Australia to attend an evengelical school for six months when I was twenty. I know the bible fairly well, can have a conversation/heated argument with just about anyone about it if necessary, and I think it's good and useful knowledge to have. Knowledge I want my son to have as well, should similar conversations/arguments arise for him.

In my life now I've thrown out every religious rule that I used to try to follow so carefully, save the only one I believe really matters: love one another. In my deepest heart I believe that there is a god, that Jesus loves us and that his love drove him here, to do something exquisite and unlikely and compelling. But when I needed it most, when my heart broke open and my mind flooded with dark memories long shut away, and the carefully crafted facade of my pretty life crumbled around me, the Church failed me--and with second and third and fourth chances, never improved--so I am done with church. I went to a service for the first time in years, during our Christmas trip to WA, to please Phil and for Hunter to have a new experience. I did not enjoy it, but thankfully it was pretty innocuous since they sang Christmas carols instead of worship songs and the message was direct contemplation of scripture, not just some guy telling us what's what and propping up his opinions with a bible verse here and there. I handled it, but I was glad to leave.

I want Hunter to be educated so that he can make his own decisions. If he decides that God and Jesus and all the rules are legit, or that Buddha or Muhammad and Allah know better what they're about, or that the Universe is one and life is inherently beautiful and meaningful, or that the Universe is one and we are all in entropy, or any combination of any of the above, I will love him exactly the same.