I woke up this morning with a foot in my face. An adorable foot grant you but a foot nonetheless. It's a pretty typical way to start my day. Over the last few months, I have marveled that not once since Jude was born have I ever imagine my life any differently. While this is not the path that I would have chosen twenty years ago nor the path I had envisioned myself, it is the path that has brought me an incredible amount of joy and peace. I spend every day surrounded in love and that is no small thing.
The last year has been intense emotionally. As Jude moved through her second year, I found my views on disability shifting even more as I struggled with ideas about difference and sameness, about how to fit those ideas into a voice that expressed just how amazing Jude was but how her difference did sometimes make things different. And I also struggled to talk about how having Jude changed me not because Jude has some magical powers granted through her extra chromosome but because the process of accepting Jude as is changed something deep inside me. I learned to look at the world in a new way.
The other children grew and changed as well pushing to me change even more. Being a parent, I think, is about change. All the time. Camille did trapeze and we watched as her newly found confidence shown as she swung through the air, twisting her body and dancing with the help of a bar and a rope. Piper shown in trapeze as well taking to this unusual dance form with a naturalness that was breath taking. Umberto has become such a neat , interesting person, finally emerging from his slight gaming obsession to expand his interest in other areas. I am amazed at these bright creative kids surrounding me, and sometimes even ponder how I had such people come from my body.
And of course there has been pain. There's always a bit of pain. On a personal level, I lost some friends. There were a few big blow outs that have alienated me from many different groups. I almost lost a good friend because of my own jealously. I almost shut down the blog but luckily I was able to find my way back to why I started the blog in the first place. Over the last few months, I've become stronger, more sure about what my writing means to me and while I still struggle with envy, it does not cover all that I do. I am saddened by the friends I lost, and am still not sure if I am okay with being alienated from all the major voices in the Ds community but I am learning to live with my mistakes and to just move on hoping that things will work out. And I have also learned that even when the disaster that happens may be painful that sometimes it was the right thing. I have given apologies to those I feel deserve one but have not done what I usually do and apologized for things that I don't really feel deserve an apology.
There was the emerging from a depression that I had been in slight denial about over the last two years. Depression that was exasperated by my faulty gall bladder. Being sick for 9 months takes a toll on one's emotional life for sure. It also really played out on my eating disorders and lead to some revelations and also a lot of shame. But the good thing was that I realized that my over eating has much to do with emotional pain around ideas about food, my body, and value. In the end, I got the pesky internal organ removed and am feeling so much better. It's nice to eat without fear, and although I'd admit that I've been in indulging in some "not so healthy" foods, I feel zero shame. I'll get back to my normal eating schedule soon but right now it's nice to eat a fry and not feel like I'm giving birth. The other good part that came from all this was that I realized I really do need therapy and am going to get some next month. I feel like I'm making a very important choice in making my life even more livable.
Basically all this is to say that I feel like while the greyness of depression sucked a lot of my energy from me, it also served to let me rest, mull things over, and emerge with some new ideas and plans. It's funny how this thing is both so soul sucking and also affirming. It's why I think I have a hard time writing about my depression. Anyway, I am looking forward to this new year. I have many plans, books to write, posts to blog, new friends to make, old friendships to develop, and the very important work of nurturing the new relationships I've just started. I have things to knit and books to read. I have coming fall park days with my beasties. More love with H, the best husband a woman could ask for. I am filled with hope, even if it is a tentative hope. The world sometimes seems to be exploding before my eyes, and I feel the pain acutely. But it is the love that I feel that fuels me to go forth and say "No more."