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Friday, January 12, 2018

Puppet Strings: Rainy Day Ruminating

We don't have a car now. We received the insurance check for our totaled Yukon and have to find a secondhand vehicle. State Farm, which has been like a good neighbor to us, paid [mostly] for a rental car through December 26 but then it cost us close to $50 per day, so we couldn't keep it any longer. We stocked up on groceries before returning the black Chevy SUV, which zipped around quite nicely.

We take Ubers when needed--it's pretty reasonable out here--walk if possible or get a ride with a friend going the same way. Grateful that Rachael drove me over to Sue's this morning, where we three sat by the crackling fire and talked and contemplated for a short while.

On the way home, Rach dropped me at Kings, where I bought a lemon, olive oil, carrots and spices to make Melissa Clark's carrot and cauliflower soup from [Sue said it's great.] I also got three bananas so I could have some sweet treat. I only had $13.50 cash on me but had a coupon and scored sale prices. Then I walked home in the pouring rain, 20 minutes or so along swamped Valley Road. I prayed and meditated as I went, right through puddles, remembering a Robert Frost quote a friend and I shared in high school:

The best way out is always through.

[Except with puddles, my friend would say.]

I wanted to fit in that walk. Then back home to work. It's hard to accomplish everything.

Be careful what you wish for. You have surely heard that saying, too.

Today those six words are hitting home for me. As in, we can't be the architects of our lives to every degree, just to some degrees, right? I wanted a second baby so badly. I coerced Dan into doing the lengthy foster parent training. And what was I thinking, that a beautiful infant taken from her family at birth would not have to navigate hurt and rage and tragedy? That she, who arrived in soft lavender fleece, would not be starting out with a history of loss?

I loved our Figgy so much. I felt I had more love to give another child. I was small-minded; my heart shrunk. I was jealous of other moms who could have two or several babies. Why couldn't I?

I'm sorry I can't go into detail here, that I have to mask Punchy's story. That's because they told us over and over again in foster parent training that Punchy's story is hers to tell. And it's a complicated one, since we had her from newborn to age 15 months, and then she was returned to Mom; we kept in touch with visits and vacations; and she came back to our family at age 6 1/2.

But what was I thinking? We are entwined in a very complicated life. Punch's mom did not give up maternal rights,  and we did not take her to court to get them--it's a long story--so we are Punchy's legal guardians, her parents for all intents and purposes until age 18 [when we intend to still be her parents].

Did I try too hard to pull the strings that only our Higher Power should pull? Was I wrong to want a second child so much, and to find a way to get one?

Our life can get ugly and rough with the ramifications of Punchy's situation. I hear that everyone loves their moms and wants their moms to love them. But parents can't always demonstrate that. We are all human, we are all flawed.

I am hurt and lost. I am scared and angry. Punch might use those same words to describe her situation, if she could articulate it.

Praying and meditating helped today. Thank you for listening.


  1. Oh, Alice, my heart is going out to you. This is a very hard road you are part of me wishes you could be spared its difficulty....the other part of me is so very happy for Punchy that you have taken her on and the challenges that come with her.

    1. Hi Kim. Thank you for caring, and for the kind note. Thank you for being happy for Punchy. We are doing our best but seem to be moving into unknown woods. I love what you said. Love Alice