At my sister's insistence, I'm writing a blog post.
I'm nervous. For the first time since I started blogging, I've become frightened of it's impact. Not only are Ben's friends reading the blog, Ben's older "fans" on Facebook have been reading my blog.
I am quite uncomfortable.
I know, everyone can say "I told you so." Everyone can say, "You should never have done it, never been so open, never talked so much...." And I can only say, Yup. You're right.
So much has been shifting this summer. We've divorced the two dads. Yes, they still see the kids but only under very specific rules. Jeanine has grown more and more unhappy with her job - not the job itself but the distance she's grown from writing music. I've spent an incredible amount of time on Mass Equality, all completely worthwhile but the result has been distance from good friends that does not feel good.
Distance from writing for me.
When I don't write, I lose an important piece of myself.
Jake and Zachary have been at their month-long camp and this year has been by far the hardest to have them away. We had such fun in July, all of us. I miss their presence and how they balance the family - make us whole at a time when we've cut out a huge piece of who we have been for what seems like forever.
There have been significant victories in political/judicial fights - many others have written eloquently about California's Perry and the Gill lawsuits. The right wing is looking silly now with their pounded fists claiming that the world is going to come to an end.
Zachary would say, another state we can live in, Mom.
Still, many people are without basic protections. Job security, housing availability and personal safety continue to plague a great deal of LGBT folks all over the country.
A movie comes out about sperm donation and one of the lesbian moms has sex with the donor. Really? C'mon. Can't we come up with a better plot twist that doesn't involve a penis and a lesbian? But in the long run, it's progress. Top actresses, a well-made film. I shouldn't complain too much.
I've been in downeast for so long, I didn't know about the floods in Pakistan. I feel terrible about that. While visiting with my good friend from home, her kids teased me that everything was "gay" to me, all I thought about was gay stuff.
It's true. Maybe I need to think about expanding my horizons a bit.
Mostly, I've been having the mantra "simplify" go through my head over and over again. I want less stuff, less requirements of my time, less people pulling at me. I have a few short years left with my kids - I want to soak it in.
And they all need me to be there. In some ways? A lot more than they did when they were little.
My sister... the last round of chemo left her in great shape. She has energy and life in her again. She, Ben and I are in downeast right now - her relationship with Ben has grown back into the goofy, fun that it was before she was sick. It has been wonderful to see.
She's finally come up with the answer to worrying about where her cremated remains will end up and if she'll spend eternity looking for a hand or foot - she's going for the box in a grave. I told her that was fine. Whatever she wanted, I'll make sure it happens.
I didn't mention the worms or bugs that would be with her for eternity.
I told my friend Bil I needed to think long and hard about keeping up this blog. The good I believe it does has to be balanced with some of the real fear I've had in the last few weeks.
Maybe I'm done trying to save the world and need to only focus on my own children, my own small world. Maybe my need to be known and understood as gone too far.
For now, I'm going to watch the tide come in before I go stack some wood. Take the dogs for a walk. Sweep the porch.
(Photo courtesy of ePi.Longo)