Scrubbing off the rust

I didn’t mean to disappear into the ether like that, but to be honest I’m not sure if I’m back for real. I’m missing blogging, but also am feeling really hesitant to write again because of The Thing That Happened That Sent Me Over Here in Secret.

And I have all sorts of things to write about – my college reunion, my new realization of the sheer enormity of the bullet I dodged by not marrying my ex-girlfriend, the amazingness and total fucking frustration of parenting an almost-two-year-old, the exhiliration of training for my first triathlon, and lots of other things.

But really what’s pushing me to write today is our upcoming trip to see Bubba’s birth family. We’ve told friends, including friends involved in open adoption, but it feels lonely not to get to have a conversation about it with the blogosphere (even the itty bitty blogosphere that even knows I’m over here in this mostly-anonymous corner).

This is our first time meeting Bubba’s dad, and the second time meeting his mom. Last year before we met his mom I was terrified. I wanted desperately for her to think we were good parents to him. And it was a wonderful meeting, so much more relaxed and easy than any of us would have dreamed. So I’m nervous about seeing her this time but also excited. As for dad, I have no idea. They’re together, but the roles they have played have meant that we’ve had very few conversations with him, really haven’t gotten to know him at all. So I have no idea of what to expect, what to say. He’s more intimidating to me, somehow – maybe it’s the mystery factor?

They have a lot of things going on right now that I can’t blog about, even anonymously. It’s painful not to be able to share this anywhere, but the things they have going on are things that we decided we won’t share with anyone until Bubba is old enough to understand and can decide for himself who to tell. It feels like the right decision but I feel like we’re being tested. It’s very difficult to watch what’s happening in their lives, to think about how we will tell Bubba about it someday, without getting to talk to people who get it.

Cryptic much?

We leave Saturday. I’d like to be able to write more about this when we come back. For now I’m mostly hoping a few folks will read this so I can feel like we have some back-up.

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Should I stay or should I go?

Well great, now it’s the Clash that’s stuck in my head. Yours too.

Here’s the question of the day: do I go to my 10-year college reunion?

On the plus side, my ex-girlfriend/now friend is going with her son and has hooked us up with a friend’s cute little lakehouse for the cost of a cleaning service. I can show off my cute wife and cute son. I’ll see some people I had forgotten about but will be really happy to see anyway. I unambivalently skipped my high school reunion and then was sorry later when I heard the gossip. And it’s 2 hours away by car, so it’s an easy trip.

On the con side, I’m naming a million stupid reasons why I shouldn’t go (Bubba sleeps badly when we travel, we’re travelling a lot this spring, I don’t want to pay the fees), but I think what it really truly comes down to is I’m afraid I won’t have anyone to talk to. That I’ll go out to dinner with a bunch of people my wife doesn’t know and I don’t care about, or that I’ll wander around campus and not recognize anyone or, worse, I’ll recognize people and we won’t care about talking to each other. Apparently I am just that insecure.

Am I being completely ridiculous? Or is it really an overblown kind of event and not worth all the pomp and circumstance of finding something all white to wear to march through the pre-graduation parade with a ridiculous sign in my hand making fun of the class of 1998? And why am I being so freakin’ indecisive about this?

I thought something was wrong

It had been probably 4 weeks since we heard from Bubba’s first parents. This is long for us, but not unheard of. The weird part was that we had been trying to reach them, and they weren’t responding to email or returning our calls (including a message I left asking if we could see them in May), and their voice mail didn’t have their voices on it anymore, just the automated recording.

I felt like something was wrong, but we didn’t know what to do. Finally, yesterday, an email from them. There was a car accident, but everyone was okay. They totalled the car and were rushed to the hospital about 3 weeks ago. They’ve both been in physical therapy and just got a new car Friday, so they haven’t been able to get around, including to work, which obviously carries its’ own stresses. They also lost their cell phones – and all their programmed numbers – in the accident, which is another part of why we hadn’t heard back from them.

It feels awful to hear about something like this weeks after the fact. I know we’re not the first people they would call, of course, but it’s scary to know this happened and we had no idea. What could we have done besides call them and tell them we love them, even if we had known? I have no idea.

Still.

But we are going to see them. We’re planning a trip in over Memorial Day to see family a few hours away from where they live now, and when we asked if we could see them then the answer came back full of exclamation points. It will be the first time we get to meet Bubba’s first (actually his only) Dad. Nervous will come later. Excitement is now.

Sweat

I did my second run today. After last week’s run my knees hurt and my back definitely registered the impact of all that pounding, but neither one was particularly bad. I skipped Thursday and then went to a cardio/weight training class on Friday, which felt good. Yesterday I walked for an hour and 10 with a feverish, cranky child on my back (feverish and cranky don’t actually help my conditioning but seemed worth mentioning anyway).

Seems like somewhere along the line I managed to pull a muscle in my newly-sculpted shoulder/upper arm. Stupid. So I’ve left it alone since last Wednesday (including during Friday’s class) and it’s starting to get there. I tend to be stupidly stubborn about leaving injured muscles alone to fully heal, but the last time I tried to train for a triathlon I did just that and pulled a hip flexor muscle which ended the whole thing.

Today I did 3 1/2 miles in about 35 minutes, which I’m pleased with. After talking with my jock-friend E. I think I’m going to sign up for a sprint triathlon at the beach (about 75 miles from here) in late July. That gives me about 18 weeks from now, and most of the training programs I found on-line are between 16 and 20 weeks. Most of them also suggest a minimum of 4 days of training per week, which I haven’t been able to do consistently since Bubba arrived, so that might be the biggest challenge.

Anyway, onward and upward. I’m sore in (mostly) the right places and waking up starving. This is good.

A hundred years later

19 1/2 months after birth and 6 months after finalization, 47 calls, letters, and emails to a dozen different bureaucracies later, Bubba’s birth certificate arrived today in the mail.

Legally, I’m Bubba’s “mother” and Baby Mama is his “parent.” It could have been weirder.

I love that we have a legal document that says we’re his parents. It kills me that his first family is nowhere to be found in this paperwork.

Kitty!

Yesterday morning around 6 I woke from a dead sleep to the sound of Bubba, three inches from my head, shrieking “kitty!”

He’s in a toddler bed that Baby Mama cut the legs off, with a guard rail that’s worked perfectly for containment since he was 4 months old. But now he’s out, the stinker.

When I put him to bed last night he rolled onto his belly as usual, offered his doll a pacifier, and curled up with blankie. A half hour later we’re sitting on our bed watching Grey’s Anatomy, and his door opens and he emerges carrying a train, calling “Mommy, train!” Very excited. We spent the next half hour getting back up and silently putting him in bed, over and over. It wasn’t too bad, and he wasn’t upset – he was just too excited to stay in bed when he figured out that he could get out on his own.

But now what? Tips? Ideas? Do we take the guard rail down altogether, or do we leave it up in hopes that it will at least keep him in bed if he wakes up in the middle of the night? And how can we teach him to entertain himself in his room instead of standing at the gate calling for us?

Does a body good

This year I used the birthday check my Nana sent to schedule a couple of appointments with a nutritionist and one with a personal trainer.  My motivation was partly to get a grip on my hypoglycemia-induced blood sugar crashes, partly to get a better grip on my eating habits, and – let’s face it – partly so I could just be a little leaner and a little buffer.

I don’t believe in diets, and around the time I graduated from high school I made a very conscious effort to stop saying anything bad about my body forever and ever. We don’t own a scale, and, unlike in high school, I don’t surround myself anymore with only size-4 white girls. So I approached this with some trepidation, but both the trainer and the nutritionist were great about hearing what I had to say about it and steering the conversations towards health and building muscle, rather than weight loss. (As an aside, Sster has been writing so well about this recently over at Boomerific. I haven’t commented but she’s speaking my language).

And damn, they’re good. After a couple of months, I can see the difference in my arms and shoulders, and my pants are all a little big. I haven’t had a single blood sugar crash (it used to happen maybe once or twice a week), and it was surprisingly easy to rid myself of the skip a snack/eat half a bag of tortilla chips while making dinner habit once I started eating smarter and not ignoring my body’s genuine need to eat something every 3 hours or so. It feels really healthy. Somewhere in there I lost about 6 pounds, which wasn’t the point but I can’t pretend doesn’t please me, patriarchy be damned.

I’ve been thinking about training for a sprint marathon this summer. It’s felt so good to get into better shape – even after working out regularly for years apparently your body can get really used to what you’re doing and this shake-up of my workout has really made a difference. And it’s inspired me to do more. My friend E. has done a bunch of sprint triathlons and is registered for 3 (!) this summer, and she agreed to be my training partner. I’m not actually registered yet so maybe I’m telling you all for accountability.

So in that vein, I’m going to use this blog to track my own training.

I’ve been running, which I hate, but today I ran 3 miles with the help of a treadmill, my trusty ipod, and a People magazine (seriously, how many toys and how much fancy equipment does a person need to do something we were literally built to do?). It’s probably been a decade since I did that. It felt great, though it was only 7 hours ago and I’m sore already, so whether this is sustainable remains to be seen. But a year ago I was in PT 3 days a week for a knee that wouldn’t let me off the floor without groaning, and today I ran 3 miles as the first half of my workout.

I’m a freakin’ machine. (Though tomorrow I may be a rusty, broken machine. I’ll let you know).


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