Tuesday, April 15, 2008

He see's the light

I have great parents, especially my mom - she is the best mom ever, no really, she is - hands down. I have some super huge shoes to fill, for example - when I was a young girl playing with Barbies, she took the time to sew me and my Barbies 3 matching outfits. We speak daily and as much as she drives me crazy (if it's not one thing, it's my mother) there is no love like hers. She was born and raised in the South and I know I'm in trouble when my mom combines my first and middle name into one word and her drawl is exposed.....karrrraaaaalyyyyyyynnnnnn.

She has been amazing through the WHOLE fost/adopt process and I have to explain why. When I was 18 she shared with me that she had gotten PG in High school and told her parents though she was Pro-choice, she had to keep the baby and so they sent her away. I know - sad, heartbreaking and I can hardly believe that they did that but I guess we can chalk it up to a sign of those times. She went to live with her older sister for the last 4 of the 9 months and gave birth to my 1/2 sister whom I've never met. She named her first daughter after the nurse who helped deliver her and was the only one in the room to assist my mom through the birth. Can you imagine it? Nope, neither can I. The scariest/most painful thing in the world, giving birth and no one around.

I'm not lost on the irony of this situation, she gave a child up and her daughter struggles with IF. I'm hoping it's not Karma related - just a coincidence.

In conclusion, I have an amazing mom. She is able to help me understand some of the feelings of what the women who are having their children taken away, are feeling. There is a commonality, in this strange situation.

Then there is my dad - He is great also. I can't complain at all, protective, loving and sensitive. He is total Mr. Metro-sexual. He gets his mani-pedi's drinks his pinot's (from wherever is most popular at the moment) and gave me a love for all things both Food and Nordstrom related. He is # 2 out of 10 kids, a great orator and I'm so proud to say that he is a successful business owner, drives a Mercedes and barely graduated from continuation school after getting thrown out of two local high schools. The ultimate underdog.... I admire that he hitch-hiked to Canada (after getting braces 3 times) to avoid a war he did not believe in and saved every nickel and dime for his children to attend a private Catholic school.

I got the best of both of my parents. My mom's sense to give unabashedly and my dad's sense of being fiercely loyal regarding friends ,family and doing what is right instead of doing what is easiest.

It has been hard for my dad to accept my recent job transition to teaching and then there is the Special Ed aspect. As my IRL BFF Jules stated this is a noble profession..... teaching. My dad could not see why I was making the transition to teaching when I had a perfectly fine HR job and why on God's green earth I would choose to make my life more difficult by getting into a field where there is plenty of job security because no one wants to teach it. I shared with him the video I watched this evening showing pictures of how children and adults diagnosed with mental retardation reminded me of the pictures we saw at the Museum of Tolerance, and how this experience committed us to never letting something like that happen in our lifetime or in our own backyard. These photos tonight, 35 years old and spoke of time where we experienced our first actor turned Governor who cut major funding out of the state budget for mental health care, Ronald Reagan. As I was listening to myself speak I was thinking - Ummmm, Hi - I'm your daughter and the apple didn't fall far from the tree, this is how you raised me - remember?????? Apparently, the noxious fumes of the specially treated leather in the Mercedes have affected the old hippie's way of thinking.

Tonight, as I drove home from school at a very late hour, we spoke on our cells and he told me how he could hear the passion in my voice when I spoke about teaching and that he is proud of me. His words were poignant, quick and meaningful, I cannot ask for more. He had his A-ha moment and he is now on board and he sees the light.


kate said...

Ah, parents. They know just how to push our buttons because THEY are the ones that installed them...

When I was considering being a music teacher, my dad (who is a teacher) told me over and over again that I didn't want to be a teacher. It took me a long time to realize that he was right (actually, it took a really bad music pedagogy class wherein I realized that the bitch teaching the class was teaching all of us to be just like her and I didn't want to be associated with her ideology, and because I couldn't graduate without that class, taught by that person, I changed my major. Stupid.)

Anyhow, for most of middle and high school, my mother worked at Austin State School, which is the state run home for mentally retarded people. Most students there live there their entire lives, and sadly, most were 35 or older, because that was back in the time when you simply institutionalized a child who was mentally retarded. In part, I kind of grew up there, and lots of the student/patients were my friends, and I volunteered there so often that they should have paid me (ha, ha...). Thus, I have some very specific (and sometimes controversial) ideas about the standard of care for mentally retarded individuals, and while my mom gets it (because she lived it, too, even more intensely than I did), none of the rest of my family does.

Anyway, I guess what I'm trying to say is that the desire to help those who need it runs deep in me, and obviously in you too, and I'm glad your dad can finally see that. It's good. My dad sort of sees it, but (unfortunately) he was still SO RIGHT about me not having the temperament to be a teacher... oh, well. I'll just find some other way!

Jules said...

:) Hurray!

Barb said...

Wow. What a fascinating family and what a beautiful love between you and your parents.

You're right. We have a lot in common idea-wise. ;-) YOU'RE too cool for school. :p


Emily said...

Your parents sound wonderful. Isn't amazing how much we are like them than we think?

Today, it was pointed out to me that I'm much like my Dad when it comes to deliberating things. I take my time and way the pros and cons. When I was growing up, that part of my Dad drove me insane. Now, I treasure it as something I've learned from my Dad ... even though he still drives me insane most of the time.

katd said...

This is an incredible post. What a lovely tribute to your parents!

Cote de Texas said...

Hi -thanks for your suggestions! I look at those places.

Fill me up to date - have you adopted yet? Treatments didn't work? email me at mrballbox329@aol.com

I have a 17 yo, ivf baby. awwwww baby is soooo grown up now.

Infertility is no fun, but the end result is. The waiting is horrible, but you'll have that baby and all this will be a long forgotten memory. Where are you adopting from - the US or where?


Cote de Texas said...

OH and that story about your mother is so so so sad. Boy, can I relate!