We each know that our children are unique, exceptional in their own way. Our lives gain meaning we never before conceived once a baby makes his way into our heart which happens before they arrive sure, but that moment your child takes his first breath? You become a new person right then. You are now Mom. Before you’d been merely Wendy, and being Wendy had been enough. You love so much, so deeply, so completely, and you vow to do everything to protect and love that child. Try as you may however, you fail. You fail, not in loving the blue-eyed bundle, but in protecting him in the way you want, which is in EVERY single possible way. Complete, utter protection is an impossible task, but that doesn’t mean you still don’t want it. Several months ago I had written “every mom knows her child is one a million, but never dreams he’ll be one in 123,000.” Well my kid is one in more than that. I knew that, of course I knew that in my heart, but not in the statistical kind of way. He was screened for the 25 most frequently occurring subtypes of LGMD, and the test came back “no pathological variant detected.” So my unique, exceptional boy will be forced to undergo further tests. Damn I hope they don’t hurt.
I have been distracted from the genetic lab results this week mostly because I’m not Gregor Mendel. I read allele and think, “Shit! I should’ve really paid better attention in biology class in seventh grade,” but who am I kidding? Genetics are a crapshoot anyway–no matter that the four-square dominant/recessive grid predicted my kids would have brown eyes, and my eyes are crazy dark, dark brown, their eyes are green and blue. That’s cool. Sometimes genetics whips the giant middle finger though, and your kid gets MD. Or cancer. Or a damaged heart. Or green eyes. Or depression.
My point. Ahem. . . I was distracted by a few things. I met a literary hero Tuesday night. Jenny Lawson, The Bloggess, was kind and generous and genuine and funny as hell, and I was thrilled to meet her. So far this year, I have asked two people I admire tremendously to sign different versions of the same shirt with my song’s lyrics, so I guess we can’t call 2015 a total loss. And if you have to ask 1) why I have a stuffed chicken or 2) why she is wearing an #ILoveEd shirt, you really haven’t been paying attention!
I was geeked out of my head to meet another someone whose words have affected and inspired me over the years, and I made sure I told her that. Before I read her blog, I barely knew blogging was even a thing and followed just one blogger, my friend Jenna. I began writing here shortly after my son’s diagnosis, and it saved me from losing my shit, and I told her that too. She gets it. I was further geeked out to meet up with two friends at the book event. My first few years teaching (this is what we say even though I’m not a teacher--you don’t say my first few years educating because it sounds awkward and incorrect and my first few years in school people think like when I was in kindergarten) I worked with this great music teacher also named Wendy. She was talented and fun and part of a terrific group of educators working in this really, really crappy neighborhood. There was a bullet hole in my speech room window at that school, but it had packing tape over it, so I was totally safe there. Anyway, the other Wendy. . . I haven’t seen her in decades, but we recently became Facebook friends. She read on FB that I intended to go to the book signing, so she decided to come. Because she knew I was there. This incredible lady I’ve not seen in 20 years came to see ME. How lucky am I? Seriously. Well let me tell you, not only did I get to see her, I got to spend time really catching up with her and our mutual friend Dena. Dena is the queen of shopping, and is the source of Beyonce, our office chicken. Dena deposited the magical Bey at the side door of my house five summers ago. How freaking perfect that she and I met The Bloggess together? My heart swelled on all accounts.
My son was paging through my book, searching for the curse words he knew were included in its pages (he totally was!) and said to me tonight, “Mom! She signed your book ‘greater than gravity.’ That is so cool!” He doesn’t even know what that means exactly, but he knows that it means something to me and that is good enough.
Jenny Lawson during the Q&A told the audience that when she first began writing, she had Imposter Syndrome. That initially she felt she wasn’t a real writer, but an imposter behind the keystrokes. Yep. I suffer that syndrome as well. She said lots of funny and inspiring things, and she said that everyone needs to write, to tell a story. That you never know that or if you reach or help someone in so doing. So here I am today. Maybe someone reads this and laughs or thinks for just a second. Maybe no one reads this except me, and I look back in a month or year and I better understand the path my family travels in retrospect. I win either way. She posted this in her blog the day before the signing in my hometown, and it made me #furiouslyhappy.
“There is beauty in the ordinary. There is depth in the worn. There is perfection in flaws. There is art inside everything. There are worlds inside of us all.”–Jenny Lawson, The Bloggess