Apr 062012
 

 

Friends. I miss you.

Here is what is going on over here:

I’m writing to you from a new office this morning – Craig’s office, which used to be the “baby’s room.” Since no baby ever came, this room became Craig’s work-from-home-office, and I did all of my writing at a desk in our bedroom.

It soon became clear that we were going to need to trade offices. Because the thing is that when your desk is right next to your bed, your bed attacks you. Sort of like the Botox situation. So every time Craig came in to see “how my writing was going,” Theo and I were sound asleep in my bed. Soooooo coooozy. So this morning Craig moved all of my things into his office and made me sit in here. It’s nice and bright and I like it. New perspectives are always good. I’m still tired, though, and I’m not afraid to snuggle up on the floor. We’ll see.

So: Yesterday a Monkee asked me when and how to talk to kiddos about sex.

Oh, my goodness. I don’t know.  We haven’t really gone there yet. We’re easing into the tough stuff.

A few months ago, Chase starting mentioning “bad words” a lot. My guess is that some kiddos in the neighborhood or at school were talking about it and he was getting curious. Maybe obsessed would be a better word. What are the bad words, mom? Why are they bad? How can words be bad?  And my favorite- Mom, are bad words just misspelled words?

Craig and I decided to sit down one night and tell Chase every bad word we knew. It became important to us that Chase understood that there was no information “out there” that he couldn’t get straight from us. So we listed all the bad words we knew and we sat together in his bunk bed and we said them each aloud to him. Except for the F word.  Neither of us could bring ourselves to say the F word to our little man’s sweet face. So we told him there was another one that started with F, but we couldn’t say it. And unfortunately Chase said, “Ooooh. I think I know that one. Is it the one you say when you can’t get the front door open, mom?” And I avoided eye contact with Craig and said. Yeah. That one.

We explained to Chase that there was nothing inherently wrong with any of these words, because they were just letters strung together – and because “bad words” are different in every culture and time. We said that they do have power, though, because in our particular culture, these words, along with many, many others, can cause strong feelings in other people. Maybe not all people, but some. You never, ever know who will be affected by them and who won’t. Sometimes people will even act like certain words don’t hurt them, but they really do. And since we love people and want to be very, very careful with their feelings, we try not to use words that can hurt people.

We also told him that if he shared any of these words with his buddies he was dead meat.

He seemed satisfied.

But sex. IYIYIIIII. Not so simple, to me.

The sex talk scares me, for one simple reason. I don’t have sex figured out yet. I really don’t.

I know it’s not cool or maybe even reasonable to say, but I really do believe that it’s best to save sex for marriage. Because I have ALL KINDS of issues with sex, and I think some of them stem from the way that both Craig and I used sex with other people before we were married. Irresponsibly, lightly, recreationally, desperately. Not good. And there is residual damage for both of us.

But then again….how would I tell that to Chase? Sex before marriage is a mistake, Chase. I mean, sex before marriage also resulted in the most precious gift I’ve ever been given- Chase, himself.

Tricky.

And I know they say, stick with basics, right? Just talk about vaginas and penises and fertilization. But- that’s so not it. That’s like trying to teach a child about God by describing a church. Or explaining marriage by describing a wedding ceremony. It’s just not it, at all.

So anyway, I don’t know, is my answer. I have no idea how to talk to kiddos about sex. I don’t think I’m the right one to ask.  It’s like how scared I am to talk to my girls about body image and food and the like- because- ummm…I’ve never been an expert at walking that line.

So I was hoping you brilliant Monkees might have some sex talk ideas. Do you?  If so, help us please.

Maybe we can start here. I think this is a brilliant place to start.

 

And let us remember, there’s probably no “right way.” Probably just lots of good enough ways. We don’t want to be perfect, ladies.  If we are, our kids will have NO MATERIAL. That would suck.

 

 

Love you,

G

 

 

Apr 132012
 

 

 

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking.

Like many in our generation, most of my knowledge about that tragedy comes from the Leo and Kate movie. I’ve only seen it once because I don’t think I could take it again, but I truly loved it.

The movie Titanic was brutiful because it was about Who People Become When Their Ship is Sinking. Literally, in this case, but I think it worked beautifully symbolically, too. It was brutiful to watch how people acted in the face of death. How some gave up their lifeboats for strangers, how some kept their cool and others went mad, to note the last words a father chose for his little girl as he passed her to a stranger  –“be good.” How some bribed officials to take seats reserved for children, how some officials pocketed the bribes and how others didn’t. How some couples held tight to each other in bed, dying together, while the water rose all around them.

Do you remember how often Jack said Rose’s name?  Every time he spoke to her, he said her name. Sometimes twice in one sentence, “Rose, come this way, Rose.” I think that was one of the ways the film makers were able to convince us that Jack and Rose were so deeply in love after only hours. Because they said each other’s names so often, and with such tenderness and precision, as if it was the most important word they’d ever uttered. Fresh on their lips each time. Jack. Rose. I was thinking about that this morning.  People love to hear the sound of their own names. Names are a really precious part of a person. I suspect that the more someone uses our name, the more fond we become of her.

My favorite real life person from the Titanic was Wallace Hartley. I loved his character in the movie, and the way he handled himself in the face of chaos and horror is etched into my heart as Truth.

Hartley was a passionate and dedicated musician. It was his job to lead the small orchestra that serenaded the rich passengers on the Titanic. When Wallace Hartley understood that the ship was sinking, that there weren’t enough life boats, that most men- including himself and his quartet- would die, he simply instructed his musicians to keep playing.

Imagine it. Thousands of screaming, panicking people running, pushing, knocking each other down, water rising, surrounded by nothing but the pitch black of the ocean and the pitch black of the sky. He was a smart man.  Hartley knew it was over and so he said – we will keep playing. So each musician put on a life jacket, and they played. I imagine there must have been some people, maybe children, who thought – it must be okay, because someone is still playing music.

Continuing to do the work that one is called to do in the face of fear is so brutiful. To keep showing up, to keep making music when your ship is sinking. To add something – to offer something right up to the end. That’s the ultimate act of hope. We cannot control the fate of the ship, but we can control our response. Wallace Hartley did, and that’s why we still remember his name.

If your ship is sinking – Keep Playing.

Keep Playing.

 

Love,

G

 

Apr 302012
 

 

 

This week shall heretofore be named: Miracle Week.

The theme of the incoming emails in my inbox this past month has been: G : I need a miracle. There are marriages crumbling, children suffering, homes foreclosing, parents dying, addicts spiraling, hearts breaking.

It’s bad. It can get really, really bad out there. Life is hard- NOT because you aren’t doing it right, just because it’s HARD. Whenever I write that, people say “No- that’s so negative- it’s all about perspective. Life is beautiful.” And that always makes me wonder for a bit. I wonder if they’re right, that maybe life isn’t hard, that maybe I’m just experiencing it too hard. But I always come to the conclusion that – Nope, I’m right. Life’s hard. Not just hard, downright impossible, BRUTAL sometimes. And they’re right, it’s beautiful, too. No denying that. And/Both.

So at Momastery, many of us have accepted the truth that life is BRUTIFUL.

LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL was a GREAT movie and a nice bumper sticker, but it doesn’t ring COMPLETEY TRUE to me. Sort of like the “Life is Good” shirts. I mean, I like those shirts. Love them, actually. But I won’t wear mine lately, just in case I run into my friend Anna, who just lost her precious and only son Jack in a freak drowning accident near her backyard. Life is not always good and it is not always beautiful. Life is just NOT OKAY sometimes. But it sure is knock-you-out-gorgeous sometimes, too.

Life is Brutiful. And/Both. That’s the thing. In every moment, things are both awful and good. Our children are healthy, but our friend’s children are not. We got a big promotion at work, but our beloved father is sick and not getting better. We feel blessed to stay home with our kids, but we really want to run away from home sometimes. We feel blessed to work and have good child care, but we miss our kids and feel guilty some days. We have beautiful homes, enough food on the table, and decent health care- but most folks don’t. We have healthy bodies, but we’re ten pound overweight. We have thin bodies, but they won’t work right.

And everybody’s always telling us to BE GRATEFUL BE GRATEFUL BE GRATEFUL and there is something to that. But for me, gratitude comes in moments, all encompassing, out of time moments- Kairos moments- and as a general knowing in the back of my head and heart. Gratitude is not always front and center for me.  And I don’t want to be bossed or guilt-ed into gratitude. Life is beautiful, and there is much for which to be grateful. But life is also tough. The big things are tough –  like I’m sick, and I’m not getting better, and the little things are tough, like – WHY IS THIS PLAYDOH SO FREAKING HARD TO OPEN? The big and the little stuff get me down. And that’s okay. No need to be grateful all the time. Really, it’s okay to notice the brutal. We can feel it, sit with it, and allow ourselves to acknowledge it. It won’t swallow us up forever, if we let ourselves go there, we’ll eventually see the beautiful again. We don’t have to feel grateful all the time, even if we’re living pretty sweet lives in comparison to the rest of the world. Pain is pain, and we all get the privilege of feeling it.

Anyway, my problem with all the pain my Monks share is that I can’t make miracles happen for them. This drives me an itty bit NUTS, as you might imagine. But I CAN use this blog to prove that miracles are possible. That they happen everyday. That there is reason to hope.

 

Kay- If you have a second today: Please reread this essay. Fourteen. It’s important. Don’t cheat and skip ahead.

 

Okay, are you back? Hello, Lovie.

 

So…. I’m at the zoo with the fam last week (one million mom points, done for the month) and I get an email. The email is from Mary Margaret. She has found my blog. She writes the following:

glennon.

 imagine my surprise to be reading the huffington post last week (while my husband was out of town and my son fast asleep in his crib) to stumble upon a blog written by someone named glennon. hmm, this reminded me of my old buddy, also named glennon, and caused me to do a quick google search of glennon doyle. i found your blog. i read your bio. i looked at your photos. i realized that this beautiful and accomplished mom had to be the same sad (but still amazingly fun), confused, teenager i came to adore as my roommate at dominion hospital so many years ago. your accomplishments, family and writing would be inspiring if i did not know you, but are even more so because our paths crossed back in the day. i am sure you get a million and one emails and mine is no different. you may not even remember me and that is fine, but i wanted to tell you that your candor, honesty and genuineness are clearly the real deal. thanks for giving me a new blog to check out and for reminding me that we have come a long way!

 love.

m

 

And I started crying right there in the reptile house.  I wrote back immediately and said, I’m here. I’m here. My heart stopped when I saw your name. Are you okay?

And she wrote back a few looooooong minutes later:

 

i am sorry i started an email conversation with you and then abandoned ship. i had to head out to a yoga class i was about to be late to. i live all the way across the country in washington state. just about 15 miles from seattle (where i used to live pre-child). i am healthy. i am married. my son is beautiful. XO.

 

 

She is healthy. She is married. Her son is beautiful. Please tell me- What are the chances? Sick little girls get better. Not all of them, but many do. In our eating disorder unit, 100 percent of us got healthy –  me and Mary Margaret. That end result was totally against the odds. No one in his right mind would have bet on it- certainly not our doctors- and so I call this a MIRACLE.

 

If you’d like to leave a miracle here, or on the facebook page sometime this week, take the time to do it, please. TRUST ME- there are people reading this who need reasons to hope. And they come here to find those reasons – to read stories to hold in their hearts as they walk tall through their bruitful days.

I LOVE YOU,  MONKS.

Back tomorrow- it’s Miracle Week, folks!!!!

 

LOVE,

G

 

 

 

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