Being a Person

I seem to be stuck right here. I don’t know if I’m stuck in a roasted marshmallow kind of way or quicksand. At 46, I need to figure some of this stuff out. I used to live solely in the world of motherhood. I took a horrible fall down the rabbit hole of anorexia with my daughter Addy. I got lost in a maze called adoption for over three years. And I remain at least physically and spiritually in the world of Mim and my other five children. I say it that way because she insists on my being in her world. Her disability encircles us and it is both beautiful and arduous in its’ resolute and immense need for love.

See. Here I go, attempting to write about who I am and describing myself in terms of my family. The success is in the pursuit. This is definitely an art of process not product.

I love music- Bonnie Raitt, Nanci Griffith, Patty Griffin, Emmy Lou Harris. (Oh hot damn. All of these people are white.) My favorite song is J Cole’s Foldin Clothes. My favorite Christmas carroll is sung by Stevie Wonder. I grew up on The Pointer Sisters, the Commodores, Barry Manilow, Billy Joel, Madonna, The Big Chill Soundtrack, and Barbra Streisand and best of all my mom playing piano.

One of my top favorites of my mom’s piano playing songs.

I love nature- lying on the sand listening to the waves, picking glass out of a creek bank, hiking which the adventurous would call a stroll, putting a blanket in the grass and willing the sun to warm my face, opening the doors and watching the rain pool and stream on the screens, roasting marshmallows. I can put up my own tent with the help of my kids and I can last at least two nights and truly enjoy it.

I love reading- Pam Houston, Barbara Kingsolver, Anne Lamott, Mary Kay Andrews, Ezra Jack Keats, lyrics to my favorite songs, movie credits, Maya Angelou, Dr. Sears, Shel Silverstein, Beverly Cleary, Kevin Henkes, Maria Semple, Country Living magazine, the back of cereal boxes and shampoo bottles, and Fredrik Backman.

My third grade teacher, Miss Simpson made me fall in love with books.

I like podcasts- Ear Hustle, Season 1 and 2 of Serial, On Being with Krista Tippett, Fresh Air, and The Teacher’s Pet.

I like movies and tv- The Detectorists, Parent Trap, Cheaper by the Dozen, It’s Complicated, Grace and Frankie, Sabrina, On Golden Pond, Cheers, Sesame Street, Moonrise Kingdom, Hometown, and Monty Don Gardens.

Ahhhhhhhh. Love.
Reuters/Corbis (Essence Magazine)

I am rather liberal and I vote for Democrats. I hate guns and want huge reforms in our gun laws. I am an advocate for people with eating disorders. I am a member of the Disability Community and I insist on full inclusion. I wish people didn’t value money and thinness so much. I wish my kids could afford college tuition to amazing universities. I wish we could all travel more. I wish the world valued kindness and mental health and clear water and blue skies.