Even Football

This time next week WVU will either be 1-0 or 0-1.  I would love to say I'm completely confident that it will be a 1-0, but there's the whole new coach thing.  And the whole we're-playing-Marshall thing.  And the whole Marshall-almost-beat-us-last-year-so-we-aren't-as-big-and-scary-anymore thing.  It just reeks of Appalachian State - Michigan a couple years ago.  But, I'm holding out hope that this is just my usual preseason paranoia.

Typically, this week I would be shaking with excitement; I would be reading every. single. word. printed about the Mountaineers.  And I would be counting down the minutes.

But, this is one more area of my life that IF has tainted.  One more thing that makes me ask 'who is this person and how did I get here?'

You see, silly me, long before we even considered TTC I would always, always, go crazy over the WVU stuff for babies - and babies in WVU stuff.  From strollers to bottles to onesies to the little cheerleader outfits - everything.  And when The Man and I decided to start TTC last September, I immediately decided that 8 - 10 weeks old was certainly old enough to go to a first WVU game.  And I pictured the pictures and the startling at the musket and the friends who sit near us wanting to hold him/her and so. much. more.

And instead, it's just one more thing that I get to not do.  Oh my silly, silly self for planning such a thing.

So, while there is a piece of me that is so ready for football to start.  There is a huge piece of me that is dreading packing the car; that is dreading the walk that usually feels like a walk home; that just wants to pull the covers over my head and forget about football all together.  And I wonder 'who is this person and how did I get here?'

My outlet.  My favorite moments of stressing out about something I have no control over.  My most-looked-forward-to thing.  And I just want it to be over.  And I want to know when I get to feel like me again.  When every. single. piece. of. my. life. isn't touched by this sadness; this pain.


A Goddaughter

A few weeks ago, I stood in church beside a friend and her family - her 2 beautiful daughters sitting beside her while the 3rd daughter twisted and turned inside her womb.  I was struck at the contrasts between us - specifically the fullness of her womb vs. the emptiness of mine.


I have always wanted to be a Godmother.  Long before the desires of motherhood were placed in my heart, the desire to be a Godmother was there.  To be seen as someone who could be trusted to guide a child in his/her faith would be an honor that there were almost no words to describe.  There have been many unspoken, almost unthought, prayers for this; as if, by being asked to be a Godmother, God would be telling me that He does have faith in me.


Today, I stood beside that same friend.  This time, she held her 3rd daughter, now just 2 weeks old.  And this time, at the end of Mass, this friend asked The Man and me if we would like to be Godparents to her baby girl, M.  The tears immediately came.  And of course, there had to be an explanation (there were too many to be considered 'normal').  As we graciously, thankfully, and humbly said 'yes!', we were offerred prayers and love.

Today, there is faith.  There is hope.  There is a Goddaughter to love.



Another blogger, who I love, has written a beautifully honest post about a mother's different feelings for her children.  I started to comment over there, but did not (and still do not) want to stir up a hornets nest.  This woman's honesty is refreshing, even if it stirs up a whole ton of feelings I'd rather leave buried.

I think I will begin with the response I started to leave on the post:
I'm not a mom, so I can't say for sure how I feel about this from the perspective of a parent.  I see that other mom's have felt the same way, and honestly that does give me some peace.
What I am, though, is the daughter of a mom who often said to me 'I love you, but I don't like you very much right now.'  The granddaughter of a woman who said 'Oh, L (my mom), you are so blessed, you finally have your boy,' when my brother was born.  And, when I pressed my mom about my brother being her favorite, she quickly looked away and then said 'I just love your brother differently than I love you.'  And finally, when, as a married adult being introduced to someone at my mom's parish was greeted with 'Oh, I didn't know you had a daughter, I only knew you had a son.'
So, while I find your honesty beautiful, my heart is breaking as I read these words.  Breaking for the child who asks 'do you love him/her more than me?' and is greeted with an answer similar to the ones I got.  No matter how many times I'm told that I'm loved as much as my brother, in my heart I know it to not be true.  I saw and heard the truth.
I stopped there.  I decided at that point that this woman didn't need such a comment on her post.  My words, I feared, would hurt her, and really, they have nothing to do with her.  They are more about my feelings, my experiences.  And that is why they belong on my blog (and that is also why I didn't name or link to the other blog).

It's interesting that this topic comes up now, as I just had a conversation with a friend on the phone about fears I had/have related to having children.  One of those fears is just this; that I would have a favorite child and his/her siblings would know it.  I'm not talking a little fear, but suffocating, paralyzing fear.  A fear that paralyzed so that for quite a while I had no desire to have children.  I truly believed in my heart that it was better for me to not have children than to risk having a favorite.

One of the biggest struggles of my life is my desire to be accepted, to 'fit in.'  My parents' divorce tore apart my family; and the parent I lived with preferred her other child.  While my Dad tried to compensate, I know it caused pain for my brother, and that only adds guilt.  I know I have come a long way to learning to be comfortable in my own skin, but there are times I'm thrust back to that teenager whose mom doesn't like her and loves her brother 'differently.'

And lately, it is in these times that I wonder if God doesn't know what he's doing after all?  When all of my fears are as strong as they ever were, when I am paralyzed by them, that I think obviously God is right in not giving us a child.  I mean how can I possibly raise stable, well-adjusted, secure children when I am such a mess?  I am scared of my own shadow and I think I can care for an infant, toddler, child, teenager, etc?  Please don't leave comments telling me that every woman feels this way.  Please.  I've tried to tell myself that my fears are normal, but when I sit here, barely able to breathe as I think about passing this feeling of not being enough on to someone else I just have to wonder if maybe I'm not getting my answer to the question of 'why?'

Finally, my mom is a good mom, and while my dad was always involved in our lives, for every 12 out of 14 days, she was a single mom.  I know it wasn't easy and I wasn't always the easiest kid to raise, while my brother was much easier.  I know that in the times that I saw the truth in her eyes, it was immediately followed with the pain in her eyes that I was hurt.  I don't want it to sound like I'm bashing my mom here, I'm not.  Just as this was not something about the other blogger, this is not really about my mom.  It's about me.  How I feel.  My fears.  My insecurities.  It would have been easy to hit 'publish' without this last paragraph, to leave this sense of 'woe is me, my mother was horrible' but that is not fair to her.  At the same time, while I've accepted that she does indeed love me 'differently,' the fear of passing that on is almost too much to bear at times.


Waking Up

When I lived away from Morgantown, I always missed it here.  I never quite felt like I 'fit in' somewhere else.  Sure, Morgantown is where I grew up and where I went to college, but there was more to it than a sense of being homesick.  I missed this town.  There's just something about this town...

When we first moved back, it was things like being able to drive to the grocery store without having to really think about where I was going or running into a familiar face in Target that soothed my soul.  Soon, though, I was settled back in and I started to really consider what it is about this town that I missed so much.

Today, I was reminded of just what it is.  There was more traffic on the roads.  There were cars parked half blocking lanes.  There were people jaywalking.  There was a line at the pharmacy.  There was furniture waiting it's turn to be carried inside on each corner.  Morgantown is waking up.

For as long as I can remember, Fall has been my favorite season.  The colors.  The football.  The temperatures.  The apple pies.  The football.  And the waking up.  Around here, the summer months are more of a winter of sorts.  Everything is quiet; the colors are dull; and the streets are bare.  Then, mid-August arrives.  The temperatures are cooler in the mornings, and Morgantown begins to bloom.

It is this that I missed.  The blooming.  The renewing.  The waking up.

As Morgantown stretches and yawns and WVU starts its new school year, my soul sighs and soaks in the noise, the colors, and the busy-ness.  And I am reminded, once again why I love this town and know that I am at home here.


Quick Takes

1.  Yes, I know it's been 2 weeks.  Yes, I know I said there would be pictures last week.  No, there will {still} not be pictures here this week.  Maybe (or not?) next week.

2.  We have more important things to talk about today.  Most importantly - FOOTBALL!!!!!  (Wait, don't leave, there's non-football stuff later.)  I know most of you could care less about football, but tonight there is football on TV.  (For the SECOND night in a row!!!!!)  It's *just* NFL preseason, but it's the Steelers and it's on TV - LIVE.  (I may or may not have been trying to get through baseball season by watching old bowl games on ESPN Classic.  Maybe.)

3.  And NFL Preseason means College Football is right around the corner.  While I love the Steelers, there is nothing like Mountaineer football (at least not in my world!).  21 More days!!!

4.  So, where have I been for the last couple of weeks?  Well, there's that new job of mine - it's keeping me busy and I LOVE IT!  But I have also been working on a couple of interwebby-projects.  The first is a new blog/site that is very near and dear to my heart.  Please go visit:  Natural Family Planning - West Virginia Style and let me know what you think!  It is still VERY MUCH a work in progress, but I think it's ready to be shared (I hope anyway!).  Many of you know that our journey to learn about NFP wasn't easy, mostly due to the fact that we are in WV and there just aren't many resources for people who don't really know what they are looking for.

5.  My other interwebby project has been this site for the Our Lady of Grace Chapter of Magnificat.  I have been blessed by this amazing group of women and I am so grateful that Magnificat came into my life.

6.  Did I mention there is football on?  Oh, I did?  Well, then I think I have nothing else to say for now.

7.  Except - Let's gooooooooooo Mountaineers!!!!  (You were expecting this, right?!?!)

Have a great weekend and don't forget to visit Jen for more Quick Takes!