Warm Heart. Hard Heart. Blood Heart.

PREFACE

I’ve been trying to write this post now for well over a week. But, wouldn’t you know… if I thought I did a lot of laundry and dishes before all this, well… turns out I knew nothing back then!

Warm Heart.

So. It’s official… the day has arrived. Jen and I are foster parents to a real-life child!

I know, you have a lot of questions. I have them, too.

It’s okay to ask me, I don’t mind answering if you’re curious about it. Just know that I might not always know the answer. We’re learning, too.

Everyday is a new question, a new challenge, a new experience.

We’re learning the foster care system. We’re learning what it’s like to have an almost-two-year-old running around your house. We’re learning about daycare, and DHS, and about how you balance adult-interaction time with kid-time. We’re learning our new little one’s personality, and (related) how to redirect the attention span of a squirrel.

We’re trying to figure out how to make sure our pets have what they need, make sure that we have what we need, and figuring out how to keep life moving forward in some semblance of a routine, even though it’s been totally disrupted. We’re learning about empathy, and compassion, and how to deal with really complicated things.

And this is just the beginning.

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A Thought at Twenty Eight

A prose/poem/thought

Today is my birthday.
I’m well into my “late-2o’s.”
At this point, I can only remember with (decent) accuracy roughly 68% of my life.

My earliest memory is when I’m not much more than 2. I’m standing in a playpen at the first house I ever lived in, and I’m watching my uncle go about the living room.
Later in life, I learn this is probably when my sister was born, and my uncle came to look after my brother and me.

Later in life, I can’t picture the memory as clearly, only that at one point this was the furthest back I could remember to.

At twenty eight, I reflect on how far back I can remember to.

There are highlights from elementary school-age, and things that I forgot happened.
But, then I find them in pictures and I can remember a little bit better afterwards.

I think I’m about nine in my earliest memories that are a bit clearer.
Which makes approximately nineteen years of my life up to this point.
How strange to think that the first nine years of my life are just amiss in the minds of other people.

How strange to wonder how far away nine will be next year, and will it still seem as clear then?

And even as I get to be the kind of age that you think of adults as being–I still have trouble sometimes sorting out exactly how old I was when certain events took place.
Or what year it was when this thing or that happened.
See… I have to think about it before I know for sure–or at least have a good guess.

Age is a weird concept.

Some days… I can play around like I’m five.
Or carry on a conversation like I’m eighty five.
Sometimes, this happens in the same day.

I have one grey hair that I know of.

But I can still stay up until midnight.

So… what does it even mean to be twenty eight? It feels much more natural than how old it sounded, even when I was twenty.

But, I also begin to worry about how much of my life I’ll remember when I’m seventy.
A patient at work the other day told me all about his life when he was ten.
And his family vacations when he was growing up with surprising detail.
He’s eighty two now.

I’m so desperate some days to hold on to everything that happens, that I’ll take hundreds of pictures to document it, to have something to prove to myself one day that “this happened.”
To have a memory instead of just a thought of one.

Sometimes I get so wrapped up in it, I hope I’m storing the details in my head, too.
But we never really know until we get a couple years past it, looking back.

So here I am.

Twenty eight.

And I try to think about everything that’s happened.
And wonder about everything that comes next.

I’d Tell You to go to Hell (if I Could Find the Words to be Polite)

I’m having some unnatural-to-me interpersonal struggles here. Let me tell you why…

But first… I must digress…

When I was younger, I used to come home from school and occasionally complain to my mom about various kids in my class who were annoying to me. I used to get so frustrated at all the annoying little personality quirks, weird things they did, strange things they said, etc.

My mom would tell me that I just needed to learn to deal with it. Because one day… I’d be in the real world, and I’d have to interact with all kinds of people in all kinds of places. And sometimes… that would be people who I didn’t like, or found annoying, or whatever-your-evil-might-be.

“That’s life.”

She’d tell me.

But as I grew up, I found that I generally and genuinely likemost people. And even the ones I didn’t… I still seemed to find ways to deal with it and make things work without much to-do.

And as I got older… I learned that I actually really liked people in general. And I could appreciate their differences, their quirks, and their perspectives.

I found that most people seemed to like me, too.

Don’t worry.

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2.0.1.7.

Welcome to the future, everyone!

We made it. For better, or for worse, 2016 exists only as a memory. On behalf of the family here, I’d like to wish you all a happy and healthy year.

I just checked… and it’s been exactly 99 DAYS?!?!  since we updated the blog. I could say “oops.” I could apologize and give you some reasons for the time warp. Or… I could just say–hey, we were busy living our life and the world is crazy.

So… What’s been happening since the end of September?

Great question! Let’s go through the highlights:

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Running Thoughts

But… Why?

Tonight I went for a run in, ah… longer than I’d like to admit to.

I ran 2.5 miles and didn’t stop to walk and felt pretty alright about it all. It wasn’t far, but it’s a start!

Things like running, and cycling, and swimming (my three biggest sporting loves), always give me time to think. Space to decompress. To process. I always seem to find something to think about. And if I don’t, sometimes not thinking about anything except the task at hand can also be rewarding in it’s own way.

I’m not a fast runner. I’m not a fast swimmer. I’m a decent cyclist.

A few years ago, I was in great shape. I did a triathlon at least once a month from June-September, and placed in my age group often. But… I was also single. Didn’t have very many friends. Had a part-time job and 2 hours a day to devote to the gym. My life as a whole was not super fulfilling.

When I look at where I am now–Wonderful wife (plus cat-children). Great neighborhood. Good job. Solid friends. And I feel like I live a much more well-rounded and satisfying life these days.

It’s not about winning. It never has been. But sometimes I get caught up in the competitiveness of sports, in the comparisons of my times and abilities to someone else’s, and I forget the real reasons why these things matter to me.

So… What Are we Learning?

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