Resilience as a Ladder
Like being queer and sober, I thought motherhood was a fixed attribute until the adaptations within love proved me wrong.
“My poor kids,” I often said when it came to their proximity to me as their mother.
They have gone through so much alongside me, tethered to my choices and subject to my evolutions.
I used to make this list and view it as a rap sheet, not the evidence of my agility and growth.
I see this list now as a ladder.
I climbed out of each situation and pulled myself up; the kids were the attached witnesses.
They would tell you it wasn’t easy hanging on. It didn’t feel right, and often it was scary.
I recently shared my story of sobriety and sexuality on a decently sized platform. I was used to being vulnerable in front of strangers, but it was a new experience to allow those I loved to read my most precious parts. I added detail to the list my kids knew well; I was worried they would feel betrayed by my truth.
Late at night, on the day it was published, I put away dishes in my kitchen with the lights off, ready to go to bed. Instead, the front door opened, and both of my kids burst through wearing big grins, full of unfamiliar energy.
“Who was that guy you went on that date with the last night you drank?”
“Where are we in the story?
“Can you write about us someday?”
“I didn’t know how hard things were for you, sorry, mama.”
“I am happy you have Tracy and don’t drink and also that you write and that those pictures were nice and also, my friends thought it was cool.”
Moments like this reveal so much about love. Like being queer and sober, I thought it is one thing, and then it showed up to prove me wrong — love is the unexpected connections, understandings, empathy, pride, and joy all together and mixed.