Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Here is a picture of Missy and her twin sister Mary - per request ;-) ;-)
To also share a bit more about the parenting style Mary and Eric are committed to - it's what I would call natural, organic, attachment parenting; which is something very familiar to us in Southern California. However, Mary and Eric live in one of the most conservative parts of the entire US and have been called "hippies" or "beatniks" because they are free thinkers, they welcome diversity, they believe in community & they have many people as part of their "extended family." For example...there's a house down the street with 7 bedrooms and about 10 people live there, in community, and share everything and are "a family." We have learned a lot about "living in community" and it's been so good for our souls. We might have called it "commune living" back in the day...but it's amazing to sit around a huge table with over 15 people, including couples, babies, kids, single guys, etc...who all love and care for one another, who all contribute to the "family" and who are all like minded with regard to their living space and their relationships with one another. It's quite inspiring. All of these things aren't the "norm" in a small, dutch, christian reformed, college town....and all of these people in "the blue house" accept one another and where they're at on their journey - with regard to life, purpose, spirituality, relationships, the world, etc...This amazing community of wonderful people exists in the middle of a town where we were pulled over and harassed with regard to the "nature of our relationship" and where if we lived here as out lesbians, we would not be able to get a job. CRAZY! But...this trip has been so good for our souls and we are full of gratitude!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Iowa....who'd a thunk it?

Who knew Iowa would include an amazing group of people who choose to live in community, serving and helping one another, caring about the social injustices currently taking place in the world...people who intentionally position themselves on the outskirts and dare to stand out...especially in one of the most conservative places in the US?

I sure didn't!!

It's also an amazing thing to meet the twin sister of the woman you love. Having twins, I am of course very tuned in to their special, unique bond...but I never knew I would fall in love with a twin. Meeting Mary (Missy's twin sister) and getting to know her, being in her home, being welcomed into her family and observing the love and care that exists between her and Miss, has caused me to fall even deeper in love with Missy. It's like it all makes sense now...like something was missing...a piece of the puzzle that I just couldn't put my finger on that caused things to not feel quite complete...but now, knowing Mary...I feel that I know Missy in a way I didn't before coming here. It's quite sweet and I feel very blessed.

I also am very inspired by Mary and Eric's desire and commitment to be who they are, to raise their kids in the way they feel is best, to live and create their home and community in the manner that feels right to them...even when neighbors, family, or other locals don't agree with their particular style. I know that for me, as a parent, I easily get trapped into putting on all the expectations of others as if it's my daily uniform and then I begin to shape my life based on what they feel is right for me and my children. I hate this and I want to be strong enough to stand apart and do what I feel is best for my kids, even when it seems to be "against the grain."

I spent 4 years trying to fit into the mold created by the mother of my children. I felt that in order for her to love me, I needed to be all that SHE thought I should be...as a person, a parent, a partner...and I always, always failed! In her eyes, I am sure I am still a failure....but truly, it's only because I am different. I do things differently and I believe it's important that my children experience me...the authentic me. I believe that it's important that I teach my children to be strong and courageous and to stand up against injustice and to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves and to love fervently no matter what, even if it means that others judge you because they cannot fit you into their box of comfort and familiarity.

So many opportunities for reflection have emerged in Iowa.

I want an intentional group of people to be "OUR" community
I want to teach my children to help others, to serve and to "see" others who need their love and support and to not be afraid to offer it - in kindness
I want to do guided meditation adventures with my children
I want to create time and space to explore and experience life and relationships - with Miss and my children - as part of our community - and to NOT get stuck in the day to day
I want to give back and teach my children why it's important

Mary, Eric, Izzo, Truby...I am so blessed and grateful to have spent this time with you, in your home, in your town, with your community. You are all going home with me, in my heart, and I can't wait to see you all again soon!