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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Fast Forward

June 26, 2011. Wow. Graisyn arrived two years and eight months ago today. That's nuts. It only makes me feel a little bit old. I wonder how it makes Sara feel (kidding, honey).

In retrospect, though, there are many days that I wake up and wonder how I got here. How did I get to this very moment in my life? I have a beautiful, truly superlative wife. I have a magnificent, yet challenging, daughter. I've owned my own home since I was twenty-two. I am, in the grand scheme of things, what many would consider to be uneducated. I am a smart ass who has been blessed with common sense and an uncanny desire to live my life outside of a text book. Damn it. I am also a college student. I hold an entry level position at a profound company where I turn out work that is far beyond entry level. I would say that I am tickled and delightful 50% of the time. This percentage allots for snoozing and work. I figure outside of that I am generally happy.

What about Sara? To me, she does the impossible. She holds down a full time job and is attending college nearly full time to obtain her RN. She does this all while contending with our demanding two year old and her fanatical, obsessive compulsive, clingy wife.

To add to the chaos called our life, we also foster dogs. Not just any dogs either. Boxers. Wiggly, bouncy, I'll always be a puppy boxers. They fit right in. Throw a year plus long roommate in the mix and, wham-o, you got yourself a famn damily.

Together, Sara and I make a superb team. I can count on one hand the number of true fights we have had. This alone is enough to make people barf, but, fortunately for us, it's the honest truth. I can say, and I am certain Sara would agree, that parenthood is our biggest challenge. We question our skills as parents daily. Are we too hard on Graisyn? Does she get scolded to often? Is she progressing as she should? Are we going to screw her up? What if we already have screwed her up? Does she know how much we love her? God. The list goes on and on. I'm beginning to sound paranoid, but, deep inside, I am really hoping that these are normal parent questions. If they aren't I guess we're in a whole world of hurt and somebody better point it out.

But this is what we call our life. I don't know anyone else who has a life just like it which leads me to one random thought. If we all lead such different lives with varying end results, why is it that some people feel the urge to push their idea of how life should be lived on others? Think about it. You can tell me that I need to be a straight girl with a masters degree to be happy and successful, but then I could turn around and tell you that you need a wife/husband with a child and a certificate from the local technical college to be happy and successful. You see, it all depends on the individuals definition of success, not on what someone else thinks they should or shouldn't be doing to be successful. Oh man, I think I just got carried away. Back on track...

I believe I was stating that this is our life. This is who we've become. We're a couple of lesbians with a kid and some dogs that are being schooled. You've probably took pleasure in reading how we came to be. Maybe some of you are even emotionally engaged in the story. Whatever the case, I invite you along for the ride. No, you can't move in. Physical observation is not allowed, and I don't like people that much. But, you can follow along via my posts. Grab some popcorn and a bottle of wine. I promise, you won't be bored.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Who will Raise our Baby?

What kind of lesbians put all of their efforts into having a baby and then look for someone else to raise it? Ummm. Us. Duh. Sara and I mutually decided, with all of the money we spent to have Graisyn accompanied by the pure exhaustion her colic created, that it just wasn't worth it. So, it was time to find ourselves a baby mamma. Who will take over the grueling task of raising our Graisyn Quinn? We were accepting bids for an eight pound screeching pterodactyl.

Okay fine, by now I'm sure you all have come to the conclusion that I am talking about childcare and not selling our darling daughter on the black market. Hey, don't scoff. I'm sure we'd get a fair price for her. She is gorgeous! And fine, Sara and I don't think that raising Graisyn is grueling, but, at the time, her colic was enough to create an small sense of understanding of those parents you see on the news who have snapped on their kids...harmed them or worse. Both Sara and I can attest to the limit of crying the adult human brain can take, but we decided that's why cribs and doors were created, though even then it was challenging.

But, what then of childcare? If we could barely handle our little bundle, how could we expect the utmost of gentleness and care out of someone else? Ugh. It seemed scary and impossible, but we had to work so it had to be done.

Leave it to my wife, Sara, to make the impossible possible. There she was perusing the World Wide Web for cloth diapers to swaddle Graisyn's tiny, unborn hinder so we could be super-cool eco-friendly gay moms when she found a stay at home mom/licensed daycare provider/cloth diaper seamstress/everything else who was not only in our very city, but right around the corner from us! I practically peed with excitement. We had already looked at centers and none of them fit just what we wanted. We were bound and determined to find an in-home business that was quaint and comfortable and, well, home. This place seemed just right.

Sara e-mailed the provider of this sanctuary right away. She included our due date and the anticipated date that we would need Graisyn to start. It didn't take long before we received an e-mail back that she was full. No openings. Zip, zero, zilch, nada. Back to square one.

So what is it that parents look for in child care facility? I'm sure that the lists are the same or very similar for most parents. Do you want your child in a center or in a home? The child will need to be fed, napped, played with, nurtured, loved, taught, cleaned. The child should be able to interact with other children. Just like dogs, children need to be socialized. The child should feel safe. Cost should be a consideration, but it should be last, or close to last, in my opinion.

We found another in-home child care provider a few streets down. She was welcoming and nice, but just starting on her own. She had done in home nannying for a number of years and had successfully raised three children one of whom took my pregnant belly pictures. We decided she was it! Finally, someone who would be able to take good care of Graisyn when the time came.

...Or not. We kept in touch with our new found provider throughout the rest of the pregnancy, but shortly before, or maybe it was after, Graisyn's birth, she cut contact with us. No calls. No e-mails. It was like a bad break up. Seriously? WTF? I've always done the dumping in a relationship. "It's not you, Hun, it's me." We were feeling like we couldn't catch a break and to top it off we were gay. Geez. The real kicker was the e-mail we received from the provider we originally inquired with indicating that she now had an opening which we of course declined since we had lined up care with this other individual. Hmmm. Maybe we'd have to revisit that.

Just when we thought we'd never hear from our long lost provider again, Sara received a phone call. Out of the blue, here she was. She wanted to visit and meet our newborn, Graisyn Quinn. She also had something to talk to us about. Fair enough. We welcomed her over for a visit and to take her verbal resignation. She was going through some health issues she told us and couldn't manage the feat of a business with small children. Sara and I both understood. Health should come first, but it still put us in the position to have to find childcare with only a few weeks notice.

Sara recalled the email from the first provider we looked at indicating she had an opening. The pessimist in me was certain that she would have already filled the position, but Sara is an eternal optimist and it wasn't going to hurt a thing to check. E-mail away, honey. And of course she did and of course the opening was still available. Yippee! Was if finally time to breathe a sigh of relief? I think so, friends, I think so.

Graisyn was scheduled to start at the in-home daycare right around the corner from our house in mid February. It was only January, so we would have to pay to the hold the spot should another interested client come along. Fine by us. It was well worth it to know that Graisyn would be spending her days away from us while we worked with a woman who would raise her in the same loving, safe, nurturing way that we did at home.

Thank You

Graisyn has been with her "third mom" for over two years now. We have watched her grow leaps and bounds during this time. Sara and I work as a team with her caretaker to make sure that the structure of the childcare environment and home environment are consistent and provide optimal opportunity for Graisyn to thrive as a growing child. We could not be more pleased with our decision to place Graisyn in this woman's care. She is a wonderful, smart business woman, nurturing mother to all children in her home, and a phenomenal educator. Plus, I know she reads my blog so she will get this memo. Thank you for all you have done! It is so appreciated.