Saturday, July 7, 2018

Attached




We all feel the need to be attached to something, to keep us from floating, boundless as if on the surface of the moon.

But to what? And to whom?

The man that I am seeing has a daughter who is turning ten. I took them out for lunch yesterday to celebrate and tried to breathe through the periods of silence. I understand when she clings to his arm and looks at me, only slightly defiantly but nonetheless with a claim, "mine." I gave her a bracelet of carnelian stones falling long on her tiny wrist. I wonder if she will wear it or if it will be discarded, forgotten. What could it - or I - possibly mean to her? Having no experience with children, absolutely none, ever, I am nervous on these occasions. I simply try to breathe and be present, knowing at the very least to talk to her on the level she wishes, which is quite a serious one. Only rarely do I receive her smile.

Will this coupling last long enough that I will gain her trust? I am still working on gaining my own, also with a claim, "mine." For me. I find the terrain underneath my feet wet, then dry and smoothe, then burning deep under this particular heat.

At ten, who did I belong to? The wind, the trees, certainly, but also to the letters that were my pearls linked in a row as books opened worlds that I could not have possibly dreamt. We had moved to a very big Victorian house but rather than roam its rooms, 23 in number, I would hide in my oak-lined closet to read for hours on end. There, I felt centered and knew I was where I belonged. Hidden amidst the lives of others, I learned.

Again in these past days, I am finding refuge in novels as if looking for clues. How to be, what to believe in, both in the grand scheme and the minutiae. I don't think that I quite realized how very long it would take to build something anew that I could attach myself to. And there is still, two years in, no solid structure in my life that reassures. That is a very long time to hold one's breath and hope for the best. For now, the only link I really trust enough to put my weight into is the oldest one within me, love.

Mais malgré tout, j'ai toujours des questions. I think it is normal, considering the present logistics and the recent past. Who truly loves me? Who do I truly love? What makes me sing? Where do I go to live my dreams? This is my daily life. Every single morning I awake with questions in my head, thoughts racing, sometimes regrets, usually fatigue but also with quieter songs of comfort and pride.

Oh, how I do feel that I am holding on to the balloon of "me" to be tethered to the ground. This girl, this redhead girl with blue eyes, still, in essence, at ten. Attached is where my heart goes. To remind me, beating, that I am not only this eternal loop of asking. These letters, forming words are the ribbon. How I wonder at the possibility to just...let them go, to let it all fly...free.
 



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PS. This was my 700th post.




33 comments:

  1. Ten is a tender age. My ten year old granddaughter does not like her new step-mother. I have told her it is easier to get along than to fight, but it falls on deaf ears. She told me the other day that her dad told her he loves her (my granddaughter) more than his wife. It made my sweet Bella feel better. Follow the little girls' lead. This will take a long time. Probably until she is grown. It might be a hard road for you, as it is for her, but it will work out in the end. If you can wait that long.

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  2. It might be because i am immature but kids are just people. I just talk to them like i would my friends minus the swearing. It seems to work :) You only have to be yourself to charm her and anyone else Heather. You are so lucky to have so many options in front of you and it is actually exciting! This summer might be a turning point - lots of planetary action hehe xx

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    1. Naomi, you are so awesome. :) And the leaving out the swearing part is much easier when talking in French! In English...it would be harder. "you can take the girl outta New York butcha can't..."

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  3. When I met 'The One' I had an 8 year old son who was very reluctant to share his mother. Luckily they eventually bonded over a love of food, of all things - with a girl it might be clothes or make-up. Maybe a book that she can find refuge in, as you did at her age. Give it time Heather, and here's wishing you all the very best for a happy outcome!

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  4. Give her and yourself time. The best thing you can be for her is yourself. Honesty with all and a caring friend are good things to aim for. If she senses your tentativeness, that will be reflected back to you. Relax and enjoy this time. Perhaps you can try to bond over a shared activity. Maybe your love of books or maybe a budding photographer you have to teach your skills to. Breathe, relax and let it happen as it should. It will with time! T xx

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  5. Ouf. Like you, it takes very little to go back to age 10. Nothing more than the flutter of eyelashes. Yet, face à quelqu'un who is right now 10, it is a chasm. (why is it that there's no English phrase as elegant as "face à" with all its nuances, which are not quite the same as those of "in the face of"?!?!?)
    I wish you luck. My own stepdaughter was 20 when I met her; there was no reason for rancor, since her mother had left long before I even met her father. But it wasn't easy, and it still isn't, 16 years later (and I am putting it very, very nicely). OTOH, maybe it's precisely because she was older, yet very immature and needy, that things were so rocky.
    Among friends who have had better experiences, being different and being open, without trying to be anything specific, has helped them. But an awful lot depends on the kid, and you have no control over that, no matter how caring you are. Best of luck! And if this guy is really worth it, don't let little Miss get you down--she will grow up and evolve, and today is not tomorrow.
    I have written so many comments and then deleted to re-write them, not wanting to jinx anything. But I just hope all three of you can live happily ever after.

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    1. Well, this is still way too new for that kind of thinking! But oh how I am grateful for the beauty in that hope. bisous

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  6. I agree with everything everyone else has already said. Obviously, at age ten, she is seeing you as a possible threat to the love and time that her father will show to her. I guess you don't want to be too pushy, in trying to "win her over", but neither do you want to be too tentative to her as she will pick up on that, and see herself as the victor. Perhaps she has to eventually come to the conclusion that it's not a competition between you two, for her father's love, just a co-existing harmoniously. Not an easy path. As others have said, you just have to be relaxed and be yourself. Maybe she has to also come to the conclusion that you are not her new mother.
    I remember years ago, my brother and sister-in-law went overseas for 3 weeks, leaving their three kids with my parents ( and I was still living at home at that stage). Their middle child who was probably about 8 or 10 at the time, would say to my mother, when told it was bedtime or to come for dinner, "you're not my mother, you can't tell me what to do!" And that was not a (potential) step-parent situation. You're very aware of people's feelings. You will work it out. There will eventually be harmony for all three of you, with time and effort.
    Cheers,
    Deborah

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  7. Interesting image. I want that but how do I get there? You fell in love with words. Books make much more interesting gifts. And it opens up a dialogue. You're still climbing walls. Good.

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    1. Is it good? Somedays (most) I just really want to nap. And thank you for noting the image Mr. Storto.

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  8. It sounds to me like true living is in the questions, the searching, the journey. But, yes, we all need to have a safe place to rest. Moving to this new city and meeting lots of new people, I've finally realized that I don't have to pursue a friendship with each one. It will happen or it won't and, like I suspect you are doing with your friend's daughter, sometimes you just have to be yourself and let them come to you. What an adventure!

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    1. I knew that you would see the bigger picture in this post, Judith. It really isn't about her but questioning what "attached" is...in different forms. xo

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  9. All relationships/friendships take time to develop. Some very valid comments have come up - it takes time - be yourself - relax and enjoy - books as gifts - teach a skill - follow her lead. The future will slowly unfold. Slowly unfold = I went out with my boyfriend for 9 years before we talked marriage. He was divorced - I had never been married. We just were enjoying one another's company.

    I thought you had written a poem at the end of this blog. Then realized it was a list of recent articles. The titles formed a poem.

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    1. I love everything about this response. Especially the "poem". :)

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  10. There is a lot going on in that little girl's world, and your's too. Give it all time and patience.

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    1. You are the Best Listener (granted, I don't give you much of a choice) and I listen back.

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  11. Patience & time will bring the change needed for this young girl to come around. As she becomes better acquainted with you, she will see you as a great friend. You are far too kind & interesting a person for that to go unrecognized. So glad you are in this relationship. Sounds like it has some very rich & promising possibilities!

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    1. We'll see. Trusting is still slow going for me. And the logistics are not easy. But he is a good person.

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  12. Patience and space for all of you to be yourselves, all the above advice seems sound! Wishing you luck, as always, on all journeys and attachments :-)

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    1. You are inspiring to me Lisa always in your authenticity!

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    1. Thank you Daniel, tip of the hat to you for the recognition as it is deeply appreciated.

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  14. One of your best "letters", Heather!!!

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    1. Thank you so much Maria! I hope that you aren't too hot this summer...horrible here already!

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    2. Terribly hot, but the sea isnt far away fortunately

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  15. Dear Heather:
    I read your post when it was first shared, but have been thinking about a response...
    First, with this new child of ten in your life, at the moment...know that "he" will not always be her "mine". Children can always spot struggle; sometimes they cause it. They dislike questions, but prefer conversation. Find out what her passions are (reading, painting, movies, etc.). Share yours with her. When the three of you are together, and the silence is audible, pick up your camera and ask if you can take a photo of the two of them; don't include yourself, unless she invites you. Then "shoot" away...the farm, candid shots of her, things she loves, animals, etc. Then share them with her...make an album for her...ask her to show you her favorite, secret beautiful places to photograph; let her choose, making her a partner in this adventure. This is how she will discover the real you!
    Secondly, your new friend (him)...there is no definition I know of that will let you know this is love! You will feel it in a way that differs from other relationships...and if it turns out that he is only a good friend, that is still a gift. Personally speaking, as an adult, the idea of "mine" always interrupts my breathing (not in a good way). It makes me feel confined, constricted, wanting to push away. For me, mutual love is "ours", trusting and respecting each other enough to know we would never do anything to hurt each other...a rare find! As always, Heather, I wish you love, peace, and beautiful adventures. Angela Muller

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  16. 700 posts! That's an amazing accomplishment, and your readers have benefitted from your generosity of spirit.

    I have a step-daughter with whom I had a very rocky beginning. The only advice I can give is to just be your usual generous self. All will be well. xoxo

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  17. Heather, who has not been in a position that borders the thin line between longing and total surrender to the life that is....and truly, they are one, and the beauty is that you get to create whatever your heart desires, and as I know you are a creator of many beautiful things, you can also create an ease in yourself in knowing that whoever is meant to be in your life is moving towards you as you are moving towards them. No difficulty here, just pure fun and happiness in the knowing.

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  18. Ten is such a tender age for a girl child. Lost for a time, as were you. You all need time to grow into each other. To learn trust. To feel love bloom. It can't be rushed. But it will be worth it. There can be no 'me', just a spilling over into us. And what a glorious us it may be. Enjoy the expectations. Dance to the new beginnings. Enjoy.

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