**** AHEM .... I posted this today, thought about it, then took it down a few hours later. Because, I'm strange and can flit between trains of thought very easily. Here it is again ... fuck it. Aint nothing like the truth - sets you free, etc.
Very occasionally, I talk about my dads to Max. He wants to know how they died .... how on earth do you describe to a seven year old what suicide is? Or alcoholism?
Every single time I say something starting with "My dad ..." Max always stops me. "Which dad? Your real dad, your first stepdad, or your second stepdad?"
Every time, without fail, I need to stop and think. For the first two have become one, in my head. An amalgam of paternal fucked-upness, a wonderful way of how NOT to parent your daughter.
I told Max that when he gets a bit older, I will sit down with him and tell him everything. But in the meantime, I just let him know that they both died, it made me very very sad for a long time but I'm ok about it now. He wonders if they are up in heaven. He chatters to me a lot about God and heaven, and often tells me that he was up in heaven and could see me down on earth, being so sad before he was born. "But then I came to you, and you fell in love with me, didn't you mum?"
I sure did. I had a shitload of expectation around Rocco's birth, that I doubt would have been fulfilled even if Dave had not gotten sick ... but that is a post for another time.
Out of the blue comes Maxs questions and ponderings, they always delight me.
"Mum." He told me, very gravely. "Me and Rocco were playing up in heaven, and I knew he was going to be my brother, and we were looking at you and knew you would be our mum."
Then he thinks.
"When was God born?"
I burst out laughing. We were walking on the beach, back to the car, snatching some precious time together - away from the other big noisy guys.
"Max. I LOVE your questions. Don't ever ever think you need to stop asking questions, ever."
"Yeah ok ... but when was God born?"
I told him that was the biggest mystery in the entire world, that we will all find out one day, and most people don't start asking that until they are much older than him.
Later, we were in the kitchen and he was still talking about it. Dave pipes up:
"There is no God."
Max and I froze, looking at each other incredulously. I was annoyed. "Well, people believe in different things. Some people don't think there is a God - some people believe in Buddha. Some people believe in Earth, Mother Nature, Great Spirit. You believe in Mother Nature and Karma, don't you Dave."
Putting him on the spot, he reluctantly agreed. The presence of a higher power has been most evident in Daves life, and I want him to at least admit to his children that he does believe in something, even if it's not the traditional "God" he despises.
Max shook his head. "Man, I can't believe some people don't believe in God! That's crazy!"
I was brought up Catholic. Then discovered booze. Then became born again Christian. Then booze again. Then, I went to seminars on Scientology and Unification Church (aka Moonies). I denounced God. Then I discovered that there was evil in the world .... and if there was evil, there must be the opposite of evil, too.
One very powerful day, I laid down all my weapons and begged God to help me not drink anymore. I drank that day - and the next. But not since.
The God I believe in can be cranky turd. The God I believe in smokes, swears, can procrastinate, and scratches his balls. He (I still say "He" after all these years) ... wants the best for us all, and gives us all so many - SO MANY tiny cracks of amazingness that we can peer into and wonder at the marvel of the world - if we have the eyes to see it.
If I pray to God for more patience, God does not magically bestow me with an infusion of patience sent high from above ... God will send me a fucking traffic jam. So I can LEARN it for myself. God gives me messages in dreams, makes me aware of who needs a kind word, and sometimes whispers in my ear to just grow the fuck up already. Usually when I'm right in the middle of a temper tantrum. If I want to make God laugh, I tell Him my plans. Sometimes I have told him to just fuck off, and given him the finger. Other times, my heart overflows with warmth and gratitude and my prayer has no words but He knows what I'm saying.
God does not send tumours to a family about to have a baby, decides that a child will die, or makes car crashes happen. But He is there, crying next to us, holding our hands and sharing our tears.
God is not Gods real name ... we used to know His real name, but gradually forgot. We will find it out again when we die.
I told Max that yes, it is crazy that some people don't believe in God ... but thank goodness, God never stops believing in people.
Ok so I have NO IDEA where that post came from - I was totally going to write about something completely different. About our triumphant homecoming - how camping was a hundred times better than any fancy hotel. Digging my toes in the sand last week, I felt the most grounded and at peace. A new, lighter Eden. About families, and the bonds, and the messiness. I have never, ever been so busy in my life. I finally found a wonderful daycare for Rocco (HALLELUJAH). If I don't find more writing work - quickly - I will need to waitress (HELP). About what I learn from being married, the state of the blogworld, etc. But right now I have to make the boys lunch because it's school holidays and they are both here and I have spent the past hour and a half writing about being a mother instead of, you know .... actually being a mother.