May 18th, gratitude birthday entry:
“I can’t not love you.”
I was very specific to no gender reveal for my fifth pregnancy. After four sons, I figured we make boys and so be it, bring on the party. I had my fifth boy’s name all picked out (Aidan Jared) and was looking forward to being “ohmygod-does-she-have-five-boys?” Yup, that mom. I was absolutely head over heels with my four sons and figured a fifth would tuck right in seamlessly.
“It’s a girl!”
“You have a daughter.”
Alisia Anne Augustine Glasier has been rockin’ our world for the past twenty years. Her four big brothers couldn’t be happier to finally (FINALLLLLLLLY as one of them spouted) have a sister… nor will you find any more protective of one of their own. She has added beauty, honesty, a quiet humor, and a unique and loving perspective to our dynamics. There is a realness, a rawness to her. Authenticity. Genuine Other-world-ness. We hit the freakin’ lottery. And I know it!
Not one moment have I taken for granted the Grace offered me.
I’ve had many opine, and from such sweet hearts, “After four boys, you deserve a girl.” Uhm, just not the way I see it. Each of my children has been a GIFT. I have been blessed with every single one, whether with penis or with vagina. I desperately – and I mean with all my soul – desired children.
What had I done to have reaped such treasure as five souls to nurture, guide, and witness becoming? Surely it wasn’t taking good care of myself. I had mistreated my body through anorexia, bulimia, and self-loathing for years and years. My cycle was all over the place. Fearful of becoming fat, I starved myself even when pregnant.
Deserve a child? Let alone five…. I didn’t feel deserving in the least. I felt on the receiving end of Some Kind Of Amazing Grace.
My self-abuse was not intentional nor premeditated. I never started out thinking, “I’m going to screw up my menstrual cycle all to hell and back… make it so that I can’t poop naturally… and then, I think I’ll stay up all night without sleep, anxious about how many calories I consumed the day before…” I gradually fell into (does one gradually fall??) eating less and less, exercising more and more. Anxious to the max, I consumed self-defeating thoughts by the handfuls. Calories, not so much.
So when the babies kept coming, and my body allowed me to breastfeed them, I believed I was given chance after chance to come out from my cave of self-harm addiction and into the bright light of Life. And this was all by Grace.
I did. It was gradual, but I did.
Little by little, with each child, I began to see how to love… to experience the give and take of Love… and my heart became softened towards even my-self. Oh God, it was a slow melt… but Grace kept patience with me.
When Alisia was old enough to hold a pencil, she would draw pictures of me – long-haired (my tresses were actually longer than my body, hahahaaaa) with a big smile and above my head, she would write: “I can’t not love you, Mommy.”
“I can’t not love you.” => Grace
As she grew, Alisia and I have developed an incomparable closeness. We’re nearly twinsies! Both INFJ’s in the Meyers-Briggs, we unpack emotions, thoughts, theories, and questions in a similar fashion; we hold space for the other and know just when to break the silence; we buzz in similar philosophical ways; we both dig traveling, morning coffee, watching movies, analyzing anything and everything, and nighttime popcorn; cooking is only a necessity and some food textures gag us; art museums are the best ever and petting kitties will ease anxiety most times; we love with an intensity and can be easily wounded; perfectionism runs in our veins. Hugs work. Crying daily is just how we roll.
She’s graduated from crayola drawings to attending SUNY Fredonia for Art. She’s talented times a bajillion. No kidding! Told ya. Lo-tter-y.
What I enjoy most about Alisia is how she has opened our minds and hearts to seeing life through the eyes of those in the marginalized community. She is Tenderness in manifest form. This is not to insinuate for one second that she is a pushover. Holding to her convictions, she is intelligent in her arguments. And, perhaps even much more intelligent, she knows when to cease arguing, or not even bother to start. Wise at twenty? She’s all that.
She’s been my Life Saver. Does this wax dramatic?… but it is the absolute Truth. Without her vibe in my life, I may yet be a cave-dweller.
Perhaps because I was finally ready in my mid-thirties to begin the work of unravelling the ball of yarn within me… or perhaps because she is a mini-me and so easy for me to relate to… or perhaps her tender manner created safe space for me to explore my yet unchartered territories… but surely because of Grace… I took that first step on the journey of a thousand miles. I began to become aware… and truly this was a slow wake-up… that there was a little girl within me who was starving. Starving for attention, love, consideration, audience, healing.
As I was absolutely tender with my daughter, it became apparent to me the necessity for me to be tender with myself as well. In some ways, I feel like I learned how to mother myself modeled after successfully nurturing Alisia. I saw how she thrived within the safe space of encouragement and laughter. Thus began my trek to the mouth of the cave where, like Jesus calling Lazarus out, I wooed my long-buried self to come on out and play.
I’m really trying hard not to tangent here… but Alisia’s coming into my life has been parallel to ME coming back into my life. Thank you for indulging me. Again, melodramatic? – But I swear her soul manifested to remind me of my own holiness. For as I gazed upon her as a baby, a toddler, a tween, an adolescent, and continue to marvel at her very breath as she enters her twenties, she reflects this reverence to me — it’s like I’m seeing in a mirror — and I’m waking up to remembering that I should be loving me too.
“I can’t not love you.”
Yup. Amazing. Grace.
I believe this next generation is holding a vibration of Love that is so different, so wonderful, so goddamn healing for all of us, the world. And my baby girl is a Pioneer among the pioneers of this new wave. Such fresh perspective! Such Truth in manifest form! Eyes to see beyond what’s visible to underneath the mask, into the heart of the matter. And a heart to beat in time with that which truly matters.
I have no doubts that she will use her artistic gifts to create a world where Love One Another comes into reality. Her murals and street art graffiti will hold a vibration that will bring safe space for all of us to awaken, heal, embrace one another. She worries about what she will do when she graduates in two years, but I think that The Power That’s Working Out This Whole Damn Shindig has plans galooooooore for her. My daughter is going to light up this town, and this entire world.
She’s been Light for me, Life to me.
“I can’t not love you, Mommy.”
I’m not there yet, but someday I believe I will be able to hold tenderly that little girl within me and whisper, “I can’t not love you.” In the meantime, my gratitude beyond any words I could breathe into this blog goes to Alisia. She is my daughter, my best friend, my confidante, my example, my reminder that Life is working itself out in its perfect time.
Okay… some of my faves about this kid:
She was required to wear dresses to primary school (dress code.) Down the stairs she’d appear, in a dress… with a pair of pants underneath. And a skirt too. She’d put the whole damn closet on! Oh, her sense of style – but more, her sense of “what the fuck does it matter what I’m wearing, for the love of Love” was already niggled in deep at that young age. I loved it and fanned the flame of that ember fo sho.
She is a Divine Listener. I believe there is something Other-Worldly about one who truly listens, doesn’t listen to respond, but listens to hold space for the other to unpack. It’s like she listens to each word as it makes its entry into manifest form, holds it quietly and let’s it tell its story. She does not run ahead, analyzing and formulating solution or rebuttal. It’s a gift to the World. There are VERY few true-blue Listeners in existence today.
Her dimples. Big. One on either side of her perfect smile. ‘Nuff said. She takes my breath away with every grin. Every. Single. One.
Her hugs. Borne of Love, a holiness that is healing, just her touch is enough to ease another’s ailing. I’ve been on the receiving end… Some. Kind. Of. Wonderful.
Thank you, Grace.
“I can’t not love you.”
Her song, Wonder. Oh God, THIS.
Alisia, beyond Beyond, I love you.
You. Complete. Me.
Much love & hope,