The Future’s So Bright…

I gotta wear shades.

I’ve been looking for just the right topic to write about recently for the blog.  It’s gotten tough for me to think about anything other than the kids’ school and sports activities, Devon’s incessant calendaring, Hamlet lesson planning for the at-risk high schoolers that I teach, and getting up at 4:30 a.m. to get ready for my long days.  I am so thankful for this busy life that I have, especially in light of the fact that last year at this time I was laying around on my futon in the living room, attempting to recover from my latest chemo treatment and feeling sorry for myself.  I couldn’t even get out of bed to see my kids or poop properly on the loo.

And then I read the latest feature article in our local Reno News and Review this evening.  I was totally wowed.

Here’s the article link by Brad Bynum.  Don’t forget to come back and read what I have to say.  You will get sucked in, so be warned.

http://www.newsreview.com/reno/life-in-transition/content?oid=7870290

I’m so glad you’re back.  Let me preface this little novella by stating that I am in favor of people being who they are meant to be at their core, not who others say they should be based on religion, tradition or norms, just so that we can feel comfortable.  I am writing from a place of bias and I don’t care if people agree with me or not.  I didn’t used to think this “liberal” way, and so I totally understand the other side of things.

But that other side is simply wrong.  I won’t even argue about it.

Devon always knew he was gay, but he wasn’t willing to admit it or be at peace about it.  I will not speak for him, however.  It is his story and I played a small part in it, ultimately.  Thank the Maker that I did.  Otherwise I wouldn’t be who I am today.

Kris stated it eloquently:  “But I will say that, as a person, I’d say that we’re all always growing, always becoming more of who we are. In that sense, I think that everyone is in transition.”

Transitioning

Devon did this.  He transitioned.  Not anatomically, because that’s not his beef and most people would never think he was a gay man if they met him for the first time.  I definitely didn’t accept that he is gay at first and it took me nearly a year and a half to get there.  Just like Kris’ parents, I felt that there must be some explanation—some way to fix things.  I tried everything I could.  I quoted scripture.  I got others involved who I thought could help change our situation.  I used the kids against Devon.  I tried to love him so much that he wouldn’t have any other choice but to desire to be with me in spite of his true core.

Essentially, I was in denial.

The day I accepted him and the inevitable death of our marriage and subsequent divorce, was the day that I accepted his “You’re the only woman I’ve ever truly loved” as a compliment.  He used to say this phrase after his Big Reveal to me.  I would get all butt hurt and take it as a slap in the face.  The day I accepted this as truth was the very day that I decided that it was okay to let go.  It just clicked and no amount of scriptural prodding or Christian guilt trip could deter me from my place of peace.

So, what is your hang-up?  Did your spouse cheat on you or lie to you in some major way?  Yeah.  That friggin’ sucks.  It may be the most painful type of betrayal one can go through.  But does denying your situation by being bitter, angry and spiteful help you transition into happiness and fulfillment in life?  Nope.  Not a chance.  It will only make you a bitter, angry and spiteful person in the future about almost anything.

I was going down that road.  I can relate.

Accepting what is and accepting what was… as real and true… is the only positive thing you can do for yourself.  I don’t know how to tell you to accomplish this seemly insurmountable task, but you’ll know it when it happens.  The only baby step you can take in getting to that place is expecting that it will one day happen.  You may have more crap to feel, more words to say, more counseling needed, but if you expect that you will come out on the other side a better and happier person, you will.  I guarantee it.

‘Cuz if you’re looking for the positive stuff to show up despite your circumstances, you’ll eventually see it, and it will be glorious.  Then you’ll know that you’re transitioning into the person you are meant to be at your core.

Just like Kris.  Just like Devon.  Just like me.  Just like we hope our children will eventually become.

Blessings to you, Kris, and to anyone who finds yourself having to face the toughest thing you’ve ever dealt with in this short life.  I am proud of you, Devon, for coming out to me, even if it was forced upon you in some way due to your choices and me trying to change you.

I wouldn’t be who I am today at my core without my past.

My future looks bright.  So does yours, even if you can’t see it yet.

Blessings for your Future,

Emily Reese

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Wrapped Around His Finger

While I love my girls deeply and would kill any little chipmunk that threatens their livelihood, having a boy is quite a treasure.  When Thomas was a baby, we had two little toddlers, one of which was still in diapers, so I carried that string bean kid in a front carrier for the first two years of his life.  Thomas was nearly 9 pounds when he was born, but was as tall and lanky as an awkward 16-year-old center on the basketball team.  When he started to become mobile, my friends would gasp in horror when I called him “Gollum.”  He never really crawled, and with those long skinny legs of his he ran through the house on all fours faster than a waterbug.  So I graciously corrected myself to my prudish friends and called him “Smeagol.”

He’s so tough. We did a road trip this summer together and had a blast!

Thomas is awesome.  He’s a peacemaker and a leader, and while I would NEVER call him a mama’s boy, that quick cute athlete has me wrapped around his little finger.  Don’t let him fool you, though.  I know he stirs up trouble for his sisters.  It’s those dang puppy dog eyes that get me every time, even though he’s almost 10.

1.  What kinds of things do you like to collect?  I’m thinking about your meticulously arranged bookshelf in your room at my house.

I like to collect snow globes, cool rocks and books.  Some of the rocks came from Iowa (like the geodes I collected with Uncle Troy and Cousin Isaac) and from the back yard at our old house.  My favorite book is Harry Potter and I like to look at the Guinness Book of World Records.

Thomas and Cousin Isaac from Iowa. We love the ice cream at Isaac’s Creamery in North Liberty!

2.  You have told me before that you don’t like to have sleepovers with your friends when there is more than one friend over.  Why?

I don’t like to have sleepovers with more then one person because everyone wants to do something different and no one can agree on what to do.  It’s easier to take turns between just two people. There is too much fighting when there is more than one person.

Thomas has lots of friends, many of whom are part of his sports teams. The families we’ve met through him are awesome!

3.  Describe to me five things that you consider polite behavior when speaking or meeting other people, especially adults.

One thing is shaking someone’s hand and introducing myself.   Making eye contact is important also and you should always say please and thank you.  Using Sir, Ma’am, Mr. or Ms. shows respect.  Interrupting conversations is rude.  You and Dad always taught us to lay a hand on your shoulder and wait patiently until we could interrupt.

Thomas is a great athlete, obviously, and the coaches that he’s had have really been a great influence on him.

4.  What book are you currently reading, what part are you reading in that book and what has been your favorite part of that book so far?

I’m reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.  I’m on chapter 23, the one where Harry sticks his head in the magical water and sees a vision.  My favorite part is when Harry beats the first task and gets the Golden Egg.

Devon has been an awesome influence for him in so many ways and one of them has been his intelligence and love for reading.

5.  Name two athletes, two from basketball and two from football, that you admire the most.  What is it that you like about them?

Basketball:

Kobe Bryant.

            I like him because he works so hard.

Michael Jordan

            I like him because he played even when he was sick.

Football:

Andrew Luck

            I like him because he’s super smart AND athletic.

Robert Griffin III

            I just love watching him play.

6.  What are two of your favorite things about your dad?  Felipe?  Me?  YOUR SISTERS?

Dad:  He’s a clean freak and we don’t have to clean as much at his house as we do at yours.  He’s not afraid to laugh about himself.

Felipe:  He’s always there for me.  He’s not always thinking just of himself.

Sisters:  Awww.  Do I have to?  They talk too much… I really love that [he said sarcastically].  Kate likes to play with me.  Maddie helps me out on my schoolwork.

Mommy:  I like how you like to take my side about things.  You always listen to me, too. [Who, me?  I would never just take YOUR side, Thomas.]

See? Your sisters aren’t so bad.

7.  What is the best thing about having two homes to live in?

That I get two Christmases!  Also, I like having an old house like yours and a newer house like Daddy’s.  It adds variety to things.

Is it obvious that I’m biased?  I love this boy and it’s awesome being his mom.  Devon and Felipe love being the guys in his life.  Per my usual request, won’t you shoot him a comment?  He’ll love it!

Blessings and Little Boys,

Emily and Devon