from email.

I wrote an email to a friend today, some of what I wrote I wanted to share:

 Today I took Kale to his one month check up. It’s hard to believe that he is already a month old, it seems like only yesterday I was pregnant and complaining about my feet being swollen and now-I have a son. We’re switching formulas again-we’re now trying the one for allergies and colic (we were on soy). He’s been constipated, gassy and very fussy recently; when we switched last time things seemed to get better, but we’re back at square one again. He’s been upset most of the day. It’s hard to watch him suffer and not want to try everything to make him feel better.

We tried the gas drops and gripe water, but from what I’ve read over the long term, they’re not helpful & well, they don’t seem to be doing anything for him, so we’re stopping them. His doctor today basically said either he is having trouble digesting, or it’s a personality/preference thing & he’ll eventually acclimate to the formula/gas, etc.

So, we’re to feed him the two tubs of this new formula and see if it helps, if not, we go back to soy and just hope this phase passes quickly. The hardest part for me is the crying, the sad incessant crying.  Normally Kale is such a calm happy baby, so I’m hoping this new formula works out so I get my happy kid back. It also doesn’t help that I have surgery in two days and was hoping his formula issues would be sorted out before I had to check myself in. But, I think this is the nature of life and parenthood-unpredictably-yet life goes on and somehow we make it through-right?

True, most people don’t talk about what really happens when you become a parent. I think people are afraid to tell the whole truth, and the people who do talk about it tend to be the complainers, so I never took them seriously.

Yes, Kale has blue/grey eyes. It’s been a topic of discussion in our house because when my narcissistic mother was here she only mentioned his features and his “whiteness” about 13 times.  It struck me as odd that that was the thing she focused on the most-not that he was born early or that I was sick, but that I have a white kid. So now I joke with Michael and will tease him about how he didn’t tell me he was white before I got pregnant (“you’re White?!”) and I joke that I live with two white guys.

We’re betting that his eyes are going to turn light brown sometime in the future. We’d love it if they were green or they stayed blue to poke my insensitive family. Having Kale has defined a lot of things for me, things that before seemed perfectly ok in the past are now very unacceptable. For example, before I was worried about him not being raised on the reservation and missing out on certain things, now that I see how insensitive my family is about him and they don’t even know him, I feel less inclined to worry and feel more protective and proud that I got away from all the drama and the chaos there. I hope to teach him some of the values and surprisingly don’t want him exposed to my family very often. They’ve already driven me to the point of wanting to never see them again. Right away, my mother insisted that Kale be given an Indian name-she kept calling him Kyle even after I spelled his name for her multiple times. (This coming from the woman who has another grandson named LaVaugh.)

She poorly tried to pass the renaming off as some way to include him; but when I look beyond the surface of it-I see it for what it really is-control and rejection. Thinking about it now makes me angry; if she hadn’t pushed it on us, I might have been more open to it.  I might have wanted him to have an Indian name to fall back on if he wanted to.  However, she went around us and has already consulted someone (my brother’s mother-in-law) and they, “named” him. I don’t even know what the name is, when she said it, I blocked it out and was annoyed that they took it upon themselves to “cleanse” my child.

Now that it’s been a few weeks since it happened, I’m realizing it’s rejection all over again. Oddly, getting pregnant was the only thing that I ever felt I did “right” in my family’s eyes. Everything else they labeled as selfish or rebellious. (Like running away to go to college.)

Anyhow, it feels good to write this out. I haven’t had much of a chance to process it. I’ve been just coping day to day, focusing on appreciating each day/moment with my son and acclimating to this new role. It’s both the hardest and most fulfilling piece of my life so far. Kale’s dad said the other day that raising a child was easy, I don’t really agree. It’s not easy for me. It feels right, but it’s not easy. It’s complicated. Maybe it’s that every thing has changed for me, not just physically and emotionally, but also culturally and spiritually. Some things fit better and other things have to be shed to accommodate him.

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