(I have had this in draft form since I first began this blog, but now seems like the perfect time to use it.)
I must confess that I used to have misconceptions about what my life would be like as an adult. I envisioned many different versions, one where I roamed the countryside on a motorcycle like an Urban Gypsy, never staying longer than a season in any one place.
In another I lived in a small apartment in a big city, writing my way to millions and world-wide fame. My greatest dreams were to merely stroll where life took me and see what the world had to offer. To have no attachments to anything or anyone, keeping everyone at an arms distance, only living for each moment as it happened.
*cues trumpets and epic soundtrack*
But the Gods had other plans for me, and life led me into motherhood with as little mystique and illusions left intact as possible. I had my first daughter at the ripe old age of 18, two weeks before my 19th birthday, and was tossed headlong into caring for her. The very idea that I was in charge of this tiny person, who needed me for every single thing from eating, to pooping, to staying alive…
It was terrifying, and exhilarating all rolled into one blurred period of time marked by sleepless nights, diaper changes, toys, and endless singing her to sleep. From the first moment I held her I knew my life could never be what I envisioned, I couldn’t comprehend wandering through life after looking into her eyes.
But the flying high feeling I had at first was short-lived, and the chaotic reality of being a mom pulled on every nerve, bending and shaping me into someone who could roll out of bed on no sleep and play tea party. Stay up all night with a feverish toddler who can only sleep if I hold her and sing, or to hook up a rope to a riding toy and walk laps as she shouts “more” in delighted giggles. She taught me how to be silly, to laugh at myself, to not care if I hadn’t worn makeup in ages and wasn’t a size O anymore.
The challenges of raising her grew as time went on, but my bond with her never wavered, even in the face of an abusive marriage. The night I left, I begged the moon hanging in the night sky and any Gods Who might be listening to watch over her. I never felt as tortured mentally and emotionally as I did leaving my child behind that night.
Legally (by state police), I was told I didn’t have a leg to stand on, and was forced to leave her as her screams calling me back echoed in my ears. I left on a Friday night, and had to wait until Monday night to get her back, after court papers were filed and my parents rode with other state police officers, with the court order to retrieve her.
The entire weekend was spent weeping, screaming, pleading, and begging for my child back. I lay on the bathroom floor grieving as my family looked on helplessly. I prayed and screamed over and over that she would be safe, and that they wouldn’t hurt her, or run off into the night to keep her from me.
The depth of my love for her had been largely untested until that point (at least to this degree), and the strength of it bolstered me during drawn out court meetings, endless paperwork, and mental exhaustion. During all of this the names of my Gods was unknown to me, but not Their touch soothing my heart, Their arms enfolding me as I screamed and pled for my child to be returned to my grasp, and His love teaching me how to be a good mother.
I look back on this and know that without His help, these would have shattered me beyond recovery. Instead I view each moment of pain or struggle as being placed into a forge, refined, beaten, burned, purified and stretched into who I am supposed to be. Loki being a deity of change, chaos, destroying old or outdated parts and forcing new growth meant He was and is the perfect one for the job. I might have railed and complained about the difficulty I encountered, but in the end I trudged on, unwilling to admit defeat.
Looking into the eyes of my daughter now I feel proud and happy that we have overcome so much.
Hail Loki, for returning my child to my arms, and for helping shape me into a better parent.