Poet Commentaries

Adopting Forgiveness 2

Previous Blog: Adopting Forgiveness


Sooner or later it will dawn on my readers that I have absolutely no plan.  I think that is why I wrote first about forgiveness.  

Why do I need to understand forgiveness because of something as lame as that? Well, readers need to have a plan with proper sentences, paragraphs and well a thought out plot.  Kids need this too.  People need hope defined, they need to understand grace and how it works and peace and how that feels.

Whenever these are not perfectly put together it only makes sense that you are asking children to be patient.  You are taking their time as you work it out and frankly experimenting with them. There is a certain amount of arrogance required to be that person who knows or who declares that they are on the cusp of finding out.  You are demanding empathy and, if you once did it wrong and are correcting for mistakes, you are demanding forgiveness.

The most important teaching moments with kids is not the sciences or arts.  It is empathy.  To the over sensitive ones you are teaching them it is OK to bruise the blades of grass as they walk or that it is OK to be the one that got the ball and that that tussle with another to get it was correct.  To the less sensitive you are trying to get them to play fair and not hack a wider path than they need with a machete.  

You are teaching them what they once were and pointing them towards what they could be.  Perhaps it is a leap to say forgiveness is needed for the diaper era or the smashed coffee table when they took their first step but this is only because you assume the reaction.  You do forgive but you do not call it forgiveness because the reaction is automatic just like breathing.  You intrinsically know it is a process.

Then they get older.  There is potty training.  The era of “good girl” and “bad girl” is entered into.  Remotes are tossed aside that spill the coffee.  You begin to enter the time where that breath you took for granted has to be exercised.  No! don’t hold your breath or hyperventilate….

If you have ever had any breath training you will know there is a lot to it   It takes time, it takes noticing how you breath.  To stop being a mouth breather there is the homework of nose breathing.  There are the times years later when under stress where you will catch yourself lapsing.  

My point is critical.  In the world today the word forgive is jockeyed around like it is a decision that it is easy.  It is not.  In fact very few people understand it properly.  We are malnourished and poorly trained in this science. To make our children healthy, to get them to eat broccoli, sit down as a family and take reasonable bites that are chewed properly is difficult.  One would never say “well eat properly” like we would say “just forgive”.  We know it takes patient lessons of how to hold a knife and how to use a fork.  

Children are born with empathy and there is no way this can be properly trained without forgiveness.  In family this is hard enough and I will likely write about this next.  In adoption there is no way you can help unless you and your spouse have a clear definition of what forgiveness is.  

Like I said in my previous blog, you have a great measure of empathy in you which is evident by the simple fact you adopted but….it is highly unlikely that you know exactly how you ended up with this healthy state.  What muscles and resolve does the athlete use to achieve the feats he/she achieves?  What muscles are you using to be so successful?  Every parent needs to do this review but there is a warning….

Though there is a very important spiritual aspect to the term forgiveness the review you undertake should be scientific.  It should be at the basest human level.  It should be done like an athlete or a nutritionist.  It should be a list of what is, not what you wish it were.  It will include the negative, everybody’s does, but if you have adopted or are parenting it damn well should be filled with eye opening positive too.

The poems today touch on the curriculum needed, a curriculum you have to make.  


Severed Arteries

A severed main artery,
life blood gushes everywhere
the elastic snap of latex
I reach down to the point
and apply pressure just so. 

They have left me.
Rattling gurneys,
the squeak of nurses shoes
and hypnotic alarms
send them down a hall
to blah blah blah.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome:

Parents need emphatical degrees
to know the language
of tics and winces
and to chart the motorways
of wisdom.
How to prick plegia zones
just so
to see how legs move
and patients giggle.

The manual by Miss Manners
of little worth.
The pricks
of Ions, Iams and Isees
sometimes done too hard.

A rush of cool
as gloves are removed
and final dressing tended.
Hand holding and hugs
in recovery.

The therapy regimen.
Parallel bars,
and balance balls;
metaphors and euphemisms.
Defining cliches
and personal space.


Defining Matter

The yarn threaded
text book perfect.
The child held down
while attachments needled in. 

Real mentors needed.
Grey beard grandpas
past chasing tail
and grandmas’
who know how
to spin it just so.

At 33 feet per second
not even physicists
think of physics.
That set of flashcards
no one can predict.
Harder yet is
electrons through atoms,
baby’s shot from wombs.
More complex laws apply.

Weaned and spoonfed 101,
sleepless nights, restless days,
terrible too the potty and lou.

The curriculum grows.
“How to Smith baby’s”
“Between a rock and neighbour’s kid”
“Accident claims form”
“Washing hands”
“Silent Night worries”

There is no course
for crawling inside an Adam.
The constant thumping
on walls and floors
the fusion of eyelids…
you ordered chaos?

It takes a grey nucleus
who has learned to laugh
at escaping “know it alls”;
who can smile at gooey “seen it alls”

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