About Me

I am a Mom. I’m Mama to the most adorable, articulate, sensitive and wonderfully frustrating child I’ve ever known. I love my son more than anyone or anything in a way I never knew was even remotely possible. I had a strong indication that I was more than capable of experiencing such love and joy upon the birth of my little sister, who is 35 years my junior, and born just a little over a year before my son. In fact, I’d go as far as saying that my son’s conception, at least figuratively, was a direct result of my Dad’s and non-Mom’s (no steps or halfs in our family) decision to have a child. In a mind-blowing, clarifying instant I knew that if I could love my sister this much before she was even born, then I was more than capable of loving my own child at least this much. It may sound bizarre but it’s true. There are lots of funny (as in odd and funny) things like this in what I lovingly call my funny little dysfunctional family. In summary, I love my sister and I love my son with all my heart.

I am the the wife of the most amazing man for almost 12 years. My husband is my best friend, confidante, and all around “go to” guy. He is the milk to my Oreo cookie, the peanut butter to my jelly, the chocolate cake to my Coca-Cola (inside family joke), the yin to my yang. You get the idea as I totally rip off or at the very least borrow the essence of lines from the darling film Juno (a must-see by the way). Anyway, I love my husband. I love him, I love him.

I am the only child of divorced parents who are about as different as two people can be. In addition to unwittingly providing the jumping off point for my aforementioned funny little dysfunctional family, their premarital union and subsequent marriage resulted in a funny little dysfunctional daughter – me of course. I am Daddy’s girl. I suppose the more “politically correct” way to say that now that I’m a 40-year-old woman is that I am my father’s daughter. The sun rose and set by the gravitational pull of my Dad, as did I for just about the last 30 years or so. And no, I’m not kidding. I love my Dad. My relationship with my beautiful mother is far more complex, as are most female unions, but particularly the mother/daughter ones. My mother has made my heart sing, my blood boil, and ultimately, in her own way, been my steadfast cheerleader all along (even when she didn’t like me very much and vice versa). Upon becoming a mother myself, I was faced with the daunting task of healing and re-healing, visiting and revisiting my relationship with her as I have, and will continue to do, for the rest of my life. It is a never-ending dance between my mother (who incidentally is a former amateur ballerina) and me. I love my Mom. My parents and I weathered the divorce, all bruised and battered, each of us nearly broken in our own unique way. But we survived, and like an injured plant, knitted, self-repaired, and continuing to grow, we are stronger individually, and as a whole, at those very same broken points. I love my parents.

I am an intensely personal and private person. Even most, perhaps all, of my friends (the closest ones I mean) don’t know of the extent of my postpartum… let’s call them issues…for now. The fact that I’m sharing even some of the most mundane details of my life in a blog, let alone the most intensely joyful as well as excrutiatingly personal and painful ones, is either a miracle or pure hubris. I like to think of it as a leap of faith or perhaps as “walking in my faith” (thank you to my son’s preschool Sunday school teacher for inadvertently providing me with that line a couple Sundays ago). It’s also worth mentioning as a sidebar that, despite talk of church and references to God throughout my blog, I am not by any account a religious woman. I once introduced myself in a prospective member’s pastor’s class as “an on again, off again, Lutheran.” In saying that I realized that I’m actually more of an on again, off again Christian. I do believe in God and have been struggling with Jesus and whether or not I’m a true Christian (whatever that is) since I was a teenager. I do know this without a doubt, I love my friends.

Every writer, indeed every person, has a story. The question is: Is that story compelling enough to make a good read? Up until now I thought that I didn’t have a story, at least not a compelling one, and I fancied myself a writer without a story. Which essentially meant, for all intents and purposes, I’m not a writer. For some this may have been a fact that proclaimed itself in a way like, “I don’t like coffee.” or “I’m not a biomedical engineer.” For me it was a sad truth because ever since I can remember (and people started making predictions about my writing and ultimately about the course of my life, as people will do), I fancied myself a writer – period. What follows is my story in my own words. I am a writer.

12 Responses to About Me

  1. Avril says:

    C’est Magnifique! I can’t wait to read more!

  2. Dawn says:

    Merci, mon amie. I can’t wait to write more!

  3. xiaohong says:

    I believe that it’s the writer that makes the story, not the other way around. Now after read your first blog, I only believe it more. What I love most of your writing is how genuine and true it is. Surely every sentence is well prosed, but you are not doing so to impress, you pick the most eloquent words to say the most sensitive feelings, and with that you tap into the deepest emotion of your readers. I can’t wait to read more!

  4. Dawn says:

    Thank you, Xiaohong, for your observations and encouragement. How eloquently and beautifully stated. My heart is singing! It seems to me that you are not only a scientist by trade, but also a writer by heart.

  5. Proud to be Dawn's Favorite Aunt Janet says:

    Dawn,

    You captured me with “I am a Mom.” I look forward with anticipation to read further. You are an incredible writer! Probably, because I’m just this way, I’ll remark often. Hope you don’t mind that.

    I know what you mean about not being religious and not really understanding the whole Jesus thing. In had a really hard time understanding that for a long time. It wasn’t until I realized what “It is finished” really meant that I started to grasp the purpose of Jesus.

    All our lives we are told we have to be “good”. We have to learn how to “behave” and “do the right thing”. But somewhere along the “right” thing gets mixed up with our past and our “wrong” or uneducated beliefs. So we start seeing people who we believe are “Christians” but who teach hate, bigittory and intolerance. We even start seeing those things in our selves manifested in different ways. We can’t stand being around people like that yet we want mercy and grace when we are that way. This confusion only leads us further and further down this path of confusion. We start saying that this “Christian” stuff can’t be true. And we start believing that. The TRUTH is that if we “believe” that Christianity is all about being good then we are RIGHT to not believe that.

    I’m going to have to stop soon only because I’m waiting for the doctor to come in and talk to me about Chuck. If I post I will come back to finish my thoughts.

    So, now we are in a delimma because everything we were taught to believe is now wrong and so where does that leave us? Really LOST! And that’s when God reaches down and grabs us and says, “it’s not about you, it’s about me. All that is needed has been done. I did it. I have accomplished what you can’t. It is finished! ” More to come…..

  6. Dawn says:

    Aunt Janet,
    Keep writing! It’s so good to hear from you. You’ve given me much to ponder as we begin this Holy Week that is Easter. I have much to say about the whole “being good” and learning how to “behave” topic but must close for now as my little guy and our trip to the airport to pick up Grandma and Grandpa beckon.
    Can’t wait to see you and your family this summer!
    More later…

  7. Proud to be Dawn's Favorite Aunt Janet says:

    D,

    Thank you for your sweet words of encouragement. We all need them, yes?! I’m so glad you didn’t wait until you were my age to share your story. It is my goal to track with you as you continue to write. When I wrote my story, it was others responses that helped me make it through. Sometimes they were not positive. But those pissed me off so much that it gave me more reason to continue. Every night I waited with anticipation to see if someone would comment. That is what helped me get through it.

    Okay so back to my earlier comments.

    “It is finished!” What is finished? When Jesus hung nailed to the cross and said, “It is finished,” and then died, he took upon himself all our stuff, our efforts, our judgement, our purpose, our causes, our sin and said, “I have accomplished what “man” cannot do. Nothing more is required. It is finished,”

    So, now it’s not about our goodness, kindness, faithfullness etc but about God’s goodness kindness and faithfulness to us. You see we can never be perfect because to be so would be to be God. We are not God, but God give us the provision thru Christ to be complete. Not on our own but through him. As a result we are able to call him ” Abba ~ Father or rather ~Daddy.”

    This is something I struggle with daily. I want to be good. But I know that I’m not. I have many issues I struggle with but don’t want to admit them to others. The only place I find comfort is in the knowledge that I don’t have to. Christ did it all. It is finished.

  8. Mary Rinaldi says:

    …..and love is the greatest of these. I see Dawn on the best seller list in the future. Oh, tell Janet I thought I was your favorite Aunt! (kidding) I love you so much and I can’t wait to read more. Aunt Mary

  9. Dawn says:

    Aunt Mary, I was wondering who would be the first of the Aunts to make note of Janet’s Favorite Aunt title. I totally expected it to be one of my paternal Aunts as one of the three are always declaring themselves THE FAVORITE. I love it that it’s you, one of my three favorite maternal aunts, who was the first to weigh in. Needless to say, I am truly blessed on both sides of the family with beautiful, amazing, strong, brave, and accomplished aunts. I never thought of it this way until now – I have an Aunt Trinity on both sides of my family tree. How powerful and uplifting is that?! I am doubly triply blessed. And love is the greatest of these…Thanks be to God!

  10. This blog could use a little testosterone.

    Hi sweetie, it’s me. Somehow Easter has come and gone and I barely got to spend five minutes with you, as often happens with these family gathering type of holidays. Now you’re downstairs, with our sleeping son defending him from mummies and monsters and things that go bump in the night. You’re even a good mother in your sleep.

    Since I don’t want to wake the good mother, I thought I’d spend some time with you here on your blog. I’ve only read a little so far, but I’ve seen enough to know that you should be proud of your blog, and not just because you’ve said nice things about me!

    I love you very much & I know you’ll be reading this soon. Now turn off this darn computer!

  11. Dawn says:

    Before I ‘turn off this darn computer’ just one more thing. I am the luckiest “girl” in the world to have you as my husband and our son has the best “Dot-Dot” ever. Sweet dreams…and very glad to have a little testosterone on my blog.

  12. You ARE a writer! I can’t wait to read more of your stories. This is such a fun way to keep in touch with people. I showed Tom your comment on my blog and he was so excited when he realized one of his cousins was keeping in touch!

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