There’s something to be said for the Aloha Spirit and Hawaiian blessings which encourage a sense of peace across all existences, with nature and human relationships too . . .

We attended our sweet dumpling of a nephew, S.'s, 1st birthday celebration this past weekend.  Large family gatherings always produce some anxiety for me. Don’t misunderstand, I enjoy reconnecting with folks, especially the opportunity to chat with the toddlers and snuggle with the newest babies in the family. But then there are those poignant one or two moments that sometimes create raging and resonating instances within me, forcing me to call into practice my Hawaiian go-to -- “bless and release.”

Like when an extended family member proudly holding his newborn son tightly swaddled like a gloworm in his arms and unaware that we just encountered a somewhat major delay in our adoption process, casually nosies, “When are you & A. planning to expand your family?” Frozen for a half second, I shout in my head, Golly, um, none of your business?! As I (much too) openly share our adoption journey with him and how we've actually been in the process for a year, he (too) openly imparts his thoughts on how not adopting a baby won't give us enough cuddling time and how we will not be able to give our future child a name because s/he will be too old for us to do so.  Feeling a bit defensive (self aware,I know it's my stuff), I end with a strong, All kids need homes

Thank you . . . because you're the adoption expert?  Whatever happened to, if you have nothing great to say, don’t bother saying anything at all?

I tried to recover by politely walking away at the nearest apt second to the medieval stone wall. I thought I might throw myself over it and roll down the cliff onto the West Side highway and eventually into the river. Not really . . . maybe for a milli-second. Instead, I opted to take one, then two deep breaths as I inhaled the vast Hudson River-Palisades landscape, blessed his ignorant soul, and released the negative energy I’d just encountered. I’m getting some significant practice in . . . bless and release . . . bless and release . . .