Tag : children
Tag : children
There are very few things that would compel me to wake up on a Saturday morning in time to be any place by 9 a.m. However, The Kid is one of those things. He celebrated a birthday this week and his parents are taking him to his very first in-theatre movie. There’s no way in hell I’m going to miss that!
Side Note: Have you checked out Homemade Polaroid on Tumblr? If not, don’t even read the last sentence of this post – GO!
I guess this all means I’ll have to refrain from my latest midnight addiction – Instagram.
Le Grande Sigh…
My brain is a sieve. I have trouble remembering names, faces, birthday, events… you name it. If it’s happened, I’ve most likely forgotten it. Unless it is a perceived trauma. I have an uncanny ability to recall, in detail, all slights, injuries, embarrassments, losses, etc. I am exaggerating ONLY SLIGHTLY.
So, when I saw today’s #reverb10 prompt, I was in a quandary.
Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail. (via @aliedwards)
Do I remember ANY MOMENTS from this past year, much less those during which I felt most alive?
“…Tonight while we played tag for five minutes in the yard
Just for a moment, I caught you off guard…”
– Harry Chapin, “Tangled Up Puppet”
My dad used to sit on the edge of my bed at night and sing songs to me when I was a child – well, really, I insisted he do it until I graduated from high school and moved away from home. We were big on ritual in my house. Harry Chapin’s “Tangled Up Puppet” was always one of my favorites. And this past weekend, I recalled the above lyric as I found myself drenched in a moment during which I felt joyously and sublimely alive…
It was 4 o’clock on a Sunday. The air was cold and sharp, solely responsible for reminding me that it is winter even in Los Angeles. And I was visiting family in their new home.
They aren’t blood relatives – this woman, her husband and their 3-year-old son. They are family by choice. My love for them, and theirs for me, has been earned and nurtured without the weight of obligation or ancestral baggage threatening to rend the connections. The Kid has stolen my heart.
I was wearing sweatpants and a hoodie, an outfit that used to be my mainstay but has now become a sweet weekend treat – a byproduct of office-based employment. My wardrobe choice for the day was convenient since I found myself rolling around in the grass of my friends’ new front yard, growling and wrestling and laughing with the Kid.
I don’t know the mechanics behind how having a three-year-old stand on one’s stomach and collapse into one’s embrace while battling a fit of giggles in order to emit a high-pitched roar in one’s face makes life crystallize in heightened relief.
I don’t care.
All I know is, those five minutes in the yard were my moment.
What was your moment?
And words? Oh HELL YES they can hurt me. Particularly when they come from the mouth of an angelic 3-year-old. Especially when the chosen words are…
“I DON’T LIKE YOU.”
Seriously. It’s a near-fatal knife blow to the back, through the heart, down and back up the spine, dinging every rib to finally make mince meat of the brain.
I know I have 38 years on a three-year-old. I know I’m supposed to be a rational human being, one who has worked through all my childhood issues, one who is loving and empathetic and above petty tantrums, one who knows that young children are simply testing boundaries and have yet to discover the use of their middle finger for anything but retrieving hardened snot from their noses. But…
I may never recover from the emotional devastation wrought by a well-timed, “I don’t like you.” It is far more effective than an adult, “FUCK OFF.” And there is no appropriate come-back.
I am (just) stable enough to refrain from a sharp, “Well, I don’t like you either, so there.” But I did think for a few minutes that it would take up permanent residence on the tip of my tongue.
I should be rewarded for my control. With chocolate. And maybe a stuffed animal.
Of course, the Kid got over the whole drama within five (or fifteen) minutes. I, on the other hand, may be truly traumatized by his tantrum.
Are we friends again? Are we? Are we?
Perhaps there is a man out there who will someday sweep me off my feet, or whose feet I will knock out from under him. Perhaps not. The likelihood that, if it happens, it will occur before my uterus retires for this lifetime is slim. I do not have the financial means nor heart’s desire to get pregnant on my own. Therefore, there is an extremely high probability that I will not have children of my own. It’s an incredibly uncomfortable reality to examine. I don’t want any more grief. I’m not sure what my feelings should be about it. I have NO CLUE what they actually are.
I’ve always been clear that I would never want to duplicate the same mistakes my parents made while raising me. There is much about family life, as I’ve perceived it, that isn’t worth repeating or perpetuating. I’m definitely not confident that I would be anything more than a complete, derelict, basket case of a mother. Note: That is not a reflection of my own mother, I swear.
On the other hand, I adore children and they tend to adore me. At least until they hit those terrible twos. Then, they become mean, vindictive little monsters and inflict mortal wounds upon my psyche with alarming accuracy and ease.
I’ve also always thought that the physical and emotional experience of pregnancy is such an integral part of being female that foregoing it makes me something less than a complete woman. I want to know what it feels like to create life. Without the extra hair growth, stretch marks, nausea, increased hormonal imbalance, and potential for torn bits, of course.
Most of my friends have at least one child. My sister-in-law is pregnant with her second. Being of a certain age and not having children makes me OTHER THAN. I’m excluded from the club. And yes, there is a club. Anyone who thinks otherwise is either still so young as to be annoyingly idealistic or so deeply entrenched in parentdom as to be oblivious to the prevalence of a specific social paradigm to which women are supposed to adhere.
I wouldn’t mind this if I overtly wished to make some contrarian statement with my childless or child-free state. I don’t. I tend to like a lot of the folks who are card-carrying members of the Parent Class. Yet somehow I’ve ended up on the wrong side of the tracks.
I know many women who have lost a child, whether by miscarriage or other tragic life events. I simply can’t comprehend such pain. I have absolutely no wish to know it. And how does it compare to that of knowing you’ll never have that which someone else had but then lost? I’m too chicken to want to find out.
If fact, any condition that involves FEELINGS tends to give me the heebie-jeebies. This is somewhat problematic since my emotions have always had more influence on my actions than my mind. In order to survive this conundrum, I dart about the edges of life, rarely engaging completely and shying away from anything or anyone that might potentially carry the scent of COMMITMENT, of any kind.
Parenting is the ultimate commitment.
By exhibiting what some might consider subconscious, passive-aggressive behavior, I’ve steered clear of it. Now I find myself on an entirely different road, with no visible exits. And I’m consumed with thoughts of what the view might be like in that other direction. I feel like someone else took over the controls of my life. I didn’t actively CHOOSE to be where I am.
Then, of course, there’s the little issue of my secret ponderings. I wonder if maybe it’s not too late. I consider the dangers of relinquishing this amorphous dream, which I’ve never fully embraced, of having a child by someone with whom I want to create and share the magic of life. If I accept it will never materialize, am I killing the possibility that it might?
This, too, is crazy-making.
The only solution I’ve discovered for quieting my brain about this issue while avoiding as many feelings as possible is to create other life questions over which I can go mad…
Why is my left boob sagging to a disproportionately greater degree than my right?
How will I pay my bills in ten years? Should I have walked away from that guy in 1992?
Am I the only person who is intimidated by the Foreman’s Grill?
Why are dust bunnies and mildew trying to take over my home?
Just think, I spend hours caught up with these questions. What if I had A KID in this condition? I just saw you shudder!
Yes, sarcasm and humor make relinquishing a dream slightly more palatable, but it still kinda blows chunks. One more think I don’t think I could handle? A puking kid. But then again, I do clean up after my cat.
So, at the moment, I exist in a bitter-sweet purgatory of inaction. The dream drifts away while I’m still trying to decipher it. Perhaps, I simply need to wake up and focus on the concrete moments of pleasure in my day rather the hanging out with the Oneiroi…
Have you ever relinquished a dream? Have you ever held on to one despite yourself? have you ever felt like an accidental rebel without a cause?