Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mowing the fields

I was all ready for something exciting to happen today.  Good exciting, of course.  There was some wind and the kids and I danced around the kitchen, and I thought about cutting my hair, but nothing came about to match my sensations.  So now that the day is done, I've got anticipation burning a hole in my sleep hygiene.

I've been thinking about the grass on the other side of the fence.  And how it always does appear so much greener than our own.  Except around here, of course.  There ain't no green grass, just taller and less tall. And all of it pokey.  The cows envy the stalks on the other side of my feeble fences, of course, until they get to them.  And they they realize it's all just crappy this time of year, no matter where you stand. And they think, "Perhaps South this time?  Let's go further and see where the green grass starts again."

I know I've got it good.  I've conferenced with others in my situation and we all know it's good.  And we all agree that even when it's good, this life is absurdly hard. 

You hear the envy of the "other"side all over the place.  Brain, Child, once my favorite mom magazine, pushed me over the edge with too many articles about poor poor moms of the disabled, the inter-racially adopted, etc.  These articles always involve some poor schmuck held up as an example of insensitivity.  And I'm sitting there thinking... so maybe the lady in the grocery store line was asking because she too adopted a child from China.  Or maybe this one is new to town and just clumsily trying to make friends on the play ground.  Or maybe... everyone's just human with their own little traumas and dramas going on and you can cut everyone some slack because we all suck; that's just part of the human experience!  When I complained, the editors told me that the articles were to expose us all to the vast variety of experiences within motherhood... which is the part I enjoy.  But the way the articles go about it leaves me with the impression that I should never ever try to befriend someone with a "different" child because it will likely just be taken as offense... anything I say will be clumsy and imperfect... and it's true.  I am clumsy and imperfect and now afraid to be friendly to anyone who might "subtext" whatever I say as an insult to their child who is "disabled" err... "differently abled".... um.... "brilliantly oddball"  or was it "meeting special challenges the rest of us could never even face, much less rise to"? 

And I hate this "subtext" bull crap.  What is that?  I ask how old your child is and you "subtext" me as saying "My GOD! What a scrawny little screwball?  Did you even notice when you gave birth, or did he just pop out like a tiny, inappropriate queef and someone said, 'Gosh, there's a peanut on the floor!  Is it yours?'"  No...actually, I'm just asking because that is a common form of this thing we moms do some times and it is called inane chit chat and it sort of, barely, passes the time as we push our kids in their swings.

But in my final Brain, Fart issue, there was one really good article where a mom realizes that although her own daughter has problems, everyone does.  And she lists a long line of seemingly perfect people who's tragedies and flaws were well hidden. It redeemed the other articles, but not enough for a renewal.

I've gotten a lot of envy from single moms.  They all love my husband.  Even married friends with crappy husbands think Huck's the bees knees.  But he's a person.  He doesn't come home, fix everything including the kids and dinner and the door knob and then just shut up about it all (although tonight he came pretty close to meeting this ideal!).  Not usually. He wants a say in money, vacations, parenting.  And he needs a break from his day about the same time I need one from mine: nice conversations, those one's are!  And he's not about to do anything just cuz I tell him too...which is what attracted me to him I think.  Doh! seems that everyone thinks everyone else is walking around perfect and whole. 

And here comes my daughter. Smart, beautiful, tanned and blond and hiding under a portable all recess.  Blue reminds me of myself in swimming lessons now.  Struggling to tread water.  Demoralized half way across the pool.  Weeping uncontrollably at the mention of the high dive (this from the girl who just gleefully rode the AFTERSHOCK at Silverwood!).

I worry over shades of myself in her that resonate back into a hum I can't easily ignore.  She hasn't found her nitch in life.  I like to think it's because for those of us whose only nitch will be navel gazing, she has yet to get to the developmental stage in life where her gifts will become manifest and worthwhile.  But, hell.  I have yet to get to that stage too.  And I'm afraid for her.  What if she's more like me than I want?  What if she too is a lost ghost haunting this earth with no apparent point at all.  No place.  No nitch.  A creature without a natural habitat.  And in a world that seems over-populated with people with a sense of purpose, conviction, surety, direction, and either a career and/or a stay-at-home-school mission.  What if pointlessness is an inheritable trait?  And what if Blue got it?  Might there some day be a genetic test for this?  Could I ever forgive myself for passing on such a fatal flaw?

Maybe I'm just imagining the world is populated by self-possessed and well-directed people.  Perhaps they're all just fronting.  Or I'm projecting my wildest fantasies onto the rest of the world.  And with all this moving, could I really expect to have a cozy little nitch all warm and ready for me to plop in to?  Perhaps nitches are made, not discovered.  And maybe all these seemingly "placed" people aren't all that happy with their places.  One professor friend confessed to me that he has recurring nightmares about being buried alive.  Sounds like he's found his place all right!  So... maybe I'm just like everyone else after all, envying the neighbors fields which may be just as sparse as mine, or maybe they are full and lush ...with problems I can't even imagine.

Since I don't really like this idea about "being like everyone else"  (no, I'm too American to like that idea!), instead of envying others, I'll have to be content with the fact that I have no idea why I'm here at all, and my children might also lack purpose as well. Yippee!  

Okay.  I think this little chat used up all my thrills and I'm ready to hit the hay.

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