Time Out

It has been nearly 3 weeks since my last confession – I mean post – and I think that is a significant amount of days for the “time out” my previous blog warranted.

a new day.

i have a therapist.
this is new for me.
even newer that i would say it so LOUDLY.

It is fascinating to me, this seeming indulgence, that for 50 minutes straight, one day a week, I would speak either entirely about myself or, if about others, how they occur for me. Not to me, but FOR me. me me me me me. Now, I am whole-heartedly and sincerly interested in other people – people move me – they make living worth all the little whiles that are burdensome. They are my light – even in their darkest hours. It just didn’t dawn on me, truly, that who I am and what I believe, feel, think, etc., might be of serious consideration to another. That sounds silly – almost ridiculous, i think, and I suppose this is some sort of pride in reverse. ( I am wholly aware of the inconsistency in capitalizing the “I”.
I also get that I am paying my therapist to listen, which adds an entirely other but noteable element to the equation…meaning maybe there is an agenda to the supposed interest – but putting that aside for a moment – fascinating nonetheless.

I used to be afraid (though it was masked in disdain) of becoming the stereotype of a middle aged mom. It was not so much the suburban living, the minivan (yes, I had one), the soccer mom label, or even the white picket fence and golden retriever (though this image did at once haunt me) but rather the tiny things that would seal the deal and bury any sense of true self I once harbored, forever.
1. Having plastic, matching labelled bins which housed various re-usable decorations for each holiday.
2. Being invited to tupperware parties. ( It is true that I called my mom once almost crying when I was invited to my first Tupperware party – I thought it meant my life was over. It is also true that 4 years later I was asked to host a scrap-booking event at my home for a friend selling Creative Memories crap and I immediately put my house up for sale. It was, for this bohemian, rebellious poet who suddenly awoke to herself driving a minivan and living in a subdivision where everyone drove a minivan and had a matching house, the vertiable straw that broke the camel’s back).
3. Not only buying every form of calendaring device and life-organizing tool to efficiently run a family, but actually using them with steadfast efficiency.
4. Having matching bed sets at all costs.
5. Pre-set, organized, planned out play dates.
6. The days running into each other like a series of Ground Hog days with no room or space or time left for the magic of spontaneity and passion and whim.
7. There are more.

The point, or maybe there isn’t a point after all – just a moving sphere or blob or spatula – is that I have become (sort of) a person who does this shit because (sadly, somehow) it works. Sure, my bins don’t match, and most of the crap inside them was given to me by people who felt my naked Christmas shrub/Hannukah bush was all together wanting. True too, that I make the calls or send the texts, albeit only moments before “pick-up”, proposing a play date or two. (The dry-erase calendar posted at eye level for kids still shows signs of the manually filled in dates from back in September when I got it and…. I’m usually flying off the seat of my pants when it comes to attending school events (even though I programmed them into my smart phone weeks before) having forgotten almost every day of my life to actually look ahead and what is already on the schedule.)
What interests me about all of this right now is that I don’t truly give a damn. I’m almost disappointed in myself for having taken the time to even write about it. AND, I still gotta get my ass of the computer and go pick up the kids, feed/love/coddle/admire them and then get them to gymnastics, sneak in a date with my guy, pick them up, feed ’em, read books, snuggle, turn off the lights, and “prepare” to do it all over again tomorrow.

So…for 50 minutes I was asked to recall some things. My childhood. The blazing sun, the freedom, the joy of no plans and no structure and simply radiant wild dirt-filled outdoor living. I remember it fondly and vaguely. Not so much as a series of events but as a feeling. Some eternal, parent-less summer in a safe neighborhood with no real rules. It is not so much that there were no parents, but they are noticeably absent from the memories, from the feelings that are evoked by the memories. Like maybe they were there, while this pack of wild children was running free all over the open hills between Tiburon and Corte Madera……but maybe they were organizing their bins or scheduling appointments, or crying into their Crystal Light.
I am one of those people who do not wish they had a different childhood. I feel lucky. I made lasting friendships and felt that the world belonged to me. I want that for my boys. A Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn kind of life that involved fishing poles and bare feet and all day adventures from one end of town to the other.

4 thoughts on “Time Out

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