Another Banner Day as Mother of the Year
Tonight, after working 11 straight hours on what my colleague and I are near deciding is an impossible project, I stopped over to drop off some things to my children while their father was golfing. My daughter reminded me that I had forgotten a book she is reading along with another little friend, so we went back to get it. On the way back to her father's, she said in her little matter of fact voice at the end of a long string of other news items, "Oh, and I met Dad's new girlfriend. She taught me a new computer game. Is Dad getting married again?" I told her she'd really need to speak with him about that.
Then upon handing my son a set of keys so that he could get into my place to clean his nearly condemned-status room, he informed me that he wouldn't be hanging out with me tomorrow evening, because, well, there's a new episode of his favorite show on and he wants to be home in time to see that (we are, remember, cable-less at my house).
So much for 13 years of pregnancy, breastfeeding, bus watch, cleaning up other people's puke before you finally wind up puking yourself, washing diapers (yes, I sure did), sitting through the same Disney movie over and over, and staying up late to make treats for the class party.
As I walked in the park I had to laugh at this. We don't have kids for our own glory. Kids grow and evolve into their own sorts of people. At least my kids are honest. And it really puts life and love and attachment somewhat into perspective. We all work so damn hard, love our children more than anyone ever will, and you know, it's all, as one friend says, just leaves blowing.
It's really true. Nothing is ever owned. If you think you own something, or that something or someone is yours, you're crazy. Humans are human, people move from one to another like the clouds roll across the sky. Sometimes they remember you, sometimes they don't. There really ain't anything you can do about it. Nor should you, no matter how maddening it is.
I used to live my life for the people in it, making it comfy and pleasant for everyone else. It came at an extremely high price that I nearly paid with my entire consciousness. Sometimes I think the way my brain never shuts off now and the way I never tire of making new connections around music is a symptom of 15 years of stifling those passions so that I could keep my family together. But what I didn't realize is that families are fluid, made up of humans and all our human wonders, all our human frailties, all our human inconsistencies.
So while I walked I gave to the wind this message for my daughter: "Yes my little BooBoo Daughter. Daddy might get married again. And maybe someday I'll be swept off my feet by a French horn player. But I will always remember sitting on the floor of my office nursing your sick brother while I worked with the Senator, and I'll always remember holding you that first night of your life and nursing you with milk I made just for you, and seeing you lift your tiny head when I said your name. No matter what happens, or how far apart we are, or how much we disagree, I will never stop loving you both."
And the wind blew, and I kept on walking.
(performed by Dance songwriter Tony Arata)