Thursday, January 13, 2005

the "real" world

So, blogging is a little bit un-nerving. All day i think, "is *this* blog worthy?" "wait, maybe I should write about this!!" There' s nothing like a good session of self-scrutiny to keep one on one's toes.

Perhaps i should just write about what's around me... like right now, the sounds of my 2 favorite voices float down the hallway- Raelin and Kevin singing an "old Donald" duo ( that's Old Macdonald for those that don't know our toddler speak). They make up funny bath songs, like "Do it Hunca Munca! Oooh! Oooh!" (how do you write that noise that is the ubiquitous whoop that goes along with dance music?) you have to be here.

So today we went to our knitting/playgroup. About 6 moms and nearly twice as many babies and tots under the age of 4. We knit, drop stitches, eat, break up fights, temper tantrums, pick up dropped stitches, and snack some more. Some of us are closer than others, but really it's all about getting ourselves out of the house to have some adult conversation, even if it is about our kids, the vaccines we are or are not getting, and how irritating doctors are and how great our midwives are. No offense to any MDs in the house. And then there's the occasional non-child centered conversation. Today we actually ventured onto something rather.... thoughtful. I remarked that I had just turned 29, and started wondering, when does one actually feel like one's age? I think i stopped identifying with my age after I turned 25. I mean, once you can legally rent a car there's not much else to shoot for. The oldest mom in the group, who I learned today is 36, said that for her it was 35. When she hit that number, she really felt it. Hmmmm. A couple of us who are around 30 remarked that we had already begun to feel the difference in our bodies from just 3 or 4 years earlier; it's not as easy to get back into shape. There's no "bouncing back" after a 2-3 week exercise slump. Let alone a 9-24 month exercise slump. And there the conversation dwindled, because a cute young thing needed a boo boo kissed and another needed a diaper change and it was almost noon and time to help clean up the house and be on our respective ways.

But, that's the way it is as a mom. A deep (or, maybe just a little bit deeper) thought enters your head and then- boom! One little monkey just fell off the bed. But this mama doesn't call the doctor, she just puts away her grown-up thought and runs to scoop up the tearful monkey and make everything all better. The thought is gone. Perhaps indefinitely.

While we were in Santa Barbara last week visiting Kevin's family, his uncle remarked to me that he had a friend who said that she felt like she was "out" of the world until her youngest kid turned 11 or so. And then all the sudden she realized there was a world out there, full of happenings, and started to tune back in. He asked me if i felt like this, that is, tuned out of the "real" world. I said no, in fact, I am very aware of the world out there. I am a news junkie, and one of the best things about being up with Raelin at 6am is that if i so choose, i can catch the whole 3 hours of Morning Edition and end it with something intellectually stimulating from Garrison Keilor and The Writer's Almanac. To clarify, this is not because I actually listen to the whole 3 hours, but due to the fact that they loop their stories, I can catch most of the good stuff between reading stories, changing diapers, taking a shower, and various other domestic goodies.

So, yes, I am very aware of what's happening in the world, I told him (well, as much as an American is who depends on public radio). I added that I thought it was a pretty bad example to set for your children to check out of the world. I intend on being a vocal parent on issues that are around us, particularly living in this bubble called Maine where its quite easy to check out, if one so chooses.

What is more challenging, is to be aware of what is going on in my real world. My inner world. Those deeper thoughts that manage to break the surface of the endless mind babble of Sally Go Round the Sun and Sit Down Please, Raelin. I used to walk on the beach after work and think about my day and my relationships and how things were going and how I felt and what was nagging at me and what issues i needed to work on, etc.. etc... etc.. Now I heft 30 pounds of chub and layers down to the lake and maybe think about what I might make for dinner and when there's a window in the day when I might change the sheets. I feel busy, but I feel busy with what is happening right now and less projection. less obsessing. and lest I start to tread into deeper waters, I have a great distraction who keeps me in the moment more than any yoga class ever did.

so maybe I dont' really want to know what's going on in my real world. it's usually serious and self-probing and sometimes irritatingly esoteric. Building a creative block tower seems far more zen and authentic, and not only that, I have become exceptional at being unattached at any point, because Raelin is the local demolition contractor, and she does not play favorites.

yes, a few months ago when I read an email from a friend who shared that he was working on keeping his heart open and being open to whatever might come to him, I thought longingly for those times of self- reflection and discovery. When will I ever have that time again? I wondered.

Silly me.


Blogger xz said...

i've found blogging a really good way to stay connected and a good way to explore the ways i'm disconnected.

10:50 AM  
Blogger Bartlebee said...

I think that you are in the real world, more so than most of us. I mean, what's more real than Raelin saying, "Catchafly"? Morning Edition News? P'sha. I see you as someone who's constantly engaged in self-reflection. Sure,the conduit may be Raelin, but it's all about who you are as a mother which is ultimately about who you are.

I envy your knitting circle. It sounds fabulous.

1:40 PM  

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