It is easy to forget that kids are using the same brains we are, I mean, like, physiologically. They do not have the learning opportunities that a lifetime of experiences have given us; they do not have the vocabulary - words, emotions, feelings - that we can call upon to explain and understand our lives; they do not have the sense of security we may have which is garnered mostly from longevity, but their brains are capable of the same higher thinking which ours are.
"What are we gonna do tomorrow, Dad?"
"What shall we do after dinner, Mom?"
"Where do you wanna ride are bikes to?"
Or, a favorite of mine, perhaps the age-oldest unanswerable question:
"What's tomorrow gonna be like?"
This is all a roundabout way of getting to my own difficulties and anxieties these days, because, I can't know what tomorrow's going to be like. I wish I could, I know it would help me a lot if I could. The days have been long here, and, honestly, I haven't been doing the best I can to keep the boys entertained and busy in an intelligent and engaged way. For this I blame the Internet. Oh no, not that way, not the time wasting games they play or my stupid Facebook groups. No, it's just that... damn, I don't want to admit this, but... everyone else is doing a better job at this than I am. There, I've said it.
Without the Internet, I wouldn't know this. I wouldn't read blog after blog about wonderful crafts and learning games and trips and fun and educational ways to make your own backyard a "learning laboratory." I wouldn't see image after image of happy kids doing amazing things like traveling through Europe, making working trubuchets, taking yoga lessons, learning to program computers or taking extended road-trips, learning and loving along the way, staying in hotels and visiting seven ballparks in one trip. Without the internet I wouldn't have to compare myself to others in a way that actually hurts me deeply.
And then I remember what Nick said one day, as I was explaining to him why I get so very anxious when I have to go somewhere new or meet new people. He said he could really understand the way I feel and he said he gets that same thing, he called it a "dready feeling." Yes, that's it exactly. His vocabulary isn't perfect and the sentiment is a little vague and yet, from a brain merely newer than mine but in most ways the same, the precise description of my anxieties in life. And then he said something that might seem trite and overused today, but, keep in mind his mind just came up with it, to him it is a fresh and powerful point:
"Well, we are who we are, I guess."
I know that it is profoundly unfair to compare myself to others. I can't look at a friend's ability to grasp faith so strongly and integrally and see my own floundering, hopeless, amorphous faith for something less than theirs. I can't see a mother of five do so much for her kids at the pool remaining upbeat and happy as her twin toddlers melt down and her older kids won't listen and compare myself to her, wondering why I can't be that positive and kind all the time. I can't listen to the aggressive ramblings of a mother of a boy we know practically bully me into calling the school and insist on a certain teacher or program and feel the fear rise up in my heart, the fear that I am somehow failing them because I don't want to be, well, a prick.
We are who we are. Thanks, Nick, it is easy to forget that.
I haven't been posting much around here. I was a little disheartened by my last post, it, uh, well... wasn't very good. It sort of just fell down around itself. But, here's my secret, the side of me that I think is okay, cool in fact - I don't really mind, so what, it wasn't perfect, but, I tried and, I stand by it.
Truth be told, I sometimes try to be who I am not. Sometimes I fake it pretty well, but, I can only maintain it for a while, and that duration is shorter and shorter as I get older and older. Why do I try? I am still working on that one. Usually to impress someone, and, often these days, to try to be better for my boys.
So back on the horse today, I'll try to remember that I am who I am already and I suspect the boys are as well.
Here are some recent images I found on the floor, and the questions they silently are asking me:
Why does this penguin have a dagger in his skull?
Is Tambo a baby penguin in a wimple or a dead mole, uh, in a wimple?
Uta Hagen was a unicorn, who knew?
Is "horn down and run" the absolute best advice ever given?
Are "power glands" gross, or is it just me?
When will Nick learn to spell (and you know I ain't kidding)?
The whole glands thing is really creepy, is it not?
So, some seriousness, some silliness. That's the way life is isn't it. I could fine tune this a little more, I could trash it because I don't know if it's of any worth or, or, I could just leave it as it is.
From Marci's "...things you don't expect to hear from the backseat..."
"I'm giving you your saliva back."
Such good boys, returning what they borrowed, our work here is done, wait, what...
"Horn down and run." Hmmm, I might have a new catchphrase, I was getting tired of my old one. Thanks for stopping by.