We can attempt to teach the things that one might imagine the earth would teach us: silence, humility, holiness, connectedness, courtesy, beauty, celebration, giving, restoration, obligation and wildness.
David Orr from "Earth in Mind"

Feb 6, 2007

How I Do Mama

I've tried to write something for the last few days but I've been struggling. During the day I narrate these great piece to myself but when I sit down here I can't seem to phrase things the way they sounded earlier. Partially it's that my mind is cluttered. I've been thinking about the business and moving, but now I'm focusing on writing again in my mind. I also just decided to go to my 15th High school reunion.

I think it's the reunion that really has been playing the most havoc on my brain. I keep imagining conversations that might happen. My voice always seems defense about the life I have chosen or deliberately vague. For the most part these are people who I like and who I still think about sometimes. But most of them are still in New York doing the city thing with careers and social lives that include things like clubs where you can't where any shoes you want (Amanda quote).

I think of my life here and I see days of long city walks with Sam fading into dancing at the High Dive in definitely inappropriate clothes. These images turn to endless Sunday projects at Jenna's or potlucks at our old apartment. All of it is low key. Perhaps there might some dressing up to go to a First Friday or out to eat but mainly it's about friends.

That's sort of funny if you think about how scared of people I was when we moved here. I still remember being too afraid to go to Stitch and Bitch even though Zakk had invited me. That was the night I met Amy and Sam two of the people from Denver I am closest too. I still have the green cotton yarn tied to my button hole from the corny idea that one should remember that if things got too annoying in real life there was always Monday nights. That was when all of us had hell jobs.

I'm happy now being mama. I don't think I'm loosing myself in Alder like some of the mothers I've met are. Instead I feel that having him around is making me live up to the comments about myself I make. I can't just say I'm a writer if I'm not writing, nor can I talk about the importance of nature if I just spend my days inside. I think I 've started to do a better job of living up to these things that I want to instill in him.

I used to be afraid that I would be the parent who talked about all the things that she did in the 'old days' but had become a sedintary mainstream mom. I even tried on the dress briefly but it ddn't fit. Mother's groups are not for me. I'm just not a big group person. Besides few of the women in the group did I have anything in common with except that we all happened to have vhildren during the same year.

Instead I'm focusing on friendships I already have. Maybe it would be better for him to see more kids. He does get his weekly dose of Lucero and it seems at least once a week we end up hanging out with one other baby for a while. It's good, when he gets a little older and more mobile life will become more social. The snow might stop by then and we can do the playground thing. Right now were focusing on being us.

Most of my friends do not have children. One commented how most of her friends who did have kids moved to the suburbs and bought the SUV. She said it as a compliment. WHat I don't tell her is that having Alder means that I exactly can't do those things even more so than before. I wouldn't last a week in a cookie cutter crapshack in a neighborhood isolated from the world. My sanity comes from the long adventures Alder and I take on the bus and by foot, they come from taking him to concerts and festivals, galleries and libraries. If he is going to grow up curious and unafraid he has to be exposed to the world that we live in.

A few years ago I was at my mother-in-laws and she had a beautiful picture book on the table. It was the story of Ceasar Chavez's life. She saw it sitting there and explained to me that she had originally bought it for my niece (7) but decided not to give it to her because she thought the niece was too young to know that there were hardships like those which he fought against in the world. I held my tounge but it made me wonder what that meant for someone who becomse an adult with so many holes in their perception.

I understand wanting to keep children safe from scary and dangerous things but there is also value in showing them the world and helping them to digest what they are seeing. To let them form opinions and ask questions. When I do expose him to these things it isn't to scare him but to show him the whole of our world.

I don't want him to think that the Little Mermaid really ends happily ever after, it doesn't but Hansel and Gretel does. Life has goods and bads.

wow I think I'm done.

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