Sunday, August 9, 2009

What about taking this empty cup and filling it up with a little bit more of innocence.

After I got home from work yesterday, I took all of my clothes downstairs and put them in the washing machine. It's about 18 hours later and I just now remembered. Welcome the icky musty smell of old wet laundry.

I've been going to church very regularly. This is weird for me and, if we're getting down to bare-bones honesty, I think that most of my reason for going is so that I get a semblance of some alone time. I love Genesis and Amos and even Adam and Arryn. Of course I love them all so bad and I'm very grateful to have their couch to crash on--but I'm a woman who is used to having extensive amounts of time to herself. I relish the drive from here to church and then to be able to just sit there by myself for an hour. The only part I really hate is the 28 seconds of "meet and greet" time where people I don't know and will never know look at me with these glazed over smiles, reach out their hand to me and then make eye-contact with another person while they're still holding my hand. But that's 28 seconds out of a full hour and a half and I can concede to that.

But here's the best part. If I go to the early service, which starts at 8:00, then I get home right after Adam and Arryn and the kids have left for their church (which is, like, four hours long and very painful to sit through if you ask me) and I'm all alone until around 1:30. Sweet, sweet silence. Here's how I spend my time:
First things first. I reheat the coffee and pull up my Mr. A-Z Pandora station and dance with myself while listening to Van Morrison and Lili Allen streaming through the sound on the television. Nothing ups this girl's mood like "Brown Eyed Girl". And then I come check out who all has updated their blogs in the past week or so and the answer is usually, "No one. Not even Jon Brown." And after I email and facebook and do this business for a while then I find a book without pictures and veg out in my not-leaving-the-house-pants while drinking more coffee.

Usually when I express a need for some alone-ness, I'm greeted with a condescending reality check along the lines of "well this is what living with kids is like--it's constant, all the time and you have to give them all of you all the time." And that's true. But, I feel the need to remind them that they were the ones who got pregnant on purpose and had babies on purpose. I didn't ask for kids. I know it sounds horrendous. Most of the time when I say that I don't want children of my own, I'm greeted with gasps and looks like I'm a monster. As though the fact that I have a uterus--through no choice of my own mind you, admonishes me to use it and love doing it. I'm not eating babies, people. I'm just not going to have one. If a man doesn't want to have babies, it's not a big deal and more than acceptable. If a woman doesn't want to, everyone within earshot is suddenly the victim of a social crime.

I have all the respect in the word for people who choose to parent and who love their children the way that Adam and Arryn do. And I have all the love in my whole being for these kids. I didn't even know I was capable of love like this. I'm constantly surprised by my own selflessness on their behalf. I'm never angry when they wake me up at 6:00 am. I'm happy to open bananas for Genesis and I have no qualms with changing the most repulsive diapers or figuring out how to clean an itty-bitty uncircumcised penis. But I can't do it like Arryn can. Arryn seems to never tire of it. She's never cranky or loses her temper with them. She's always got her wits about her and responds in the best possible manner. She always knows the very root of a temper tantrum and gets to the quick of it without bothering with all the superficial screaming.

I sometimes wonder what kind of a mother I would turn out to be if it happened. I'm getting the tiniest taste of it right now and I think I'd be pretty good at basically keeping the kid alive. Which is half the battle but then you have to consider that this kid also has a psyche. I guess I'd just have to do my best to stay away from emotional terrorism and hope that the kid doesn't grow up and skin cats. That's the best we can hope for, I suppose. And that is why I'll be the cool aunt who gives the best birthday presents and takes you to get your first tattoo when you come to visit for the summer in exciting cities with artistic characters and writer-types.

3 comments:

Tanjentor said...

Brava! It's odd that you blogged about women not wanting to have kids. There are some people who insist that if a female doesn't want to be a mother, that she's selfish. I believe the exact opposite. What is selfish is a woman having a baby and then pawning it off on others and/or drinking and smoking and carousing through the pregnancy and/or getting pregnant for the welfare check or to keep a guy in her life. A child is a HUGE commitment, and while they're beautiful and wonderful, you have to be ready for your whole world to change. Anything less, and that child is going to miss out on a lot.

Libby Marie said...

One of the most controversial things that Anne Lamott said (and one of the things that she said that most resonated peaceful understanding in my little spirit) was this: "It is a moral necessity that we not be forced to bring children into the world for whom we cannot be responsible and adoring and present. We must not inflict life on children who will be resented."

Now, of course, contextually she's speaking out about abortion and that's not my cause--not in this post. But I feel like truer words haven't ever been spoken on the subject of children. We must be responsible and adoring and present and if you can't be, then you simply should not procreate. And that--THAT, my friend, being aware of and accountable to the scope of one's own attention and abilities and abiding by it is probably one of the most selfLESS things an honest person can do. And, if it comes right down to it, there are lots of babies on this planet already.

Tanjentor said...

I don't believe in abortion as a form of birth control. I DO believe in women being informed and aware of their options... I once heard a doctor say that if you're not using a reliable form of birth control every time you have sex, you are trying to get pregnant. yet so many women are surprized to find themselves irritable and moody and barfing up their breakfast. "How can this happen to me?" Good grief.
My mom and I got into a fight about Plan B. I'm pro, she's con. It's another viable form of birth control.
I dunno. For all technology has provided us... people spent much time and money and brainpower finding out all of these things so we can incorporate them into our lives, the least we can do, as women, is to learn about them.

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