Friday, September 16, 2011

There are more ups lately

That said!  (You see, Marisa, I take directions!  Shorter entries.)  I feel like things are improving and growing ever more stable in the house.  I can't express the safety that Sarah gives me.  She is in the house and aware.  She tracks my moods.  She appears with food and watches me eat.  She knows if I am eating enough vegetables or not.  She gives me enough protein.  I no longer have to think about buying groceries or putting them away.  My contribution to cooking lately has only involved the microwave and sandwiches.  Ok, one day I fried sausages.  The amount of work I have to do in a day is substantially lower.  So much lower that I am kind of reeling from the possibilities.  I don't know what to do with myself.  I'm trying to find a comfortable rhythm on housework right now.  I'm trying to figure out how to structure our days.

I tend to get up and spend my time in the garage fortifying myself with apathy.  Yay apathy.  I then proceed through my morning chores (here's the mommy-blogger part of life): I water the front and back yards (yes I'm aware there is modern technology that could take care of this for me.  Acquiring it costs money and installing it takes time, unless you are volunteering both shoosh.), dishes (we use a mountain of dishes), at least one (often three) load(s) of laundry every single day, and I'm playing with how I want to balance things like sweeping, mopping, vacuuming.  I should probably clean the windows on my house some year.  Somehow I doubt that year will be 2011.  Then I have the whole rest of the day to do stuff.  I'm generally done by 9am.  I don't start working till 7:30.  My work day starts when Noah leaves.

That's the part that is unbelievable luxury.  My wonderful, gorgeous, considerate husband gets up every morning and deals with both children while making breakfast.  He does this so that I can have time to go be me off away from the clamor in peace.  He believes I deserve space.  He is an introvert.  He loves me and he gives me that thing he wants more than anything else in the world: peace.  He does it by taking on all the clamor that is much harder for him.

I come out here and I purge whatever stupidity is lurking in my brain.  I do it in a myriad of ways.  I read.  I watch movies.  I think.  I get to think about my place in this universe.  I get to think about myself and my life and try to gain perspective.  A lot of why I don't go out more is that I lack perspective.  That's an interesting thought.  Do you want to know why people survive genocides and atrocities?  Because we are animals and we want to fucking live.  Because no matter what happens to you today, there is always hope that tomorrow will be better.  There is always hope.  As long as mankind manages to trudge forward there will be better.  If not for you, then for your children.  You have to come to a point as a parent where even if your life really sucks, you keep going because you have an obligation to try to make things better for your children.

The challenge becomes what is "better"?  I don't think most people think about that very hard.  Of course in America that means more money, more things.  Dude, my fucking three year old has an iPad.  I am not throwing stones here.  This is my culture too.  But I'm trying to figure out what things are better in terms of my culture and what things are actually objectively "better" for a human being.  Honestly that is a lot of what I sit here and think about.

My children are going to be shaped by growing up with a mother who suffered severe trauma.  This is a fact of life.  They will never have different parents.  God damnit.  They are mine.  I get to decide what that means though.  It's not all bad, yo.  I know that my childhood was weird, from top to bottom.  I don't think other people understand quite what that means.  I have no idea how to pass on a standard childhood.  I quite literally don't think I am capable of bowing to the yoke now.  My children will travel an extraordinary amount.  That's part of why I think homeschooling is the right choice for our family, honestly.  And yet travel doesn't teach you all of that.  Children are exposed to different cultures right where they live.  To this effect, I have to learn how to get along with other people.  That takes effort for me.  Ha.

To this effect we are out meeting our neighbors.  We are plotting a block party.  I know what my childhood was like.  I don't know what other people really and truly experienced, by and large.  I know what kind of "better" I want for my kids though.  I want to build community where we are.  I want to know my neighbors.  I want to walk to the park from my house.  I don't want to drive all over the bay area so I can get to know the "right kind" of people.  I am not going to chase down the crunchy crowd.  It's too hard.  I don't meet people well in those kinds of circumstances.  But when I'm just kind of around, and you are mostly meeting me as Shanna wanders through life?  That's easy.  I can do that role well.  When I am being Shanna and Calli's mom I focus on things like exploring and talking about the physical world.

There's not a lot of room for crazy in that role.  So my neighbors don't see it.  To them, I am the mom who has her kids out on walks all the freakin time.  I'm obviously pretty weird, but I am so friendly and cheerful that I just can't be that bad--right?  And oh those darling little girls.  When my neighbors look at me they don't see a crazy girl.  They see an impressively good mother because they see my kids before they see me and they make judgments.  I am told all day long what a good mother I am by everyone in my neighborhood.  I don't think I have even told Noah or Sarah that.

I'm growing to like Fremont.  I want to stay.  I'm not overloading my neighbors.  I see them casually on walks.  We talk about the weather and gardening and children.  They don't know anything about my childhood and I see no reason they ever should.  It's not being in the closet exactly.  Because when I'm acting kind of twitchy and they kind of recoil I say, "I'm sorry.  I have PTSD and sometimes I say things that come out sounding a little weird.  I'm sorry."  Then they smile in an affirming way, touch me on the shoulder and say it's ok.  That has happened twice.  They now make a point of coming out and talking to Shanna.

I need to find out how to put down roots right where I am.  If I am going to be...something.  I don't know what.  I need to do it here.  I need to figure out what better will be for my kids.  And early mornings are a great time to think about it.  Whatever it is I don't have time to do it yet.  Right now I need to figure out how this daily life thing goes.

We have started spending more dedicated time every day where I more consciously lead us in a learning direction.  Working more specifically with numbers, talking more about the stuff I am reading.  Playing games where she responds with answers.  I am not pushy about it and when her attention wanders I follow.  I tend to explain why I think she will want to learn 'x' some day but now isn't the time.  Like surfing.  She has noticed that surfing exists and I told her that I totally support her in wanting to learn to surf!  Uhm, let's start with swimming...

I feel like I am trying to help her understand long-term planning.  Doesn't every parent do this?  I won't have a public school to teach her stuff though.  I have to do it.  It's really complicated trying to think about all the things public school actually teaches as opposed to what they think they are teaching.  What lessons about conformity, group identity, and innate understanding of beurocracy will my children simply miss?  What did I miss?  Do I care?  It's fun to think about.

I'm mostly trying to rest and recover from the amount of sleep deprivation I have been operating under.  My body is so wasted.  I want to start running soon, but I need to get sleep under control first.  I don't actually think I can yet.  I get too dizzy.  I'm working on it.

I have to post or I'll ramble...


  1. I wish that usually when I read your blog I wasn't nursing or fighting children to use the keyboard, because I often think of things to write, and I usually don't manage to do it. But I do read it all, though :)

  2. I'm amused that while most people plan block parties, you plot one.