<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/24715531″>Ira Glass on Storytelling</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/thedak”>David Shiyang Liu</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
Well friends, it’s March Break and having almost fully recovered from ONE MONTH of illness and down in the dumps, I’ve been able to coordinate with the help of grandparents some time off of children. What I needed most was a complete break from my domestic responsibilities and I’m so totally grateful to have family and a partner that can help make that happen.
Let’s not delude ourselves in thinking that this happened easily and without tears and immense frustrations as to how hard it is to jump off a moving train while it’s in full steam mode. Nonetheless, I’m tucking in my elbows and hoping I land on some moss, but the ride was shaky.
And so this week, I will be in the woods, for 3 days and without connectivity. I had thought of coming into Montreal and having a city week of a few days, but I really needed something completely new and outside of my habitual zone. So I’m headed to my old stomping grounds, the Townships, with a car full of roasted sweet potatoes and cooked rice so that I don’t have to think about it, and I have a little room in the forest, on the edge of a river and a nordic spa.
I love my family. It has enabled me to accomplish so many things, it has mirrored me in so many aspects, it shows me my brightest and sparkliest assets and reveals the deepest darkest folds. But in the end, I was someone before and I will be someone after, and that person needs to be nourished if she is to show up every day and remind the kids that they need to brush their teeth. again.
I’ve been struggling with a lack of enthousiasm for my parenting that isn’t easy to swallow, specially when you see photos of carefully staged birthday parties or crafting sessions, none of which are happening under this roof. As the kids get older, their needs change and their dependence on you lessens yet grows simultaneously. The boys are very adept at using the toaster and being true Villedarys they can butter that sourdough blinfolded, but they need us to keep them on track, or rather we need them to stay the course. Parenting turns into mediation, taxi driving, navigating screen access, making sure their tasks are completing, disciplining if not completed. It’s like herding stubborn cats.
Pia got on the phone last night and told me she missed me and wanted to sleep with me. We got into a battle of who loved who more, and that was a needed reminder that the comfort I provide is like a mini life support to these people. And while it may be more often than not punctuated by ‘ BRUSH YOUR TEETH’ and ‘DO YOU HAVE YOUR LUNCH’, I need to find a way to bridge the gap between that nurturing and the day to day parenting, because there isn’t much joy in it. So either I have been misled into thinking that it should be fun, or everybody else is lying. Either Or.
Mothering has so many seasons and just as you catch the rhythm of one, the next stanza starts without you even realizing.
So I leave you with that.
Phoebe Wahl 2014