Some people need to have a glass of wine at the end of the day, or go for a long run or stretch, or meditate. I need to write. It makes me feel balanced, sane, present. And, yet… the last time I wrote you was 2 months ago, so yep, you guessed it, everything inside of me and around me feels a bit chaotic. I’m not even sure if it IS chaotic, but that’s what I feel. Pardon the unnecessary disclaimer but I read years ago that “feelings are not facts” and that’s the one liner that circles around my brain.
Anyway, there’s a few things I’ve wanted to write about, a backlog of thoughts, if you will. When I look objectively at everything I’ve been sorting through, I think it’s related to figuring out exactly what matters in the world to me and how I want to shape that little 8th month old man of mine. Parenthood is interesting in that way, you think you know who you are and what you want but then you suddenly have a small person to raise that knows nothing about the world and you find yourself sifting through it all again. These are some of the things I hope filter down to my babies.
1. Be thoughtful and romantic
When it rains, I sit my son in the window because I think rain is one of the most soul soothing sounds there is. I want him to be mesmerized by it’s beauty and endlessly fascinated by the way the drops dance down the window glass. I used to feel like the sky would cry out the excess of my own feelings so I didn’t have to. Instead, I could just be. I often light candles when I eat with him (aka, feed him bits of food) because I want him to know that life is a special occasion. I hope for him that he never understands the concept of a formal dining room or formal living room because every living room should be designed around living life and every dining table should be able to handle take out food eaten out of paper boxes or an elaborate spread. I try to get him to smell flowers when I take him out in the stroller but mostly he tries to eat them still. When I take him with me to discount fabric outlets, I encourage him to scratch the textured fabrics, the kid loves texture. I want him to see life fully, the nooks, the crannies, the shadows. Especially the shadows, his nursery room light was made of reclaimed rusty, metal banding and it cast the best shadows all over his walls and ceiling. I used to rock him to sleep as he stared at the shape of the shadows. Why is all this poetic crap important to me? Because he will grow up in a generation of elementary school kids that own smart phones and know how to code software. I want to raise a thoughtful, detail oriented, present human being not a savvy robot.
2. Seeing is not believing
I hate the statement “seeing is believing”. Come on’, no, seeing is seeing and sometimes “seeing is knowing”. Believing is something totally different. I was raised a pentecostal/ baptist (in New England if you can believe that), my husband was raised a catholic/protestant and there are a good number of people in our lives with very different religious backgrounds. Then there are those from the agnostic, atheist, intellectual school of thought. I personally love a good discussion on who God is, what faith means and the similarities and differences in all the major world religions. But at the end of the day, my hope is that my son is able to believe in something, someone bigger than me or him and let that speak to him on a personal level without having to prove anything to anyone. Because for me, if you spend all your days trying to prove or disprove something, you miss out on a very important layer of life and in reality, none of this can really be proven or disproven. If you seek to define everything, meaning is lost, depth, faith and gut intuition is lost. I hope he his a gut intuition or a place in his heart that he trusts. I think it’s essential to navigating through the black and white of life and be comfortable with the gray.
3. Other people’s differences make them who they are and you are not altered by those differences unless you choose to be.
It blows my mind how much people actively involve themselves in how complete strangers live their lives. It seems to me that people think that how we live our lives is somehow dependant on how many other people live their lives just like us and if there aren’t enough of us living our lives the exact same way, the whole system will fall apart. Is the whole world in middle school? Must we all wear the same brand of shoes, shop at the same store, own the same gadget, worship the same God and speak the same language? Say it ain’t so! America made me deeply proud and incredibly embarrassed in the same week. Two weeks ago, Marriage equality was passed and the confederate flag was lowered, awesome, right? But than all the crazies came out, including the KKK.
I want my son and future children to know that who someone else is or how they live their life does not directly affect who they are or who they become. If someone chooses to stop going to Church that they respect, that doesn’t mean they have to. If their best friend starts experimenting with drugs, that doesn’t mean they have to. In the same regard if someone is beautiful or smart, those qualities can be and should be admired and appreciated without letting it damage your own ego. I hope that my children are made up of one part heart and one part backbone, enough empathy to relate and understand and enough self confidence to remain true to who they are innately. I want them to see that there are both wonderful and terrible qualities possessed by each and everyone of us and that’s what makes us human. That humanity is our common ground. If we seek to look at life and people objectively. we can cherry pick what influences us.
Of course, there is more but these are the things that have been stirring in my mind.
Love to you,