We all, I think, breathed a sigh of relief, as we sent dad (Lee) off to Halifax for the big pottery schmoozing event happening this weekend. We had been preparing for weeks, and yet, the usual last-minute scramble. I felt a bit antsy having to stay home with the kids, but I am able to come to terms, for sure. The little ones and I have had fun: lots of books, lots of painting. We embark our daily walk, but we often don’t get very far. Lately, the cold has just been too much, and their threshold in the elements seems to be about 15 minutes. Which is fine. As long as we make it out there, I haven’t been too worried about making an expedition of it. We do have an old oil furnace in the basement, but it hardly ever gets turned on. I believe it was a year and a half ago that we had the oil filled, and I am concerned at this point that it is almost empty. We sleep with an embankment of blankets, and the first chore of the day is getting the woodstove going. The kids huddle on the red velvet chair while I fiddle with the fire, and I am comforted a little by the fact that they know a tiny bit of hardship. The chickens have started to lay with greater frequency. There is hope.
I always imagined that having a daughter would be like looking in the mirror. I do have a lot in common, and feel kinship, with my own mother. I was surprised, almost, when Treva was born. Who are you? From the first moment, she seemed so immediately different from how I perceive myself to be. She seemed so independent of me, somehow. I can’t discount that this might have something to do with insane ideas about gender that I, like every other human on the planet, have absorbed by osmosis. Oh impenetrable emotion/thought/existence. Ha! Yes, it is so silly to try to parse these things. And maybe, this simple understanding that You Are Not Me, is a good thing. Maybe the “I am My Mother” bit has to do with first- child co-dependency…I believe in the significance of birth order like I believe in Astrology: sort of, and not-really. Neither Horus nor Treva share my propensity for self-abnegation or insecurity. Treva is not only assertive, but also hilarious and wacky and independent and a little bit vulgar, but of course I make a very conscious effort not to tell her who she is, and to just allow her to be. I hated being told what I like and what I want. At the same time, I find the analysis of intersecting habits and expressions and reactions and interests that happen within families, fascinating. We are all becoming, and yet we are ourselves from the very beginning. Mysteries of existence! And isn’t this the paradox of parenthood?! To *see* our children, to receive who they are, to take them into account, to acknowledge their essential selves, but also to embrace their lilting personaes, and shifting stances, and to engage with all their angles, meaningfully, while remaining fluid and open in our parental role. I so strongly believe in analysis and acceptance, both.
I also want to thank everyone out there who “gets” what I am saying, and thank you so much for all the comments, I will get to them all, in time! I am learning, slowly learning, that the people who can’t relate to me…can’t relate to me. And the people who don’t want to hear my message…don’t want to hear my message. And the people who find me strident and difficult or overly uncompromising…well, this is how they feel about me. It’s fine. I don’t need to feel diminished. And neither do you! yay.