Am I the rhubarb or the mushroom man?
Welcome to my current mental and emotional state.
Working full time, writing all the time, parenting permeates all time-
while contemplating selling the house, moving across country and starting our next chapter in a new land.
Couldn’t be a worse time to do any of the above according to the realtor’s findings, or the education classifieds on the west coast.
And yet every morning I wake up wanting to just be in the momentum of the move, and gripped by what if induced trepidation.
The “what is the worse thing that could happen” line of reasoning comes up with some doozies; no job, no place to live, miserable schools for the boys, regret.
But, I tend to fall into that make lemonade from lemons category. I find no use for regret.
This morning my first thought was; “Do I want to wake up at fifty still here?” It was this same kind of self imposed ultimatum that landed me in the adoption agency almost six years ago.
When I want to do something, I do it.
I know this about myself.
But this isn’t just about me.
There are three of us now.
Can I uprooti them from all the people that love and breathe them, because
I have this heart-gut-deep knowing sense that I/we somehow belong on the west coast?
I have amazing friends there too, including Sam’s namesake, and many others.
Sam has birth family there too-lots of them.
A belief that all of me would show up in the picture frame if I was in this promised land of sorts is at the center of my unrest here. A belief that for me to be the best mom, educator, friend, community member, writer and poet, I can, that I need to feel like my feet are rooted in warm fertile earth, not snow.
That as much as do I love where we live, my work, and the extended family that has raised them thus far with me, not to mention raising me as a mother myself, that I am still lonely here in a way that I imagine I might not be there. It is an otherness that I feel all the time. Is that a reflection of my internal workings, or where I live?
It is not just a loneliness as a single mother.
(I have only met one other single mother who went about it the way I did in the ten years I’ve been here.)
It is not that I think I’ll fall madly in love the moment I move. But wouldn’t I have a better chance with that too, if I felt that I had more room on the dance floor to show what I really got?
It’s like the little garden we planted last night, in the dark.
Because there wasn’t enough time in the day.
Sam, Marcel and I planted petunias, and other hearty part-shade-will-thrive little bursts of light in our brick and random rock defined patch of dirt, the length and width of a narrow twin size bed. Sam dug the holes, I picked the plant, Sam pinched the roots, and stuck it in. We both filled the hole back in, and Marcel watered (his shoes, the sidewalk, the kitchen) the flowers transplanted.
And yet, I want to see our full lives fully in the full light. One part of my garden, a triangle about 1/8th of the plot gets full on sun for more than an hour. All the plants that need sun go there.
I feel like that is how we live too. Like I am constantly rushing to find that 1/8th of sun in the church on Sunday, on the playground near that other family that kind of looks like ours, in an auditorium watching the president, or as I push our cart behind the cart of the mixed family I feel like I have been stalking in the grocery store. Behind them out the check out I want to yell; “They are happy here, look at the happy food they are buying too.”
Do we stay here and work hard to continue to create the place I want my family to thrive in, basking in the light, the emotional security, the love, the professional stability I know is here in my corner of the garden? Or do I leap, believing as they say that the net will appear and trust my gut-heart that there is a larger plot of sun drenched land out there for us to explore?
All thoughts welcome on the subject. If you are a single parent who has made such a leap, tell me how you did it. If you are a partnered parent that made such a leap, tell me how you did it. If you are just reading along and made it this far, tell me what you think. If you are one of my parents, have faith that I am not leaping, yet.
To be continued…