Friday, September 3, 2010

"Parenting tip of the day"

"Parenting Tip of the Day from

Find a quiet place today and take a deep breath. Remember that perfection is unattainable and chaos is reality. Remind yourself that getting down on the floor and playing with your kids is more important than that sink of breakfast dishes, and to carve out time to nurture your body, soul, and marriage."

Blah blah BLAH, blah blah blah.

If I were not on vacation, that would get a big fat "fuck you."

As it is, I AM on vacation, and I am feeling pretty good, so I'll just say, "Oh, please." That kind of statement contains bits that every parent knows, but it is also the kind of statement that would make most busy parents want to punch the statement-maker in the throat. We know that it's more important to play with your kids than it is to do the dishes, theoretically, but the dishes simply will not do themselves. We know that we should carve out time for body, "soul," and marriage (or partnership), but if you can't even get to the frickin' breakfast dishes, from just where is that time going to come?

Yes, I am going to make time to go to the spa, kneel in front of my closet altar and meditate, as well as have a romantic dinner with my husband, just as soon as I get down on the floor and play with my kid and do the breakfast dishes. I'll be right with you.

I have found that it's almost impossible for me to relax at home if there are obvious chores to be done, which is why I am often trying to get so much accomplished, so I might have that time to really enjoy my family. It's why I spent so much time trying to get so much done before I left: I did not want to come home to it. So far, only two days into this trip, I have had to remind myself that I am not at home, so there are no chores, at least not in the same sense, and we don't have to get to work, drive to day care, feed the cats, wash diapers, or be on any sort of schedule. I paid the bills before I left, and I did my best to wrap up work.

I can walk down the 54 steps to the beach and play in the sand with my son first thing in the morning and not have to think that there is something else I should be doing because quite simply, there isn't. I get to enjoy my family. You can say that we see each other every day, and while that's certainly true, we see each other enmeshed in the web of our daily responsibilities, and it's difficult to find any sort of peace during which to relax. It's always either the calm before the storm or it's the storm, and neither are terribly peaceful.

But this is.
Let's go fly a kite...
...once the hurricane passes.

(Yes, we were the people in the local hardware store buying balsa wood gliders and a kite while other people were getting batteries and asking about generators. Weather report: it rained a little bit, then stopped for awhile. Then it poured for 15 minutes. Now it's just cloudy. People report: Finn and Pete are napping, along with perhaps the rest of the house. It's very quiet. I am doing this, Joyce is reading, and GrammaSue is watching the Weather Channel.)

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