Thursday, July 31, 2008

the finality and the finiteness

Today is M's last day at preschool. It's all part of the plan, the slow descent, the stripping of the safety net and it gives me pause. It's one more retreat, one of the last vestiges of connectivity to this place. She's only been going two days a week, we'd done this purposely so there was a transition for she and J from full time work to non-stop stay-at-home-dom, but tomorrow is it. So we wanted to mark the day by bringing something special for her friends to share and I spent time after work carefully picking it all out.

When I got home and showed M she told me immediately and not very nicely that it wasn't what she wanted and she wasn't going to have any and for some reason it broke me, I sank to the floor in the kitchen, bags scattered about as she stomped from the room.

I started crying then, a quiet sort of stoic little cry if there is such a thing and if not I feel the need to paint it as such, the romanticizing of it feels easier somehow. So I'm crying, not from the shitty attitude but mostly from the finality and the finiteness, I'm just a girl on a kitchen floor trying to figure it all out. Moving to a foreign place and leaving all things familiar and even all the things I rail against can lift and rattle all at once and sometimes the nakedness is powerful and other times I want to hide. We often talk about feeling like we are stepping into the abyss and sometimes I find myself having moments of weakness, of wishing we were already there and the journey was ironed out neat as a pin because getting dirty is good but it's dirty all the same.

And mostly, it's mostly that I fancy myself to be braver than I sometimes think I am.


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45 comments:

ALM said...

No. You're very brave.

kristen said...

you are super brave and i love you.

mamatulip said...

You're brave, just like I'm brave and she's brave and her, she's brave too. We're women, mothers, just trying to do the right thing, the best thing for our kids, and dammit, sometimes it it ain't easy, no matter how hard we try, is it?

jennifer said...

"And mostly, it's mostly that I fancy myself to be braver than I sometimes think I am"
And with that line you described me perfectly

marymurtz said...

Oh, this made me cry, thinking of times I said something that made my mom start weeping, when I was just little.

You are monumentally courageous. M is just reminding you that you're all still a little nervous about this big transition.

cinnamon gurl said...

You ARE brave. Bravery doesn't mean never being scared - it means being scared and doing it anyways.

patches said...

I would never question your bravery...And I absolutely adore your humanity.

Janet said...

Kids love routine, they crave it. So you changed her routine and that means she's going to give you a hard time. But she will come to love the routine of your new life, just as you and J. will.

Assertagirl said...

A good, messy cry can work wonders...I hope you felt better after that.

Madge said...

when you are in the middle of bravery must be when you feel the most fear. who knows they are being brave? but we can see it.

what you are doing is so huge. it's wonderful and i am so thankful for blogging and the internet and that i get a first hand account of the whole thing.

but this is your reality and it's huge. i'm glad you sat on the floor and cried and let some of that fear come to the surface. i'm glad you can tell us about it.

alejna said...

Oh, jen. You are facing such a huge transition, it's good to let yourself feel the range of emotions. And having a good quiet cry on the kitchen floor doesn't sound like a lack of bravery. Sounds stoic to me.

I'm also quite sure that I would love the treat you picked out. Can I have some?

Lara said...

Just think about what it would say about you if you didn't have these moments w/crying, doubts, unsure"ness". You wouldn't be human, and you certainly wouldn't be a mother. Small change is scary enough, so give yourself a break on the effects of this monumental change! You've moved through it beautifully and in a way that inspires people all over to live unconventional lives. That is a pretty amazing thing if you think about it.

bgirl said...

drinking in your words along with m y morning coffee. the reality of this plan is what appeals to me and scares me the most. watching and cheering you on. we all want sameness and yet what you and your family are learning is that as all things move and change, your family bond is constant.

i am a year behind in your footsteps and even more dedicated to our plan b/c of you.

thailandchani said...

Making such a move is always scary. (I even have my moments.) It is something that will bring it all to light.. the things you like and the things you don't. Someone above said that kids like routine - and that's probably what it's all about for M.

What you are doing is extraordinarily brave.. even if it doesn't feel that way all the time.

*

Defiantmuse said...

a good cry can be a powerful thing.
if you didn't have moments of weakness I would wonder....
it's only human.
and, my friend, you are brave.
and you inspire me.
and, as bgirl said, I'm even more dedicated to my plans b/c of what you and J are doing.
and, and, and.

xo

Magpie said...

you are totally brave. really.

Binky said...

A cry (stoic or otherwise) on the kitchen floor is not an unusual reaction to the idea of packing up and moving to a whole new kitchen floor with only a pot and a pan. Being brave isn't the absence of fear, it's acknowledging the frightening fullness of a situation and going through with it anyway.

Denguy said...

Whoa! All I can really say is good luck.

Omaha Mama said...

Change is hard. Remember what you have certainly learned about positive stress and how it can be as hard on a person and negative stress. This is all positive, but stressful just the same.

I don't know you. But your family, you are the bravest people I know.

QT said...

I'm 1000% with cinnamon girl. Hugs for you, sweets. Big, big, hugs.

KC said...

Crying, stoic or not, is okay.

xo

KC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deezee said...

I'm thinking that after about three weeks in the jungle, M will be very much wanting whatever you had bought. :)

And I know it's not about that at all.

Planning and anticipation can be the hardest parts.

And there is no 'finite' (I'm not talking spiritual here; just that you will always have options.)

Anjali said...

Oh, but you are so brave. The crying is just the release from it.

painted maypole said...

you have great courage - which is not the absence of fear or worry. it's moving through the fear and worry and acting anyhow. you amaze me.

and your poor heart. it's hard when you think you've found just the thing, and it is rejected (and little girls are so good at rejecting)

Pgoodness said...

brave is the very definition of you, in so many ways. And a good cry sometimes brings everything back into perspective.

crazymumma said...

crying doesn't mean you are not brave.

but shit, I know exactly what you mean, they can bring us to our knees.

meno said...

I don't know how brave you think you are, but i know you are braver than me.

Little Monkies said...

Oh dear gentle and brave soul. It's the little things that bring the cascade. Be soft with yourself for awhile. Transitions take time, months and months maybe even. Poco a poco. Hugs.

Don Mills Diva said...

Oh jen, I think we all mostly fancy ourselves to be braver than we actually are...you're doing great.

Seattle Mamacita said...

I'll be re-reading every one of your posts when I get to your place in a couple years time...i'm like this too wanting to fast forward to the getting there and forget all the packing, the goodbyes the finality and the finiteness...this was an emotionally charged image you painted here.

flutter said...

I don't know, babe...you are pretty fucking brave.

hele said...

I'm with Flutter. Although I think not following your heart will be even harder.

I want you to know that we are always there for questions and advice. Flo has been involved in food gardening and permaculture for a long time now and lately he has started doing consulting on wait for it...ecologically friendly solutions things like compost toilets. From what I have gathered you get rather sophisticated models with a small solar panel that dries and evaporates assisting the spirit of your waste to escape while you are left with nothing more than a couple of dry scentless remains.

So when you are on the floor in the kitchen crying know that there is always a shoulder and an ear that happens to be connected to a sustainability expert :)

Deb said...

Even when you really want something and it's a good thing, it can still be terrifying and stressful. Sending a hug.

Ally said...

Oh you poor honest scared sweet beautiful little sweetie. Hugs to you. Thanks for sharing this moment with us, in all of its raw humanity.

Kyla said...

You are brave, sister.

Lisa b said...

bravery is jumping into that abyss and the unknown.
The alternative is to always wonder what could have been. Still it is a brave thing to do to live your dreams.

Gwen said...

And see I think that nothing would ever get done if people realized that they weren't as brave as they thought. It's going to be a wild ride, but at least you won't be crying at your end for "deeds left undone."

Heidi said...

One of my fav songs is Big Don't Cry (by Fergie) but the fact is big girls do cry. We may try to be strong and hold it all together, but we are human; we make mistakes; we feel pain. I commend you on taking on the last day ceremonies, it is unfortunate that M felt less than ecstatic about it all. Hang in there, she too is only human and will come around. Bravery is just on the outside, a facade. We all have it. Myself included. Thanks for this awesome post!

carrie said...

You are the bravest person I *know*.

"I am just a girl sitting on the kitchen floor . . ."

LOVE that.

((((you))))

TZT said...

Meant to post this the other day, but I've had painkiller brain:

You are super freaking brave.

When I need a little affirmation in the face of change, I like to listen to "Do Something Different" by Brave Combo at a very high volume. And dance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLSDNkw0pu4

slouching mom said...

beautiful post, jen.

and don't let the little one get you down. she HAS to do that, it's part of her development.

Susanne said...

For me it's not that much about braveness, it's just about the moment when you still don't quite know what to expect but you know enough that you have to say goodbye to the things that are familiar. You'll eventually be right in the middle of it and then you'll know what to do.

Also I often wish that our children could express their unease with change in a more compassionate fashion but they can't so they just dump it on us. Because they think we're strong we become strong.

Joker The Lurcher said...

its only because they are so secure that they can be so sharp to us.

as for your moving, what people have always said to me when i was doing something big (although i have never done anything that big!) is that if it turns out not to be the right thing, you can always come back. it doesn't feel like that but you always have choices.

and people all over the world are more the same than they are different at the end of the day. but you know that inside, when you aren't having a wobble. hugs.

Wayfarer Scientista said...

aww, honey...hugs!