Hello rock, hello hard place

31 Mar

Dear daughters,

At this very moment, you are living a fairly idyllic childhood. Eighteen months ago we moved out of the city, to the Sierra foothills. Our house, a solid, white farmhouse built in 1903, sits on a third of an acre on which you have free range. You run and tumble over spring growth so high it often pulls you down as you run through it. You turn over rocks to find earthworms, make “soup” out of rainwater and leaves and swing from the massive oak tree that shades the house. Soon a spring garden and backyard chickens will add to your fun.

Ophelia, you spend your mornings at the local Waldorf school; a five minute drive from our house. While you are there you bake bread, roll in the sand pit and cozy up in a loft full of pillows. You can’t go a day without telling me how much you love your school. Each day you come home glowing and exhausted.

Theta, we spend our mornings together, either meeting with mama and baby friends for a crafting morning/walk, shopping at the local co-op for groceries or just hanging out at home and folding laundry. When we are out you wave at smiling strangers and hold my hand as you toddle your way from one place to the next. You are the sweetest companion.

Each night we light candles, say our blessing (“we love our bread, we love our butter, but most of all we love each other”) and eat dinner as a family.

That is the picture of our lives in this moment. This is the picture we carefully crafted; a quiet neighborhood, a good school, a loving community and mellow days. A simple and full life. A childhood free of debilitating distractions. Hell, we don’t even let you watch TV.

And I believe in what we are giving to you girls. I do, I truly truly do. We’ve worked hard. made personal, professional and financial sacrifices to live this life. But please don’t hate me when I say this: I am mind-numbingly bored.

Maybe bored isn’t the right word. How can I be bored when there is something to be done, someone who needs me nearly every minute of every day? There’s no thumb twiddling. But I am restless. My brain is constantly looking for mindless tasks to complete because it feels so utterly useless otherwise. I loathe being asked to play make-believe. No, thank you, I would not like to eat raspberry soup from your wooden bowl. Again. And after you go to bed, there’s just nothing left. I don’t want to write. I don’t want to read a novel. I want to watch Louie and eat peanut butter out of the jar.

As much as I love our life and I want the two of you to continue to benefit from all of this, I feel myself slipping away. I’m going through the motions: cooking the oatmeal, tying the shoes, wiping the asses. But I’m not really here.

So now what? you may ask. And truthfully I don’t know. I just recently reread a blog post from when I was teaching in Oakland and just the thought of going back to work and feeling that same sadness to leave you scares the hell out of me. But even if we’re not talking a full time job, I’d like to at least dip my toes in the water. How amazing it would feel to go 2 hours without having yogurt smeared across my shirt, to constantly unclip and re-clip my bra to nurse, to have someone ask my opinion about something other than whether I prefer burps or farts. So I updated my resume, drafted a cover letter and sent references out in the hopes that I will get an interview for a teaching position opening up next fall. I’m not sure whether I actually want it or whether I just want to get dressed up and talk about my profession for a while. Either way, here it goes!

I love you so very very much,

Mama

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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