These are my holiday gifts.
I’ve been dying to post pictures of them.
I want you all to know how creative and crafty I am.
This morning, I woke up with a premonition that Child was dead.
She was really so lovely at the holidays. She was good and sweet and all things that are important for small children to be in order to win the favor of Jolly Old St. Nick.
But when I thought she was dead, I was full of sadness and panic for a moment, a much shorter moment than is reasonable. Then I was filled with wistfulness for returning to my pre-child life, and I felt relieved and free. I also briefly considered the delicious excusability of substance abuse and general fuck-uppery.
Then I went into her room and felt her chest for breath. It was there and I was more glad than disappointed. So that’s something, right?
I’m blaming this pile of angst on the massive, emotional build up that Xmas as a parent (especially a broke one) embodies, that is invariably anticlimactic. I’ve written before about some of my mixed feelings about being a mom, and you all know about my mixed feelings about Xmas. And please don’t take this to mean that I’m homicidal toward my kid, or that I regret or resent her. But man oh. I think I need to put some more pictures of monsters. Monsters are happy.
I let Child watch Futurama, whenever she wants. She does not get the jokes she shouldn’t get, and I find it to be a more entertaining cartoon than Fanboy and Chum Chum. She thought these were hilarious.
So did their giftees, my good friends B and T. I know these aren’t exactly proportional, and I worried for a moment that B&T would think I was making some kind of judgment about their human proportions. I was not.
Everyone was a little more interested in these little gifts than I expected them to be.
I talked Fella into going to my parents for overnight. It was lovely.
We got to hang out with my sister and her brand new fiance. They are getting hitched up this summer. Below is a picture of them and Child in Baltimore.
And now, I am feeling emptied out and tired and wishing that I could’ve worked through Xmas.
And I am hoping that you have better feelings about Xmas. More like these ones I was having a few weeks ago.
I have conflicting feelings about marriage, too. I am not married, nor do I aspire to be. When I was young, I imagined my life alone in an urban apartment, taking a succession of monogamous lovers.
I am happy for my sister. I like her fiance. I think they are both fabulous humans and they will make lean, gorgeous babies. But I am worried about them making babies. Not because I think they are incapable, in fact, I believe my sister to be gifted with natural child rearing abilities (like my mom); but because I am traumatized by making babies. And because, selfishly, I am worried about watching people I love become parents in healthy, rewarding, mature, socially appropriate ways. And because my baby sister making a baby–even if she does it in 7 years–will mean something about the evolution of family that will force me to face my parents’ mortality, mine, and my own inadequacy, by which I am daunted.
My dad showed me a passage in a book Fella got him for Xmas that indicated that he believes that I am eschewing my spiritual journey. That he thinks I am godless and hopeless. Maybe you think that, too, now.
I am not. But I do think that religion (not spirituality), is more limiting than people believe it to be. And I personally view it as a coping mechanism more than as a helpful set of mores by which to live.
So that’s it, fair blog readers. I am not warmed and filled by this season.
I am warmed and filled by the so far, only positive response I’ve had about my nonprofit, Billtown Blue Lit. By the indie book store agreeing to let us set up at First Friday, and by the way in which the project and my hard work will enrich my community. I am affirmed by doing good work, not by religious rhetoric, gift-giving/receiving, or by motherhood.
Does this make me empty or capitalist or lacking perspective? I don’t think so. It makes me honest to myself, and willing to accept responsibility for figuring out how to be a useful, good, human, even though I’ve made choices that have ended in things I don’t always know how to manage.