Fighting for productivity, struggling for balance in the day to day. We all do it and some more than others. Today my creativity is stifled by the demands of parenthood. I suppose I could simply say I have a teenager entering into that very trying stage of a wild energetic combination of moody and fighting for independence. It’s normal we all did it without even fully realizing it. I am so sorry to my parents for the push back and struggles I am personally responsible for.
I try and remind myself that it is the way we grow and become and move into adulthood. There is always a period of transitions that lends way to anxiety for all involved, that place between childhood and adulthood that is neither here nor there. My own mother had the patience of a saint. Allowing not one of us but five of us freedom of expression. She spent countless hours listening to the twang of our out of tune notes from instruments as we learned to play.
We were allowed to dress as we pleased and experiment with our hair. She allowed us to become who we were naturally rather than trying to mold us into the squares that society deemed acceptable. I contribute so much of my creativity and individuality to her. I believe she is responsible for keeping my curiosity intact and that helps me be who I am overall. We were taught that all life is precious. All humans are equal. That it is okay to love whoever we love and to be ourselves without apologies.
Some people live their lives in the areas of black or white. I live in the gigantic area of grey. She made us more empathetic and better human beings for the world. She often took in injured or stray animals and would nurse them back to health if at all possible. I remember birds with broken wings, countless cats, there were dogs, a ferret, an opossum ( that one was more my brother’s project) we had countless fish, and at one point even a baby deer. These lessons allowed us to see the life and souls of all living creatures.
The opossum loved to swim in the bathtub. The deer would love and lick like a dog. No worries as she got older she was placed outside and we stop really interacting with her. Eventually a group of young deer started coming around and she eventually left with them. We never saw her again. Kitty lives saved and all kind of creatures in-between. What an amazing experience really.
I went through a phase where I insisted upon cooking on my own, it did not go well at first. My parents ate every bite even though it was definitely not good. We were taught that we should love and look after each other. I was blessed to grow up with Sunday dinners and family gatherings. Still to this day we occasionally randomly gather and there is always food and laughs. It is fewer and farther between with the health risks of gathering in today’s world and the sudden and heartbreaking loss of my dad last year. We don’t always realize just how much some people are the glue of the family. We also almost never know how much one person’s absence will change everything.
I am grateful for all of the lessons I learned from him as well. He was a big believer in being who you are, no apologies. He was adventurous and spontaneous and believed in taking chances. He wasn’t one to dismiss something until he had first tried it. He had a wanderlust that was unquenchable and he passed that down to me. He traveled so much in life for both work and fun, that he became a walking road map. Honestly long before Google maps or map quest, if you needed to know how to get anywhere in the country he could tell you what highway numbers to take and the best way to get there and the quickest way. He knew the areas to avoid and had endless advice.
I was born to a man of the world and to woman that was his world. I became so many of their best parts and traits and some of their more stubborn and tough traits. They did amazing raising five children into loving and productive adults. Im still realizing all of the lessons I have learned from them. All of the things I didn’t take notice of during my carefree childhood years and during my fierce and trying, self-absorbed teenage years. Thank goodness for parents like these.