Monday, September 14, 2009
Where do we go from here?
Whats around the corner?
I was at an anniversary party yesterday. It was the kind of party I never throw or even go to-- even before I became an introvert. There were over 100 people filtering in and out. Three kegs, a definite aura of possible pot smoking going on somewhere hidden in a back room in spite of the dozens of children (my own included) running around in a lord of the flies fashion, people laughing, drinking too much, lots of great food, music, the smell of grilling veggies and meats, the sky a bright blue, people signing a big banner with congrats for the happy couple who had managed to keep loving each other for 10 years. Quite a feat in this day and age! A celebration. A party.
I don't like parties. Never have. I'm more of an intimate gathering type of girl. I like to have deep conversations, or play funny games. I like to laugh with a few people that I know. I like to get to know them better. I don't drink. Neither does my husband. We don't smoke pot...or anything else for that matter. I never dropped acid, or ate mushrooms....I like to feel my feelings even when they are raw and painful. I like to go to the places of conversation that become closed if substances are involved. The raw places. The truth places. I like to know that what I am experiencing is real...not induced by a substance. If I ever do get to see a fairy, I will know that I really saw it!!!
My "parties" don't offer kegs and homemade wine. There isn't a back room for parents to sneak off to while their children run around in circles--boys against girls...girls boldly kissing the boys and laughing as the boys scream in feigned disgust. No one has the glazed over eyes of mild intoxication that influences what they say and how they say it. I like balloons. Flowers. Lavender Lemonade or sparkling pear cider. I don't win awards for my home brewed peach wine. I win awards for kick ass cakes and ethnic food.
So all that difference aside, I was at this party. It was the anniversary of the banjo player in my husbands band. A sweet hippie couple with two cute redheaded kids to match their parents copper topped love. They are more laze fair about their substance use than I am...I try not to judge them...but...I don't really like it.
So, I was keeping an eye on my kids...and stroking my puppy's fur while he slept in the shade, and occasionally popped something yummy into my mouth. People watching. It's become a sport of mine. Wondering what kinds of pain are hiding behind the smiles. I wonder this because my own smile hides all kinds of pain...and I often wonder if people can see behind it. If they avoid my eyes on purpose.
A young woman that I'd never met raced up to me and said "Hey...would you watch my little girl while I go in back?" She winked at me to let me know what "in back" meant and smiled sheepishly. Now...the old me would have weakly smiled and said "sure." simply to seem like I wasn't judging and was happy to watch a tiny little girl whose mother was going to go "have fun". The new me looked at her...looked at her tiny daughter with the little pink dress...and shook my head. "No...No I won't do that for you. I just can't." She looked a little taken aback...and then rushed off to find some other person she didn't know to care for her little one while she got high.
I felt like crying. I felt like crying for all the children who had parents that were not there for them, when I am usually such an attentive mama who would have LOVED the responsibility of two more...it made my stomach turn to see the parental shirking all around me...it seemed so unfair...I felt like I could become a child napper at that moment...be like the pied piper and lead all the children away into a world they didn't even know existed, where mommy and daddy are REALLY there for you when you wake up at night from a nightmare, or get stung by a bee, or have your heart broken....
I watched as a little boy less than two years old cried as he looked for his mom in the crowd of people he didn't know. Where was she? Probably in "the back room". I looked across the yard and saw my husband cuddling another woman's tiny baby boy. He adores babies. We both do. Only...it seems that he can actually hold one without losing his mind. I loved watching him dance around with that little boy...so tiny...so new...and all I could think was how wonderful it would have been to have seen him dancing with his eyes sparkling...his arms full of two new little boys blinking up at him...getting to know their daddy. My fingers gripped Ferdinand's plush fur a little deeper and my puppy looked up at me and licked my arm. His eyes peeking out of the hair that is growing so fast sparkling with understanding for my heart.
My husband gave the baby back to the happy young mother after a final kiss to the downy little head, came over to me and saw in my face that I wanted to go. He understands...he doesn't like the whole scene of parental irresponsibility that I was watching all around us either. These are the people that never grew up. These are the people that didn't just "experiment" in college. These are parents. Parents who think they are just happy hippies having a mellow time together, and maybe that's true on some kind of level. But when push comes to shove...they aren't being very attentive parents. They aren't really there for their kids. How can they be when they are in a "back room"?
Anyway...I guess I was there too, in a different kind of "back room", the back room where I sit and grieve my babies...where I am alone with my broken heart. Who was I to judge these parents leaving their kids for the back room...after all...where I have been for the past four months? In a back room of my broken heart. I realized that it was exactly the same thing. I was alone in a crowd of people. And so were my children even though I was only 10 feet away.
I wanted to go home.
As I was gathering up my stuff so that I could join my family in the car the lead guitarist called out to me "Hey Sara! If you'd just have a couple more boys you'd be able to have some kind of sports team at your house!" He laughed and held up his glass, filled to the brim with amber ale. I looked at him for a minute...and said.."Yeah...that would have been nice...I would have liked that." The guy sitting next to the guitarist groaned and slapped the guy across the back. "Idiot!" He whispered fiercely enough for me to hear as I turned and walked away blinking back the tears.
I took a few deep breaths and walked on. The wife of the banjo player grabbed my arm and hugged me, thanking me for coming, telling me that I'm super sexy with all my curves and "tiger purred" at me in joking fashion. She always does that after a few too many. I wished her many more years of love with her sweet husband, and continued walking. There was an extra child in our car...the little girl of the lead guitarist...It seemed she would be joining us.
We drove away and my husband squeezed my hand and showed me a pair of mini drumsticks given to him by one of his band members so that he could "play" in his office between therapy clients "to keep him young and sane". We stopped at the river on our way home and I dug my toes in the sand while I watched our boys and a sassy girl play in the water. It felt good to breath slowly in the silence of nature...to cleanse out judgmental thoughts and process the day.
The sky was still blue as ever...the air crisp and warm at the same time...children laughing.
"You did really great today honey" my husband said
"I just want you to know that I don't want to go to any more parties like that."
It's really nice to be on the same page...to be in love...to be holding hands and growing together rather than apart..to be sober and in touch with reality....our kids are happy....and they really are sort of a team already. Maybe not a sports team....but a team none the less. And Simon and Alexander are part of that team, even if they can't be seen.
Posted by Emerging Butterfly at 10:24 AM