Saturday, August 20, 2005

Stories of experience

I've reached that age in which I reflect a lot on times past. That is the privilege we trade for suppleness and youth as we age. I can say that yes, if I knew then what I know now, I would tell myself I do NOT need to worry about my thighs. My gosh, this came home to me when I went to the funeral of an old friend, and there on the picture board were photos of us in the summertime, a lifetime ago--we were about 25--and I was so SKINNY!

I can say that yes, one really has no way to be prepared for the amount of stuff that is amassed when you live in the same home for 23 years. Do we really need that fruit crate painted hot pink with "Elvis" emblazoned on the side? Guess not. Luckily, someone else apparently did, because it's gone from our "pearl diving" curbside site. There's still an old but serviceable cabinet there for anyone interested.

I can say that yes, I'm just not as flexible as I was once, in spite of yoga and a healthy lifestyle. I never in a million years at age 19 would have thought getting up from the floor could be a challenge. How foolhardy of me that have thought thusly!

I can say that yes, I never would have thought that at this point in my life, I might find myself in front of a bunch of families with toddlers telling stories on the banks of the Mississippi River. It wasn't part of the plan. And along with that, I can also add that yes, I'm so glad I didn't worry about "the plan" and miss that joy.
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Gwyn does indeed tell a story at Sand on the Riverbank.

Most of all today I can say that yes, I never would have imagined the alternating joys and heartbreaks that come with parenthood. We were prepared, ready, almost could have been granted a certificate, given that we both have degrees in fields relating to child development.

Those classes taught us NOTHING! Nineteen years ago on this day, I left the life of a young married for one called "parenthood." The first of my two sons was born nineteen years ago today. Our journey into the uncharted waters on the Good Ship Parenthood started, as all such journeys, with joy, excitement, and not more than a little apprehension. This journey, in fact, took me to my avocation turned part-time profession of storyteller, as we wanted to provide for our kids imagination and creativity, instead of video games and cartoons. Your basic "Waldorf type" childhood, with their little personalities unfolding a la Joseph Chilton Pearce. Our children had such childhoods, with imaginations nurtured, psyches sheltered and selves unfolding.

What has sometimes unfolded was never what we, or Mr. Pearce, would have predicted. These are called "heartbreaks," but without heartbreak, one can't truly appreciate joy and exhiliration that also is part of bringing up fine young men.

I can therefore say that yes, nineteen years ago, we entered the shifting waters of joy and heartbreak that comes with parenting, but I can also say that yes, it has been worth it. My sons are still unfolding. I understand that with guys, the unfolding is likely to continue into their 20s.
There have been a couple little rips and missed valley folds in this origami experience, but I fully believe that though they may have a damaged crease on a wing here or there, they will emerge, like the cranes, strong and ready to fly on their own.

This is the privilege of both the twin wisdoms brought by age and parenting.


At 2:45 PM, Blogger Helena said...

This is really beautiful and insightful. I feel like my life has taught me a lot of things already, but then I realize that I'm just starting out on this parenting thing and wonder where we'll all end up. I remember when I announced I was pregnant, someone said "Welcome to the wonderfull rollercaoster ride that is parenting!" and DH said "I don't think I'm tall enough for that ride!"

Thanks for sharing!

At 9:42 AM, Blogger Thena said...

You are such a brilliant writer and story teller.

Love your insights and your blog.


At 6:33 PM, Blogger Kathryn said...

Look at you! :) I love seeing a picture of you in 'action'! :)

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