I just finished reading a novel that takes part, a little bit, on a Navajo reservation. One character talks about the legend of Coyote, who is, in some mythology, a trickster. He whispers in peoples' ears, making them doubt themselves, question their own judgement, and he creates insecurity.
I know him well, lol!
The same character also reflects on her difficult childhood, with an alcoholic mom whom she had to take care of, and a distant father. And she realizes that retreating into herself wasn't a weakness, but a strength: she was able to find home within herself, instead of having to create in externally.
Also this morning, two radio DJs were joking about whether their parents loved their siblings more.
And it all got me thinking (what else is new?): I've often wondered, as children, even grown ones, do, if my parents loved my brother more. Because he never questioned their love, he just knew it was there. Whereas I questioned it constantly.
And that's the answer, I think. They didn't necessarily love me less, they worried about me MORE. Because my brother rarely second-guessed himself. He was, and is, very confident and capable. Whereas I am not. I mean, yes, I'm capable, but I didn't know it for the longest time. I was often paralyzed with fear, questioning EVERY decision I made, even little ones, like which product to buy at the grocery store. I lived in fear every moment, always afraid of making a mistake. Waking up in the morning was, for so many years, absolutely terrifying.
I didn't have alcoholic or distant parents. But I DID retreat into myself. And into my imagination. And I started creating: daydreaming, fantasizing, and even writing. Then I discovered acting, and fell in love with it. Without realizing it, I created a world inside myself that was, and is, Home.
Just a few minutes ago I looked at a picture of my daughter, taken when she was not quite two, holding a toy frog and smiling. It's one of my favorite photos; she radiates pure happiness in that picture.
It was taken at our old house in L.A., the one I loved. The place I was sorry to leave, even as I was excited to be getting out of L.A and moving to Northern California. It was the type of house I'd hoped we could get up here, eventually.
But this time when I looked at it, I didn't feel the same nostalgia I usually do. Not for the house or for that time when the kids were toddlers.
Don't get me wrong, I'd still LOVE for us to have our own house again. But this time, I want a single-story home. Staying at the lodge in Yosemite made me (and Hubby) realize how much better a smaller place would be. To be closer, both literally and figuratively, yet still have some privacy. It's more practical, in that we wouldn't be running up and down stairs all day checking on the kids. But also just to be in closer contact throughout the day makes a big difference.
For my son, who is having some separation anxiety, it would allay some of his fears. For my daughter, it would allow her to continue her independent streak but with less, well, destruction. And less worry on our part that she might fall down the stairs or out of a window!
At the end of the day, home is wherever the four of us are together. But as the kids head toward adolescence, I think less input from other family members might be beneficial.
My children are no longer babies. But they're not adults, either. They are still very young, and may always be that way. Chances are they will never be fully independent. That's a simple fact. There will always be something of the child in them.
I find them fascinating. And terrifying, sometimes. Especially when the familiar worries surface about what will become of them when Hubby and I are no longer here. At times I want to fold them in my arms and never let them out into the big, bad world again. But, of course, I can't. I CAN keep an eye on them as they play, work, and explore the world. It's not always easy, but I gotta do it. Loosen my grip in increments.
This week I'm doing a lot of yoga. Mainly because the kids are off for a week and a half and I won't be able to get to class. It's helping me physically, of course, but I think the biggest change is mentally. All these epiphanies aren't coming out of nowhere. I may, possibly, be starting to see the mental advantage of a regular practice. The one I've been hearing about for so long but has evaded me. Maybe THAT'S the reason for a daily (if possible) practice, and not just a cuter butt or even reaching Nirvana.
It's giving me a clarity I've NEVER had before. And while other workouts might help me reshape my physical self faster, yoga is clearing the fog from my brain. Which, I think, needs to be the priority right now.
But I'll still do my Barre workouts. 'Cause they're fun. A yoga practice doesn't have to be 90 minutes; sometimes a few sun salutations will suffice. Then there's the whole off-the-mat practice, but that's another post...
As far as Hitchhiking the galaxy goes...well, not physically. But the "Hitchhiker's" movie was on again the other day, and I've been watching the Science channel, especially when they do shows about space, space travel, and aliens. What can I say? I wanted to be an astronaut until I was 13! (Plus, Netflix has the entire series of "Into the Universe With Stephen Hawking," which is VERY cool.)
Anyway. Time to come back to earth and take the kids to the park. Let them run off some of that energy.
Live long and prosper.