Friday, May 27, 2011

Ants cause deep thoughts.

Sometimes, I login, click new post and begin to type. Because I want to. Even when, if I were a really responsible housewife, I would clean the kitchen.

Sometimes I can't help but laugh at how giant our ants are. When I wake up to their bloated black bodies, drunken and passed out on the watermelon smorgasbord left overnight on the floor under Max's highchair. Because the supperwork didn't get done. Insert generic busy reason here. Mommy and Thane rushed off post supper to a gallery opening. Daddy was on bedtime duty alone with the three littlest. Regardless, we have the most well fed ants in town.

Sometimes, I try to let go of what my mother would think.

I wrestle, straining, fighting, to pull my thoughts away from that place of guilt where my mothers disapproving eyebrows reside in my brain, telling me without a word that if I was a good person and mother, my counters would be clean.

That if I were a good person, there would be no ant feast.

Because the true-to-me contingent in my brain tells me that is ridiculous. That my housewifery does not define my good-person-ness. That I can still be a good mom with a dirty kitchen.

How is it that your little girl self can still live inside your almost thirty year old body? The little girl who needs reminded that it's okay for her values to differ from her mother's.

Sometimes, I pour a second cup of coffee.

Even though I won't have time later to clean the kitchen. Even though later our day will be so jam packed with appointments that I won't have two seconds. Maybe precisely because.

Sometimes, I sit with these deep thoughts and allow them time to percolate. I sip coffee as I watch a herculean ant crawl into the compost bowl. I wonder why there is a sandal sitting beside the compost bowl. I wonder where the other sandal is.

I wonder and sip and type, even though I can't justify the time spent, even though the to-do list isn't crossed off enough to feel I have earned the break.

Actually, sometimes I can justify the time spent. I guess that's what I do. Each time I sit down for time for me, I have weighed the outcomes of that and deemed it okay.

Claire is busy and content alone. She wanders around outside my window, on the wet grass in sandals, discovering the dew on her toes, attempting to understand why Mommy suggested rainboots even though it's not raining. Max has gone down for a nap.

I judge and analyze this moment. I could weigh in and surrender to the housework should's.

Or I could allow myself to give more weight to the should of creative expression.

I would argue that case in someone else's defense. I have. For my child's classroom I would say that art is valuable in it's own right, not just when applied in conjunction with the outcomes of math or literacy.

Creative expression is worthy on the to-do list.

I need to remember that in relation to me.

Creative expression, writing, creating, painting, is worthy and important. It's a discussion worldwide, it's a meeting of the minds, it's growth and reflection, commentary, a mirror held up to society, to history. It sustains culture.

It sustains me.

I know this. Why do I exempt myself from that? Why do I go, 'Oh, but I need to get these things done before I can allow myself to do that.' That's why I don't draw anymore. I'm responsible. My kids need things. My time. My effort.

If I wait for the to-do's to be done I will never sew again.

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