Thursday, February 18, 2016
Objects in the Mirror are Closer Than They Appear
I drove to Oxnard on Tuesday afternoon and spent a couple nights with a friend. I worked during the day, periodically stopping to chat with her, catching up on all we've been doing and experiencing since the last time we were together. I also slept in, meaning no 4:00 in the morning seizure checks and 6:00 in the morning wake-ups. I didn't have to dole out any medicine or break up any boy fights, either. I needed the break. We all need breaks, and some of us have few, if any. Mothering and particularly caregiving (I do both and know the distinction) can be overwhelming in their demands, and while it might be a cliche to emphasize how much my identity is wrapped into those demands, I do retain a thread of self, and that thread is pretty tough. At worst, it's attached to a balloon, but it doesn't break. It floats around, sometimes out of reach until I tug it. I am thinking these days that the thread needs to be more of a spool. This is a clumsy metaphor. I'm still thinking.
Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear. So is sanity. And insanity.
Posted by Elizabeth at 2:46 PM
Labels: caregiving, mothering, musings, Oxnard, parenting
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You know, the first time I ever saw a mirror with that statement on it, I thought to myself, "Now THERE'S a title for a book."ReplyDelete
You used it perfectly here. So many things are closer than they appear.
That thread which is your self is so tough that they should make hurricane-proof houses out of it. It is one of the things I admire most about you.
It sounds as though you need life to cut you more slack, as the saying goes. More spool to that thread. As for the notion that 'objects in a mirror are closer than they appear', it's the first time I've heard this expression and it sets my mind racing with possibility - a warning or a promise.ReplyDelete
Glad that you got a couple of days break. It's easy to forget yourself when you're a caregiver. And Oxnard is so nice.ReplyDelete
I hope you'll get to take these breaks a little more regularly. Still thinking about your awesome tat.ReplyDelete
oh, the breaks will keep you from breaking, my dear. good for you! good for all who love you. xoReplyDelete
I've never been comfortable defining myself as a caregiver rather than a mother, thoughReplyDelete
it's certainly the prevailing convention now, especially for people as old as Amelia and I are. I don't doubt that having time away might make the distinction more attractive, yet I'm
not sure how I feel about that as a descriptor of the relationship.
I actually don't distinguish between caregiving and mothering of Sophie, but I certainly do for the boys. I didn't make that clear, I guess. The minutia of "caregiving" at this point with Sophie -- the diaper changing, the medicine, the moving and handling, the ensuring of her safety -- is what I need a break from. I never need a break from being her mother -- or the boys, for that matter. That's the distinction.Delete
Hey that's my line! 😩Delete
I am so glad that you manage to hold on to that thread and everyone who reads your blog is a keeper of it as well, you know. I think we all need each other to remind us to let it take center stage from time to time and it sounds like that is what you just did. Glad you got a break, however short. Here's to the next one coming soon. Love.ReplyDelete
do you really have that on your mirrors?! actually, i should ask: do you have fewer accidents because of that on your mirrors? :)ReplyDelete