I just had an enjoyable crossing from Wellington to Picton, talking about finding bliss, having fun, life, and Love, and whatnot. I came to the conclusion that our current journey was encouraging not only better energy choices, but also good family planning decisions! My bliss and life choices have led to Grumpy and I having a VERY large family. Young couples (or those who are confidently coupled) meet us, and I think the chaos that we carry around satisfies them to hold off on kids, or aim for a slightly more traditional sized family, or in some cases verifies that being kid free really is a palatable choice in 2016. Population growth is a real issue, perhaps we should take this show on the road and get more people hold off on breeding! In all seriousness, the children are all charming, funny, and amazing. They are the best thing we will do in our lives, but man they are a handful!
I get story after story from the childless and child rearing among our group that have me in stitches. One in particular about a young fellow (friend of one of our group, so this story is second or third hand) who’s bliss involved really REALLY liking women, and figuring out a rather pragmatic way of enjoying his hobby without complications after building a rather complicated life for himself. No idea why I thought this anecdote was so funny, but my goodness I nearly broke something laughing.
At any rate, today was a bittersweet metaphor. Travelling away from one thing that I Love (the North Island) to another (the South Island). It marked more than halfway through this epic trip we are all on together. It also marked leaving some stuff behind that I’ve been trying to shake (I call this feeling Giles, my relatively new but wonderful friend Jane helped me name it… it is a feeling of empty, numb, and struggling to breath, but I am fairly confident I left it halfway through the ferry crossing). Wellington is an amazing city and I adore it. Arriving and leaving always sends my already super-sappy self into a tailspin.
I laughed, because I LOVE to laugh. I’m reminded how extraordinary (and crazy) individuals are. I am reminded about my own special brand of crazy. Watching my kids laugh and play with other kids makes me a bit sad for the lonely little girl I was at their age, when they are so much better at social situations than I ever was.
I also felt a twinge of jealousy, which is NOT a frequent visitor to my emotional pallet, yet has snuck in a bit over the past few weeks. I must say it is not a useful emotion at all and I will take steps to remove it from the spectrum because, ick! Anyway, seems to me that those without kids have a freedom that I can only dream of. This is despite the fact I get a great deal more freedom than most parents because of the amazing army that provides support and scaffolding for myself and the kids. Watching my dear friends who do have kids spending an entire year together as a family on the road is a stark contrast to the sporadic parenting I’ve been doing lately. Somehow I managed to feel jealous of those with and without kids. They all seem to have things figured out far more than I do. Lately, I feel like most people have things figured out more than I do.
So. Many. Feelings.
And what do I ALWAYS say? Comparison is the the thief of joy. We make our choices. We have good days and bad days. The secret is to find the joy in the moments as they pass I guess. And to work really hard to see the blessings that stare at you as you are whizzing past them. The fact I get to spend time with and learn from such an amazing spectrum of human beings is humbling,and encouraging, and I ought not be anything but grateful for the opportunity.
I wouldn’t trade the chaos that Phteven and I have built. It is exhausting, terrifying, and spectacularly fulfilling. But I am pleased to be finished and seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. The baby is growing up and my plans for riding off into the sunset (childfree) with my husband one day once they are all off at Uni, really isn’t that far away.
So, the kids will be here with us until I say goodbye in a few short days and fly up to Auckland and then to Munich. I’ve got a whirlwind tour of the EV landscape in Europe and then the USA. It is absolutely tied into my work, but it would be out of character of me to fail to admit to myself that I am also running away. A few weeks to recharge my batteries, do some work, and miss my four fabulous creations will hopefully reboot something in my brain and put me in good stead to carry on and get my mothering act together a bit more upon my return.
Who knew a little trip across the Cook Straight could bring such an onslaught of introspection!
Have a wonderful week, and thank you for reading.