Monday, July 8, 2013

Identifying with Jack Skellington

Back in the day, whenever I felt at loose ends I would look to E.M. Forster's novel A Room With a View and find myself in Lucy Honeychurch, all muddled and confused and yearning to find a calmness to her internal wrangling.

Now, I find myself identifying with Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king in Nightmare Before Christmas, which my children have watched over and over and over.

He sings in "Jack's Lament:"

Yet year after year, it's the same routine
And I grow so tired of the sound of screams....

Ohhhh, somewhere deep inside of these bones
An emptiness began to grow
There's something out there far from my home
A longing that I've never known.

Earlier this year I remember telling a momma friend, "If I can survive until September (when all 3 kids are in school part- or full-time), I will be okay."  It will be the first time in 9.5 years that I will not have had a child with me at all times.

As of early July, I am finding it a struggle to get to September.

I am having hare-brained ideas, which sometimes means I actually want to pursue hare-brained ideas.  But sometimes it is a signal that I am so desperately dissatisfied with the here-and-now that I will do anything to make things different from the way they are right.this.second.

It is not that I don't have things to occupy my mind.  I continue to read and plan try with as much fortitude and patience as I can muster to read and plan for my teaching position in the fall, but I am constantly interrupted.

When I do get time away from the children, it feels like a sip of water to a person who has been in the desert for years.  That mere sip doesn't alleviate the wanting of water and only makes the desire to drink deeply and long more acute.

Some days I cannot stand for one more instant having to listen to a lengthy discussion of American Girl/Our Generation dolls and/or Skylander Giants.

Recently I have begun to wonder if I am not yearning for a greater capacity for creativity.  Certainly my writing fills that void and planning literature lessons fills it to an extent, but I find myself wanting to make things with my hands, to feed my creativity in a different way.  Playing piano helps but again.....I am confounded by the interruptions.  As soon as my butt sits at the bench, someone needs something or has a violent urge to chat with me that cannot wait for me to run a couple measures.

It doesn't happen very often anymore, when I am gently scolded by others to "enjoy this time because it is so fleeting."  I think about the fleeting nature of some parts of it.

Whenever I listen to my children laugh until their tummies hurt or I chuckle at the funny ways they phrase things (like G saying, "I wanna make a shoot" when trying to throw the basketball into the goal), I know that these snippets are what I will miss.

But there are large swaths that I will not.  The tantrums.  The wiping of butts when accidents happen.  The interrupted sleep and too early mornings and the inability to drink deeply of time to myself and do things that satisfy the cravings of an adult mind and heart.

Summer is a road of uninterrupted interruptions, and I am beginning to grow weary.  

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