Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Baby says he doesn't need me...

"I don't need you! And you don't need me! I fine!"

Here's the weird place I am, emotionally right now. A while ago, The Baby said the above words to me, and I sort of got broadsided by this wave of Things:

  • He really isn't a baby anymore, he's three and a half, his curls aren't so soft, he can put on his own shoes and brush his own teeth, he knows that I drink tea for breakfast and eat soup for lunch, and that the mac and cheese I eat is not the same as the mac and cheese he eats.
  • He says "I not a teeny tiny baby, I a bigger little boy" when babies show up on commercials, but he says it while still wearing diapers and drinking from his ba-ba and holding onto my skirt while standing between my knees.
  • He has the same need to roam all over the place that his mom and uncle and I all had, but he lives in a world that is not nearly so nice to little kids out wandering alone as the world we lived in at the time.
  • He's not my kid, but he might be the closest I get to one if I don't find someone I feel like breeding with or adopting with in the next few years, and he's getting big.
And then, I thought:
  • He probably really is fine. He knows he can't go in the road, and he isn't overly willing to do what strangers tell him to do, and maybe that bird really does need to be chased, and that hill really does need to be rolled down.
I've spent a lot of time lately trying to sort through the pile of emotions and wants and needs that I haven't really dealt with for the last three years because I've just been Going With The Flow in that totally passive way that means you eventually wash up somewhere where you didn't want to be and now you have to deal with it. It's less that I don't want to be here physically, though there are other cities that better fit my idea of a city and life therein, and more that I don't want to be here mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It's led to a lot of thoughts that end with me not watching the kids anymore, and that's not something I want to do--I like watching them, I like seeing how they're growing up, and, revelation here, if I don't get my own kids, they're the ones I get to do this for.

I worry a lot about being a good other-mother (and not a bad other-mother like Coraline had) for these beasties, and I worry about being selfish in a way that will harm them even if it helps me--because if I'm improving my life by ditching one of the few things I like about how it is currently, that's against some pretty core values I have, and it's not really an improvement. I worry also about being sucked into someone else's life and then being bereft YEARS from now, when I surface again and I haven't done anything to make what I have for myself better. And when they're messed up because of not being allowed to be themselves any more than I allowed myself to be myself.

So it hurt when he said he didn't need me. But he didn't stop there, and to me it sounded like the Universe telling me something I needed to hear-- he doesn't need me the way I think he does, but I don't need him the way I think I do, either, because it's all fine. We're adaptable. We know who we are. We know we can do things for ourselves and stand on our own two feet and keep moving forward. He knows he's not a baby, no matter that we all call him Baby, and I know I'm not his mom even if I worry like I am, and we're fine. Because that's the Truth. And there's freedom in the Truth, even when it hurts to hear it.

He has to keep growing up, and so do I.
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