The last 6 months have brought such a shift into my world, definitions and roles have changed and opened and grown. I feel like the me that resides in this person, in this body, is stretching out and unknotting parts I did not even realize had tangled.
It started with a return to work, a role I was initially hesitant to embrace. The change seemed so big, to be away from them for such a time, to focus on something totally separate from Motherhood that required skills that felt rusty and unused. I cannot say I have totally embraced the change or done a very good job at all times, but I have realized what it has given me. Returning to work, doing something I was trained to do and making some good money doing it, is empowering and gratifying. And although I feel that I miss things that I was once so used to experiencing when home on a daily basis, I also know I am getting out of a lot of the tedium of days home with children. I no longer have to prepare every breakfast or lunch, so I can embrace making dinner when I get home. I no longer have to be witness to the endless messes and mischief they can create. I miss the brilliant smiles and developing skills, oh, I miss them so at times. But I see Tim and his weary smile when I come home and I know I am escaping the down side too.
The summer brought my first trip away from them, a wonderful special time when I finally had the chance to see my niece on her turf and get to know the little love so much better. I cherished those days with her, my hands free to scoop her up or roll with her on my makeshift floor bed. But it was tough to be away from them and the moment I returned I felt so good to be close to them, the physical distance was almost too much that time.
Then Tim and I (finally) had a successful and peaceful few days away, the boys safe in my parents’ care. Days when we lazed about on the beach and made a great meal we ate sitting down, all those things you take for granted before your children enter into the fabric of your days. It was lovely and we did spend a good amount of time talking about the boys, but we also spent some time talking about or dreams and needs and thoughts…actually fully formed uninterrupted thoughts.
And now this week new opportunities came to us. A spontaneous trip to the Grand Canyon for Tim, four days with a close family member and his camera. A spontaneous trip for me to meet my sisters in San Francisco to be part of a West African dance conference. It feels odd, to be able to tell him go, to hear that I can go. The team that we always seemed to need to be from the beginning has shifted and we feel fine flying solo, for a few days anyway. I would not say it is easy to manage without my other half, but it is far from terrible.
(scenes from Tim's kick ass trip to the slot canyons)
I write this because it feels like each one of these things, these experiences has changed some part of me, revealed a little more of the person that was consumed by the Mother role for the last few years. When I took a class with a master teacher this morning, flying arms and stamping feet of dozens of women all around, I felt something break open and fly for an hour. When I lay in bed and giggled with my sisters this morning, I felt a reconnect with the younger me, the one who fell asleep and woke everyday to Amanda talking and talking and talking. Waking me from a sound sleep with her talking. When I leave the house for work or yoga class unencumbered by small boys that take forever to get in the car, get in their seats, get out of the car, I feel light.
I am not sure I like the feeling. It feels too free sometimes, as if it should not be happening, as if it in violates my role as a Mama. It feels scary, to reclaim the woman that walked confidently down city streets once in a sassy skirt and tall black boots. I wandered SF last night, waiting for my sister to get into town, alone and fairly well dressed. I people watched and had a beer and resisted the urge to pull out my huge camera and take shots of the city at night. It felt good, it felt odd, it felt a little lonely.
(scenes from our kick ass anime themed hotel room)
I am rather inelegantly saying that I like it and I do not, the untying and untangling of the Me that I am now. I know more of what I want, but I think what shocks me is that I am actually getting it. I would have never believed you in the beginning if you would have said I would have a weekend away in a trendy hotel hanging out with my sisters with no kids in sight. I know it is not wrong to do these things, to take actual real Me time, but it still feels like clothes that hang a little bit off kilter. I am sure I will get used to it eventually.
It is in the breaths between Motherhood that I realize how very much I love what I have become. Mama seems first and always, but it is nice to have those breaths.
Have a great weekends, friends. Now I have to go soak my aching legs that were just totally schooled by an insanely good dance class. And get ready for one more.
I know, I know, enough with the existential Mama posts..I do have some creating to show, including my new favorite skirt, glimpsed in the picture above. Easy peasy sewing for a lot of payback.