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The Emms and Me

December 10, 2010

December 7 – Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? (Author: Cali Harris)

As I mentioned in another post, I have been a mostly single parent for all of 2010.  And I admit and own that this was my choice, and I am not complaining. I have really enjoyed this time with my girls. With the situation we’ve been dealing with – my husband having to move 700 miles away – we have had to learn to depend on each other.  And since they are 9 and 6, this isn’t always easy. How much should a 6 year old really have to bear? How often can mom say no, sorry, I can’t? But I am one of those parents who is probably too honest with her children.

I will tell them – we can’t afford that, we chose to spend our money elsewhere.  I don’t have energy for all one hundred things you want to to do today, pick your top 3.  Your beloved relative is sick, and here’s what that might mean, and here is how we can best help. I depend on them to process that information and ask questions and contribute in the small ways that they can. And, shockingly, they do.

And since July, when something happened to my hip (still under consideration as to WHAT, EXACTLY, is going  on), I have had to depend on them even more. Due to the excruciating pain, you see, housework and yard work and sometimes just sleeping and walking around like a regular person have been difficult at best.  And so we have built this little circle, the three of us. We’ve dealt with devastating diagnoses of people we love, we’ve dealt with small-to-medium sized crises around the house, everything from a chirping fire alarm to no heat to a dead dryer…and we have worked together and made it work and made it through, and I’m proud of us. We know one another’s quirks and pet peeves and limits and dreams, and we support and understand those things.  We love unconditionally, but we know that means we don’t have to always like what someone else does or says or thinks or wears.  My hope and my prayer and my most fervent wish is that our little community stays strong through the tween and teen years – and I am afraid to be too intentional about it, since it has worked so far just because…well…it has worked so far.

I did read about a mother and daughter who had a journal together that they passed back and forth, a sacred and safe place to ask and answer questions and to communicate in some  way, when face to face is just too much.  I think now is a good time to start that with Molly, to get us both in the habit of sacred, safe places together where anything is askable and everything is fixable, somehow.

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In 2011 I would like to find or create a community of creators – artists who work in media that allow for travel, to be able to get together to create. I know that me behind my laptop doesn’t really look like an artist at work, but I like to think I create something worthy with my words, and I think doing that in community with other creators will enhance and inform and inspire some of the things I want to work on next year.

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