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Once Upon A Time

Barn Swallow

Barn Swallow, Santee State Park, Santee, SC, by Jim Dollar

People wanted me once. Once upon a time, people were excited about me. Had made plans around me. Had planned ME. It seems surreal to me now to think about those people in that way. Those people who were my parents.

Where are my parents NOW? Oh, they’re still around. Both still alive. Not together, but still alive. Are they still excited about me? About my existence? I’d say…not. Do they love me? I think they both have loved me with as much love as they were capable of giving.

What happens to us that we get SO excited about the prospect of the birth of a child…and then lose it once the child is born? Our genetics seem to carry this need to be excited about new things. Perhaps, it’s an issue of bonding. Maybe the adrenalin of excitement is needed for that. All I know is that far more human beings are excited about a new puppy than an old dog. It might be the possibilities that attract us. Like Schrodinger’s Cat, all things are possible…until we know what those things are. As soon as a thing is gotten, it often loses its value—like a new car driven off the lot.

I’ve met some people who aren’t like this. Folks to whom newness equates unfamiliar/unpredictable/dangerous. I think we need more of those kinds of people in the world.

While I’m musing, I have to ask myself: What of my own children? Do I tell them often enough how very much I miss them? How if I had a time to live over, a choice to make, I’d go back to when they were small, when I was younger, healthier, more energetic? I’d spend more and more and more time with them and I’d help them to plan better for their own futures. My children are often suffering, and as a mother, at least the kind of mother I am, that is the most imaginable suffering of myself that I can fathom. I want them to be happy and to see life as a big and happy adventure, with just the merest tint of angst.

We can’t stop our kids from suffering. My parents certainly didn’t prevent it in me. Suffering is a part of life. A big part of life. An unavoidable part of life. All that I know to do is to be there when my children call. To encourage when I can. To tell them, often, how much I love them, moreover, to show it.

My own parents, I doubt they think of me much. My father has made choices that have forced him to live a life without his birth children. My mother thinks of me. I suspect, not often. She has her own life and three other children, so I’m not really required to carry out any duties where she is concerned. I often compare that to other friends of mine who are the only children of their parents, and I wonder if I were an only child, if things in my life would be different. If more effort would have been made on my part in terms of happy relationship.

I don’t really long for my parents. As a matter of fact, I think having no parent with whom I am close has opened the way for me to see other mentors as parental figures, and frankly, those people have had more skills and knowledge about how to navigate the world than my parents ever did. Not that not having those skills was my parents’ faults. It was not.

Overall, I guess I should be grateful that I was planned, that I was wanted, because it is the thing that got me here. And at least I started off my life in a family that contained great love for me. Love doesn’t always stay. That’s the thing about love. It’s evolving, ever changing, often fleeting.

I don’t believe in time. I think it’s a false product brought about by our occupying these “mass” bodies that we have. Often, flashbacks and memories take us back to times past, and we feel them and relive them, ARE them, again. So it does bring me comfort to realize that the love and blessings of my parents, whether or not I have it today, it is eternal. That moment, the day I was born, when they both set eyes on me, dreamed for me, wondered about me, that instant that they felt pride for the mere fact that I existed, and that they were responsible for that—THAT MOMENT—is encapsulated…forever.

It has to be, enough.

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Posted in My Life Today, Where Am I Now?.

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