Posts tagged ‘not alone’

empathy delivery

Let’s all pretend for a moment…

We’re getting together for tea today. We rode our bikes. See mine (or yours) up above? Yes isn’t it a lovely day? We certainly are not staring bleery eyed at a computer screen, no siree. And we are not pressed for time. And we are not concerned about anything. Nope. We live in a quaint, sunny place (all year round), and we are surrounded by loved ones. Today is the day we all gather together, share good food, listen to each other’s stories, and offer empathy to one another. Let’s imagine these bits of empathy scattered throughout our blissful day.

I hereby deliver a platter of empathy to any and all:

  • that are fed up with sickness, quarantine, puking, and sniffles.
  • that did not buy the groceries they prefer to buy, due to a tighter than comfortable budget.
  • that feel stuck.
  • that do not want to leave their children with someone else in order to work a part-time, minimum wage , job.
  • that have the November blues.
  • that see a break-up on the horizon.
  • that share their children.
  • that have a vision for their lives that isn’t matching their current situation.
  • that could seriously use some new clothes.
  • that feel they have changed and want others to notice.
  • that want things to move faster than they are.
  • that want to move their body a lot more than they are currently able.

Oh, I am so glad we did this. What a beautiful day. We really should do this more often. Next weekend? Works for me. You should bring a friend! I think I’ll serve chocolate fondue next time, or maybe peach-raspberry pie.

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November 20, 2009 at 5:00 am 4 comments

not…alone

alone_with_the_alone_by_pakpao

When I was pregnant with Echo I felt really alone. Nathan would say how funny or strange that seemed since carrying another living being inside my body might be the least alone I’d ever be. But “alone” isn’t just the physical reality of being the only one in the room. I felt alone even with another human being within me. Alone is a feeling, and feelings don’t always coincide with physical realities.

More than two years later, I’m still thinking about that idea. Alone in spirit.

Echo and I rode over to Kris’ house  today and I realized that she and  I live only blocks away from each other, yet are often completely isolated from one another. She is in her house feeding, playing, and holding her children. And I am in my house feeding, playing, and holding my own. As I rode through the neighborhood I wondered how many other parents am I passing? How many of those silent houses shelter another mom or dad feeding, playing, and holding?

How many of them, though inside a crowded house, feel alone?

When I was pregnant I felt alone because the person nearest to me was not pregnant, and though he is amazing, I knew he was not feeling the same things I was. No matter how often you say “we’re” pregnant, it still isn’t true. No one can deliver that baby for you,and that can feel lonely.

What helped, at the time, was empathy from someone who had experienced something similar. It felt good when my midwife visited and told me tales of kicking her husband out of the house because she was pregnant and wildly pissed off. It felt good to go to birth class and see other bellies. It felt good to hear stories I could relate to, from people I related to.

Now I am parenting in a way that flows against the current of our culture. To parent with empathy as a foundation can be a lonely enterprise indeed, as this is not the norm. Odds are your mother-in-law (or neighbor, or  grocery clerk) thinks you are crazy, your own mother may feel these choices are a direct attack on her parenting, and nine out of ten parents at a birthday party do not parent as you do.

Today, even more than when I was pregnant, I need people I relate to, to hear me, and share with me. I need to cross the divide, to make it the few blocks to my friend’s house, and hear her talk. I need the simple text that reconnects me. I need lifelines that keep me from being alone in the crowded room.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this. I only know that if I feel this then someone else might feel it too. And if they do feel this way, it might help to read these words late at night while their children sleep. I am reaching across the divide.

October 27, 2009 at 5:00 am 5 comments


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