DUM ditty DUM ditty DUM DUM DUM…

December 1st, 2011 § 2 comments § permalink

Hand in hand MORE people come.

Daughter and Mother, Grand Canyon.

So go the wise words in a Dr. Seuss book that I have read over and over again, until it became a mantra. Granted, it was my first child, Richard, who was taken by the rhythm and language. My third, Francesca, just can’t get enough of Go Dog, Go! I sometimes have to hide it under my mattress or else she’ll have me read it three times in a row. And it’s a long one. I just can’t do it again! I silently scream to myself. The little guy in the middle, my second child, well, I can’t seem to remember which book was his favorite. The breaks of the middle child. I can relate because I am the monkey in the middle, too.

So this is what I’ve been doing for the last 11-plus years. Reading to my children. Rearing my children. And writing here and there, time and energy and focus permitting. The focus is the biggest challenge. You know what I mean, if you have any children. Or if you know me at all. I’ve been known to be a bit scattered. No doubt, I love my children. They are amazing, awesome, inspiring, mind-opening, endless love creatures. But as my 4-year-old gets ready for school, I’m relieved and happy to have some time to myself. And I’m also thinking thoughts of getting older. Being old. I’m the ripe age of 47.  Where did it all go? How come only a few years ago, I didn’t give a shit about my age, about aging, about being aged. Now, sometimes, I can’t stop thinking about it. I credit that to moving back to the States from Bali. I don’t really know why exactly. Or maybe I do. People are just too caught up in looks, in perception, in being something besides themselves. An image of what they want to be, yet can’t quite grasp what it is they want beyond the illusion of it all.

There’s no escaping it. I can’t stop time, can I. What a cliche. My thoughts veer inescapably toward something I would NEVER consider just a few years ago: a tummy tuck, liposuction, a boob job. My eyelids are starting to sag, gray hair is emerging only 3 weeks after a color job. An old friend was surprised at my age. She said she thought I was 43. REALLY. I found that insulting. She thought I was THAT old? When I think about it, I don’t really care. I care that others care, which makes me more aware and then feel compelled to give a shit.

Stop right there!

Meatloaf comes to mind at this moment. Not for dinner, which is what you’d expect from a mom of three like me with dinnertime looming. Instead, an image emerges of the bombastic lead vocalist whose classic song has lingered in my mind way beyond the age of reason. The song Paradise by the Dashboard Light remains clear in my head as if it has stood still in time, yet when I think of who I was when it was so popular, at age 13, it seems like a different life. That’s when I sort of got it for the first time, the whole concept of a guy wanting to make it to home base with a girl, the girl holding him off at the final stretch, the promise of forever love, succumbing, and then everything falling apart. Love gone sour, before I even began dating, became utterly clear from this nine-minute song I watched on TV at my cousin Andy’s home in West Palm Beach.

I stray again. What to do, what to do. What is the purpose of this monologue? Where is this all going? I can’t drone on about my age. Or an old rock song that gets resurrected periodically. Enough already. So let’s move on to another subject. Home life.  Here on the farm in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, I once again have a somewhat detached existence from the mainstream, replicating a life lived in other parts of the earth, in the rice fields of Bali, or in a fishing village in Hong Kong. It’s all different, yet really not different at all.  So I am compelled to write about daily life, and try to understand the utter uniqueness in it. This blog is about me, about you, about the irony of life and how everything ordinary is so, well, odd.

On the road, Mars.

Let’s start with our family trip. How trite, you say? Actually, I cannot remember the last time we took a family holiday, a highly unusual event, in fact. Yet a few months back, we made a lunar landing and spent some time on what appeared to be the surface of the moon. Maybe it was Mars. OK, I was in Arizona and Utah, traveling by RV. But it really did seem otherworldly. I loved the freedom of mobility, while cursing the need to still have to cook and clean and do the laundry. I was blown away by the landscape that unravelled before me. So here we go, hold on to your plasticware and paper plates as you join me in this timeless adventure on the mothership CruiseAmerica, a three-bed moveable domicile that mercilessly lumbers along Route 66, or I-15, or some unnamed dirt road. Screw getting old. I’m just going to enjoy the ride and find a rhythm in the tires that hit the bumps on the road monotonously. DUM ditty DUM ditty DUM DUM DUM….

Hand in my hand, time moves on.