Today I made banana cookies.
And whenever I make anything banana, I invoke the Jack Johnson of my tastes and pretend like it’s the weekend
(yeah, we could pretend it all the time…)
And then get a little self-conscious at my propensity for slowness and quiet and the absolute allergy to multi-tasking and wonder why and how I’m so content to be simply-clad and sheepskin-slippered and day-old-mascaraed in the kitchen.
And I wonder why I don’t feel the urge to go and do and be! And proclaim myself to the world! And figure out who I am! And in the process, PROGRESS!
A recent conversation has me wondering where I fall on the spectrum of productivity and progress and how maybe—just maybe—the world undervalues those who seem content to not change. Or they put us in a box of always wanting to be there. Or else just send us mixed messages.
Because then I heard the tale of a woeful over-analyzer who was falling in love with what he supposed was the wrong girl because she wanted to be a doctor. And he wanted to be a doctor, and in his big brain he could never fathom who—if both were out busy being big doctors—would stay home with the kids. As the simpleton of afterwards, I said that love makes miraculous things work out and stranger things have occurred than two doctors with children, but my husband said this to that woeful over-analyzer:
“You just need to find yourself a girl who likes to stay home and wants nothing more than to be a mom. I’m lucky because Brooke is totally content to just be a mom.”
And I didn’t know whether to be complimented or insulted.
Because here’s why:
The implications would state that there’s nothing else I’d rather do.
(Which may or may not be true, because I haven’t figured that out yet. But then there’s)
the little bitty reality that yells and yells to me about how motherhood is hard and not always blissful and—dare I speak it out loud and say this?—that what is sweet can slip quietly into a manual effort without much plying or complaint: the bedtimes and bath times and (ack!) homework times, and times tables and time spent carpooling and “time for beds” unheeded…
And when someone says this is all I want to be (and when I even agree with what they’re saying) I start to wonder:
BUT WHAT ELSE?
IS THERE SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME?
I’ve long feared that when the babies stop coming (though I have a secret notion that if I keep having babies till I have grandbabies I’ll never have to prove this out) I will be paralyzed with fear at reintroducing myself to myself. Suddenly cold and born into the new world of figuring out who I am, and regaling a memory of a girl who pre-kids was a mere 24 and selfish because she was only a self, I wonder how I will reconcile the two?
Did I lose myself so much that I really don’t know what I am anymore?
And is it okay to find a new me?
And in all the process, can I just make cookies right now and not think the big thoughts till then?