wall wanderings

SONY DSC{I mentioned the Wall Creator in the last post. (Wow, was that weeks ago already?!) Here are some shots of those walls I love so much.}

I have been thinking about the future, particularly how I conceptualized the future at various times in my life. In school there was always an impending doom sense of future like “Oh, next year in middle school/high school/college/grad school it will be SO MUCH HARDER.”

SONY DSCSONY DSCWas this on purpose, so I would gird my loins (and put on my life jacket) for the tidal wave of rigor headed my way? Like sort of reverse psychology so I would get myself worried and nervous and anticipating the stressful times ahead, and then when the time came it was always fine, never that hard?

SONY DSCSONY DSCI experienced rigor, let me be clear about that. There were tidal waves of reading material at Reed College, hundreds of pages of Greek and Roman classics! When I realized that the sheer volume of reading was just not possible given the amount hours in the day and of the sleep I require, I learned the very important lesson of Strategic Reading! I’m a fast reader, but really. And then there was the graduate professor who was sarcastic and terrible at teaching, which made the class extremely challenging. But not because of the course content, because I couldn’t read his mind.

SONY DSCBefore I had kids, I would think about my future life starting when I had them. Life was definitely happening to me back then, but my *real* life hadn’t started yet. Just playing around until I had the chance to be someone’s mom. I wanted this so badly that I had to force myself away from daydreaming my future and only let myself daydream in small doses. Then get back to those Greeks and Romans or whatever I was supposed to be doing.

And now it’s switched: I don’t let myself think about the future too much, but for different reasons.

SONY DSC{The dream is finally now, happening!}

SONY DSCAt the edge of my vision, and yet approaching rather fast, is a family with just three of us here instead of four. Don’t get me wrong, I am not the sentimentalist in this house; I’m the fierce one. The work of raising our Jonas is pretty much done already, truth be told. Yup, 15 years-old and the battles have already been fought and lost or won—and now we just have these amazing last couple of years together living in the same house. He is an atheist socialist (not card-carrying. wait, do they have cards for that?) who wants a future job that both stimulates his intellect and does not require shoes, where he could wear an outrageously expensive tailored suit, a job that would involve strategizing but not public speaking, and he will work for the most money but not necessarily the best cause; he believes privacy is dead and furthermore why should we care, that he shouldn’t be confined to eating meals or sleeping at arbitrarily designated times, that traditional family values are fine but not when it comes to waiting for everyone to sit down to dinner (direct rebellion against his dad), and that he’d like his children to be raised by a nanny (direct rebellion against me). He would like to grow up to be Mr. Banks from Mary Poppins, bowler hat and umbrella included please, but no thank you to Mary Poppins herself. Too disruptive, naturally, to his sense of white male domination. Well…not quite: he believes people should be judged on the merits of their intellect, not on their skin color or gender or race (or heart?!). There is definitely more work to be done to cultivate this human, but mostly it’s not my work anymore: it is the job of his teachers, professors, and peers.

SONY DSCI’m making a choice to relish this time. (OK, yes, and nag when necessary, because that’s what moms do and hygiene must be respected!) But the conversations at the dinner table? The ones where I sit back and enjoy watching him think out loud and maybe possibly ignore the content entirely, those conversations where he is doing that boy thing of arguing a position that he may or may not even agree with (see any of the above examples), those are the nights I want to soak up.

SONY DSCOnce he tried to argue that sleep was a worthless waste of time. “And who decided that every academic class should have art projects in them? Why do I want to do art in my English class? Can’t we just learn about grammar?” I love him fiercely.
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