I'm wrong quite often.
When I was younger, it used to bother me to be wrong. As I got older, I realized that being funny meant that I could hide my ignorance. The funny thing is, I was getting a lot smarter. I embraced my smartness as a twenty-something in a way I rejected as a teenager, yet I also realized just how wise it was to start admitting how little I knew. That worked out very well for me, at least for awhile.
Now I have two kids that expect me to know things. Recently I've realized that both of them are on to me. They have figured out that I'm more human than hero, and they offer to teach me things. My son taught me about memes.
Do you know what a meme is? I didn't either. The definition I will share with you is that a meme is an idea, behavior or style that spreads within a culture. Often the memes are in the form of an image that goes viral on the internet (and I'm not sure what 'viral' means). Lately the meme images with 'Ermahgerd' are all over the net. Here is the one that my friend, Karen, (real friend, not pretend friend who lives in the computer) posted on my Facebook page.
If you didn't laugh at this, then we just have to accept our differences when it comes to humor. I cannot look at this without choking and sobbing. Even after 24 hours, I pee a little in my pants when I look at it. I can't wait to show it to my son, but alas, he is STILL at camp. He returns on Sunday. My daughter has also been away all week, visiting my husband's family in Indiana.
I am bored.
I dreamed of this alone time, craved it, needed it. I wrote a lot and edited a bunch for my book, did some other freelance tomfoolery, social networking, a speaking gig downtown Chicago and cleaned my house. I also did this yesterday:
It was really fun. I listened to some Adele and even tried to squeeze out a tear or two for extra drama. Clearly I need my kids to return. And here's where this relates to me being wrong and not knowing stuff. I really thought they would miss me more, that I would hear from them, and maybe need to rescue of them.
I find that I have grossly overestimated my importance in their lives. Sure they love me and need me, but they need other things too. I am supposed to give them roots and help them find their wings (I head that in a song. Isn't it touching?). This past week I learned that neither of them are afraid to fly. And I am happy for them, even if I'm a bit sad for me.
I'm sad because another thing I was wrong about is that having them didn't really change me. I figured that while they were gone, I would hyper-focus on the things I frequently wished I could do if I actually had a long period of un-interrupted time without them.
I don't think I have gone five minutes without thinking about one of them. I can't go a half an hour without having a floaty, jumpy, out of body, take my breath away feeling accompanied by a lump in my throat, because I am missing them. The absence of the sounds, smells and sights that I take for granted, complain about, and LOVE, overwhelm me constantly is irritating and distracting. So much more than the overwhelming feelings or annoyance and lack of focus I have when they are around. So to distract myself from this empty and lumpy feeling, I am going to go to the movies to day and watch half naked men cavort around to pop music and try to enjoy not having to share my candy and popcorn, or having a kid squirming on and off my lap.
The truth is, I miss being climbed on and needed and mauled. I don't always like it and sometimes I want to throttle both of my kids, but I am aching for someone to kick me in the boob by accident or to break up a fight or tell somebody to brush their teeth. The truth is, this week was like a POW RIGHT IN THE KISSER awakening for me.
I really have changed.
I feel incomplete without them. Sure I slept soundly each night they have been gone, but I have dreamed of them. I haven't had to share my snacks, but nothing tastes quite as good to me when I eat it all myself. I'm not nearly as motivated to clean, work or even hunker down and read the latest Jack Reacher book cover to cover.
I can't believe that this motherhood thing that I was afraid of, that I didnt' think I wanted, that I though would make me feel like less of a person, is more fulfulling than anything else I've ever seen, heard, felt, tasted or smelled. The absense of the sensations that often overwhelm my every being and sometimes makes me feel smothered and trapped is the worst sensation of all.
I'm glad to be wrong now. Even if it means that my kids see things more clearly than I do and end up teaching me so much more than I can teach them, I embrace the wrong. It's wrong that within five minutes of their return, I'll probably be ready to set my hair on fire and run screaming through the house in response to some random and ridiculous kid crap such as fighting, spilling, arguing, nose picking, or turd in the toilet leaving.
How can something that wrong feel so right?
The truth is that I don't need to know. I just need them back under my roof because at this point, all I have left to do is this:
(Photo created by Jackie Castillo for Nikki Knepper)
And I know it looks like I'm having a blast and you are probably like, "ERMAHGERD YERNAKORNE," I would much rather be sharing my Milk Duds in a dark theatre, flaked by two filthy blonde, stinky and fidgety kids fighting over whose turn it is to sit on my lap before I fall asleep during the movie. And that's the funny truth.