Thursday, August 5, 2010

Starting in the Middle

Not much of what's in my brain comes out in an organized fashion. Everything sounds thoughtful, educated, and eloquent as it rolls through my mind but, inexplicably turns to "wah wah wah wah wah" by the time it escapes my mouth. One would think just understanding this malady would be enough to give me pause before I speak, but nope. Instead, I have just resinged myself to the fact that I will spend a good part of my life reliving the things I've said and imagining how I should have said them so as to have sounded more intelligent, more empathetic, more kind, more...

I was thinking this blogging idea might be a great solution because I could write, read, erase, re-write, re-read, erase again as many times as I need to in order to make everything come out just right. But then again, I don't really have time to make it all sound fancy and educated the way it exists in my mind. So, I'll just start in the middle and see where I end up.

Years ago my parents lovingly gave me a book titled "The Five Love Languages of Children." I think with all their wisdom (and they have much!) my parents determined early on that though they'd raised five pretty great kids, even they didn't have all the answers when it came to my kids, so they offered up good reading in lieu of too much advice.

I'm too lazy to go dust the book off and copy exactly what it says. Besides that, I might go read it and find that I've altered what I thought it said in the first place so much over the years that it doesn't even really say what I remember.

So to paraphrase...

The author wrote about kids being like apple seeds and how it's a parent's job to nurture and raise that little apple seed up to be the best apple tree it can be. It would, of course, do no good to raise that little seed up to be a pear tree because it was never meant to be a pear tree. This child-rearing philosophy was so beautiful, and it made so much sense! I imagined myself being the kind of parent who is herself a pear tree but is fully capable of recognizing that her child was meant to be an apple tree. I would never expect my little apple to produce pears like I do. I would learn all I could about raising apple trees, and I would be awesome at it. I would be proud of my little apple tree, and it would grow to bear beautiful, delicious fruit...

[imagine beautiful music being interrupted by a scratching sound here]

What if your kid is a kumquat?

It may sound fun to raise a cool, exotic, expensive fruit, but the chances of doing it successfully from just a little seed? Kind of daunting. And impossible. You could google it, but you'd figure out real quickly that the climate and conditions a pear tree is used to and understands is nothing close to what a kumquat needs. You'd figure out that no one you know really knows how to raise a kumquat either. Your family and friends would be full of advice and suggestions. They'd offer support when they see you or your kumquat floundering, and they'd encourage you by telling you what a great pear tree you are. They'd even tell you you're doing a great job with your little kumquat, but many days you'd feel alone, inadequate and like a pretty crappy pear tree. You'd question how on earth you, a pear tree, could have borne, of all things, a kumquat. You'd love it because it's yours, but you would wonder if you could ever understand it and appreciate all that it is. On top of that, you'd have to raise other trees which are relatively easy because they are either a pear like you, an apple like your husband, or at the very least, something relatively close that can at least grow peacefully among the apples and pears.

So this blog will be primarily about my kumquat. I still can't tell you how to raise a kumquat, but I have some stories about raising mine. Most of the stories are funny. I'll probably share a lot of those first. Many of the stories are heartbreaking, but I'll share those, too, lest anyone should get the idea that raising kumquats is easy.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad that you have started to write this down for all of us! I love you!