Monday, August 23, 2004

Slow Changes

childlike picture of a houseLast Monday night, Rene set off fireworks in honor of her 65th birthday. We acquired a few neighbors as an audience, and we all stood together laughing while we oohhed and aahhed over each small burst of sparks and flame as if it were a full blown Grucci Brothers Show. Rene cannot move fast, so as she lit each firework we all cried, run, run, run, and she did run- slowly- laughing in the showers of sparks, basking in the warmth of the attention.

 

When the show was over and the neighbors dispersed, we stood together pushing the spent cardboard cylinders to the side or the road with our feet, promising to pick up in the morning light. Suddenly the words spilled out of my mouth, “If the neighborhood burns down tonight, everybody will blame us.”

 

“You sound just like your mother,” Rene told me. She was right, I did. I am well trained to come out with something negative in the midst of any silliness (as was my mother, of course). I had to swallow twice before I could squeeze out a thank you. I have asked her to point these moments out, because I want to know, but I have to struggle for the grace to accept them.

 

I have thought about this a lot this week, and talked to friends, trying to see why I do this. I have come to a couple of conclusions. One is it’s a control issue. If I end a fun time with a negative comment, I am preparing myself for the fun to end-instead of letting myself enjoy whatever for as long as possible. The other is that I was squashed a lot as a child, and have cut off the playfulness which is part of me for way too long. This both saddens and enrages me. I have missed out on so much!

 

I can see why I glommed on to Rene 11 years ago, even though many people could not see what the attraction was. She is indeed 9 years old in reverse dog years, acting silly, moving through her world in with a childlike wonder, making up for the deficiencies in her own childhood, while dragging me along, sometimes willingly, sometimes full of embarrassment. “Don’t be silly,” whispers the voice of an archetypal negative mother,” Don’t look foolish. What will people think?” That I’m silly? That I’m not an adult? That I’m not prefect?

 

To hell with that. I am a silly, imperfect adult. I want to encourage my own childlikeness, let it free to play and laugh and show off.  It won’t happen overnight, I know, but change is what I’m all about these days no matter how slowly and painfully. Friday night we set fireworks off again, and I tried to savor every moment of it!

 

Blessings, Margo

 

Picture fromwww.welfare-state.org/. ../connections.htm

5 comments:

blondepennierae said...

Rene's personality sounds much like my mother, yours sounds much like my father.  But Margo, what beautiful partners they were.  They worked and leveled one another so wonderfully.  And that is what I hear in your words......... a lovely relationship!  Pennie

momdadat447 said...

Margo I finally made it :) After reading the first paragraph I turned to Donald my better half and said I will be saving this journal and reread the first and then reread most of the entry to him. You have a beautiful journal. I feel a lot of the same pain as with the negativity and I am too trying to work on it :) I hope to become a journaling buddy with you because I really enjoyed this entry and your journal. I am proud of you for knowing how to fix it with your partner (letting her remind you when your talk neg.) Thanks for commenting in my journal and giving me the link to yours :) ~~Angela~~

kathleenggoode said...

Good for you for attempting to change the ending.  For years I would never do anything because money, time, or something would not allow it to be perfect, it was all out or nothing.  I have been trying to work with my five year old.  Not always but quite a lot she will get angry and start hollering or get upset after she had a very good day, especially one that included other children.  I try gently telling her every thing ends and we need to sit here and just enjoy the memories of the day.  Then again, I am talking to a child who refuses to go to sleep each night because she does not want the living excitement to stop.  She passes out on the floor, couch, but never with a planned sleep.

I am happy for you and trust you will diligently tackle this.

judithheartsong said...

blessings to both of you. You have a wealth of stars inside you.

krobbie67 said...

Margo, thanks for stopping by my journal. I laughed at the thought of someone scuffing along with sanitary pads stuck to the bottom of her feet. Your Rene sounds like a wonderful person to have in your life. Happy Birthday to her! I too used to worry about every action and what people would think. A friend with what sounds like a personality similar to Rene's showed me how to let loose and enjoy life. My attitude now is who cares what other people think they don't pay my bills.
:-) ---Robbie