Sometimes I feel like being a mother has sucked the childhood right out of me. I’m not exactly complaining. I needed a fair dose of my childishness sucked out of me. But, here is the truth. If you are doing your job as a parent, you are being a grown-up and monitoring childhood and childishness. If you are truly being childish, you are not doing your job. Somebody has to be the hag making sure paint doesn’t get spilled on the carpet, that nobody sneezes in the cake batter, that nobody uses real swords while playing pirate, and that nobody runs over the elderly or infirm at the zoo or at the grocery store. Sometimes you are close to the childishness, and enjoying the childishness of children, but you are not to be one of them…and if you are…something is probably burning in the kitchen, everyone has on 3 day dirty clothes and nobody has actually cleaned their rear in a week. The peter pan notion of parenting seems kind of attractive from the outside but the fact is, somebody has to be a grown up.
And then, like a cool breeze on an otherwise hot day, somebody actually pays you to drive out to the country and make photographs of cows. And you get to chase butterflies all by yourself. You pull over to the side of the farm to market road and chase them up and and down the ditch full of wildflowers until you are positively giddy. Had my kids been there, I would have been grouching, “I don’t care if there are no cars for miles, you are still in middle of the road.” I would have. But on this day it was just me and the flowers and the butterflies. I saw 5 species of butterflies and a million flowers. And I have my pictures to prove it.
Reality beckoned and I was soon on the road back home. But, what a great thing…to get these pockets of time again, to just be me. No griping, no talking, no short order cooking for just a second. I love my life, griping, talking and short order cooking. But I like to have a turn to chase butterflies, too.