June 24, 2009

Day 3 One on One- Not just Ayla

If I had been allowed to follow MY flow, today would have been Ayla’s day for one on one time. But Ayla is a teenager, she has her own flow. The one on one time today was spread amongst all the girls. I will have to catch Ayla alone when she is ready for mama time.

Our whole family plus one (Levi, another teenager type) spent the day doing the “gritty city” thing. When Gabriella (Levi’s mom) left for work she suggested all sorts of educational, nature based things to do with the kids. We were looking for a different kind of education though. My children have nature out the yin yang at home. We live surrounded by trees, get our water from an artisan well which bubbles up feet from our property, we have a barn, lots of bugs and a 4X4 driveway that is VERY natural. We got the rural thing down!. It is the urban experience that my children need to get to know.

Block after block of concrete, serving up a smorgasbord of delicious (and sometimes not) foods. A milieu of people in a variety of socio-economic situations, and states of mental health. Hoards of shops hawking everything we could imagine and so much we never could. We sang with a homeless man, bought pizza for a hungry charity canvasser. Ate our lunch sitting on a grassy boulevard with cars whizzing by, music blaring out windows. Rosy's favourite part of our trip so far has been the lively confrontation between a couple at the Bart subway station. The womyn involved threw her bike at the man who was screaming “That is what happens when you put crank in the marijuana!” Now that’s entertainment!

We rummaged through vintage shops, and spent half an hour trying on hats at the Berkeley Hat Co. We looked at body jewellery and perused books filled with tattoo work by local artists. I tried to convince my Ayla to get a nose piercing, but no dice. We eventually ended up drinking bubble tea in a Tapioca Express. The teenagers wandered off, Rosy and Lily played Mancala. Chris and I sat, I cried and tried to hide it, he consoled and listened.

We took a similar trip to the one we are on now, about a year and a half ago. Chris’ head injury mixed with his Post Traumatic Stress had yet to go full blown, the trip helped to tease it all out. Within 3 weeks we were in Mexico, Chris was refusing to come home. I was 2 countries away with my 3 children and my certifiable husband, when I realized just how sick he was. Life was so hard back then, I am thankful I could not see the forest for the trees, had I have been able to I may have taken a match to it all and roasted marshmallows on the raging forest fire.

As we sat sipping tea we spoke of how far we have come, how proud we are to have stuck it out. The kids are so funny, they knew I was crying but ignored it. They are used to having an emotionally expressive mother, and often decide denial is the best course of action. When we were done sipping large black cossova pearls mixed with milky goodness through crazy large straws, we headed home to get ready for dance camp. As we walked back to our truck and camper, I saw a homeless man, he looked up at me and smiled. As I was preparing to say something to him, not sure what, a hello or a comment about the day. He says “Fuck you, you ugly bitch”, smile still spread cross his face. My heart was still wide open from the sharing with Chris, tears began to well up. I know the man is ill, what he said was not really meant, at least not for me, but I am just a little too sensitive for all this grittiness.

This country mouse will be happy to leave the city tonight and head for the mountains and lakes of Kings Canyon National Park in the Sierra Nevada’s. This is where we will shake our booties at the Northern California Dance Collective’s Summer Dance Camp. We are travelling in our truck and camper, our home upon our back, tonight will be my first night sleeping in the camper this year. While I have enjoyed my city homes for the last 10 days, Jeremy’s, Kincade’s, and Gabriella's, it is time to move on with my family.

“Where is your home? What is it like?” is the question in 12 days journal #72. This is an answer that has been shifting for me lately, as my idea of what home is shifts, thanks to my Michael, who is teaching me many new things. He has taken 2 journals from me so far, this one will be his third. I am going to save it for him. I will see him in 6 sleeps. When I do his home will be with me, for 11 days, while we and the L.O.V.E collective travel the Canadian coast dancing, playing, and exploring. What a life!

1 comment:

  1. I am by no means a suburban girl, but I have found a nice balance for myself by living NEAR a big city but not IN a big city. I'm close enough to appreciate all the benefits of the city but far enough from the grit and crime and bustle to appreciate not being right in the thick of it.

    I live across the street from a big city park and I love being able to look out my bedroom window to a wall of trees on the other side of the street casting their shade over my front yard. West Allis, a suburb of Milwaukee, is across the street my bedroom faces (east); across the street north of my apartment complex is a suburb called Brookfield, where my ex still lives (about 6.5 blocks away; I don't always like it, but it's wonderful and convenient for the kids with going back and forth; Mira's school bus hits both residences, which is nice); west and south of me is the rest of New Berlin. You could say the corner I live on is tri-city corner. LOL.

    There are other places I would probably prefer to live, but at this moment in time and stage of my life, this is exactly where I am, where I want to be, and where I am most at home. I think this will change in the future, but like I said, for now, I'm happy here.