I’ve been to Bali. I used to eat lobster for lunch. I had a Filofax. Today, the thing that excites me is that my new vacuum cleaner has a nozzle that fits between the ribs of the radiators. I am dusting spaces that haven’t been dusted in years, and I finally have a vacuum cleaner with a nozzle that fits (I’m of an age that I’ve owned several vacuum cleaners; I’ve lived in this house for more than one vacuum). Under the hall radiator, I found a screwdriver with interchangeable tips. In the living room, I found a quarter.
This could be when you start looking for the sarcasm emoticon on the keyboard. Look! another post about the devolution into the banal life of the PTA-card-carrying soccer mom! But I’m sincere about my enthusiasm for my new tool. The life path that got me those lobster days also leads to this point (or is it that the thread that got me here leads also to lobster). In other words, the shift doesn’t seem that disjointed to me. When I lived in Japan, I showed people how to make chocolate chip cookies. The fabric I’m using for my bedroom curtains, I got in Indonesia. I used sarongs as quick, compact baby slings for both of my kids. Dealing with a one-year-old and a five-year-old together requires adaptability but also the firm tone used when you’re telling a Phuket huckster that you don’t want to stay at his hotel. And how on earth can you manage a soccer carpool without a Filofax?
Much is made of the molding and shaping adults ought to do for children. Make sure they do their homework and eat their vegetables! What I didn’t understand was how total the requirement is, how dependent dependents are. When you pick up a fork, aim it at your mouth. Here’s how to put on a jacket. Occasionally, a touch of the exotic: French electrical outlets don’t take American plugs. There’s a difference between a corkscrew and a bottle opener. Don’t put Canadian quarters in the vending machine.
Very little is said about what kids will bring to adults. I drove them to practice, but they told me about the difference between Italian and French styles of fencing. I take them to the library and they drag me to new section. I ate lobsters and langoustines, but they taught me how to make lo mein from the usual grocery pickings. It’s not that I miss Bali, just that I’ve kept traveling.
But if you see me in an apron, check my pulse.Tweet