Posts tagged " freedom "

On the Reality of Freedom

September 14th, 2017 Posted by Tabula Rasa 2 comments

I took a long break, I haven’t been here in a while, I know. But see, it’s because I’m finally free. I let myself be because I’m finally free.

Not that that’s necessarily liberating. It’s terrifying.

I’ve spent the past four and a half years trying to survive, while trying not to fail a young child. My life has been about failing at breastfeeding, formula feeding schedules, hauling organic produce from the market on three hours of sleep, mashing that organic produce better than the best baby food expert on the internet, potty training, chasing, feeding, chasing, feeding, crying, encouraging, teaching, all while demonstrating the patience of a superhuman. But that’s what moms of young kids do. For the first few years, most of us, as we knew ourselves, cease to exist. We temporarily lose our partners, we have no child-free friends. We long to go out to dinner, when we get there, we curse the moment we chose to do it instead of going to bed. We long to sit on a beach, sit, without moving until the sun heats us enough to go in the water. We long to slip on a pair of expensive heels, only to realize our feet no longer fit in them, let alone have the agility or energy to walk in them. We long to work, to create, to be surrounded by adults, because we think that what we’re doing, here at home, is not real life, it’s simply raising a child.

Well let me tell you something, it’s as real as life is going to get. And it won’t last that long, in the grand scheme of things. But we can’t see that while we’re there, no. And then, suddenly, it’s over. They hang their schoolbags on their shoulders, grab hold of their friend’s hand, and run off in the schoolyard with a simple wave. If that. And there, we realize, we’re free.

Or I did.

The first week, I stared out the window. The second week, out of guilt, I began to cook two to three meals a day. When most of the food found itself in the garbage, I embraced Netflix, read a book. And then it came, the bomb, the one that explodes little shards of “this is your life now” quotes all over the kitchen. Suddenly, at 44, I can do whatever I want. Till 4.30pm, that is. But compared to a year ago, that is a lot of time. And I start to think, what can I do, and I begin to panic, because there isn’t that much I can do, and the last thing I want to do is sit and cook three meals a day for the rest of my life, even if someone eats them.

Cliche, I say. Every mom has this crisis when they’re finally reintroduced to the concept of breathing. So maybe I’m just going to breathe for as long as I need to. Let this freedom engulf me, stress me, push me, scare me. See where it takes me.

On the Road Ahead

September 7th, 2016 Posted by Tabula Rasa No Comment yet

A year ago, I pulled the door of my son’s preschool shut and my eyes swelled with tears of fear and pride. His first day, his first time alone. Today, I slammed that green, iron door behind me, and if it had not been raining, or if my husband hadn’t been with me, I would have torn off my clothes and run around the block screaming Aretha Franklin’s “Freedom.” Instead I drove through morning traffic, serenely, road-rage free.

Back home, I first sat on that toilet for ever, for reason other than that nobody appreciates alone time there than mothers of young children. Then I roamed the house, didn’t make the beds, didn’t do laundry, didn’t even wash the morning milk bottle. By 10.30 I thought a day had gone by, so I went to the supermarket and bought myself food, smirking at the women with toddlers in their carts demanding candy at the register.

Evil, I know.

By 2pm, my living room had turned into a jock’s paradise; an on-going brainless TV marathon, plates of half-eaten food, feet on the table, house clothes.

Pick up is an hour later this year, so by the time I got to school, I missed him more than I do when I leave for days. He didn’t run into my arms as he did every single day last year. He grabbed me by the hand and begged to stay a little longer, he wasn’t done making angels out of play dough. He’d eaten all his food, had no bathroom accidents, which still haunt me from the sudden forced potty training of last September, he wasn’t tired because it wasn’t nap time, he was simply happy. As was I. Our kids our exclusively ours for such a short period of time if you look at the grander picture.

I have a feeling that this year I will finally be human again. Not the me I was before this now three-year-old came into my life, I’m not striving for that, for I am so much more, thanks to him. But it seems like I will finally find out what else I can add on.

Pieces: a novel

“Pieces” is the winner of the silver medal at the 2017 Independent Publishers Awards (IPPY), and a finalist at the USA Best Book Awards and International Book Awards.

When Clouds Embrace: a children's book

All proceeds from the sales of "When Clouds Embrace" will go to Giving for Greece, a foundation that works to help the hundreds of unaccompanied refugee minors in Greece.