This pretty much sums up weekends these days. I’m the goose trailing, trying to deal with an overpowering urge to dunk the gosling’s head underwater while mommy isn’t looking.
Rather than drop by the Omphalos Cafe for some serious contemplative quiet I edge up to the local bar on my way to pick up a flick for the evening.
After a coping pint, Wifey and I watch Julia Roberts seeking enlightened balance in ‘Eat, Pray, Love.‘ ‘All well and good,’ I think, ‘if you have a shiteload of money and no children.’
But having youngun’s you’re dragged back body and soul into the thick of it! And unless you haul them off to some remote idealistic commune thing you’re faced with battles on a daily basis over what they can watch and what they can have or even hope to have come birthdays and Christmas.
‘This birthday I want a DS,’ announces Sonny-Boy. ‘Mmm,’ I answer, ‘you might have to rethink that one because your mother and I don’t like the idea of you carrying around a little electronic gizmo and tuning out the world.’ ‘Alright,’ he says, ‘then I’ll ask for it for Christmas.’ Santa being the end run around the arbitrary proscriptions of his parents.
Today he refuses to go rafting, but we do manage to slip in a visit to the nearby bird sanctuary, as long as he can bring a friend. I hand them both a pair of cheap binoculars and they trot off happily, mostly using the binocs to spar at a distance.
‘Look,‘ we say, ‘there’s a deer in the bush not ten feet away!‘ ‘Oh ya,‘ he responds, ‘can we go yet?’
Oh well, Wifey and I walked hand in hand while the boys threw pebbles in the River. Hopefully seeds are being planted. What more is there?
New tack. Life’s three stages: growth towards functional adulthood in society, say twenty years (forty for some of us); said functional adulthood in family, raising and providing for children, another twenty to thirty years; post children adulthood, what remains.
Nice and clean scheme. Only, rarely does it seem to work out thus. Julia, in ‘Eat, Pray, Love,’ achieves a high degree of functional adulthood, at least from the career and money perspective. However, she falls off track somewhere in the middle stage. Turns out her functional adulthood is not consistent with the dictates of her heart. No children makes it easier to go back to the proverbial drawing board. She does, and finds a new adulthood and accompanying Love. Power boat in paradise; role credits.
The last stage, what remains, bears looking into as well. Joseph Campbell decried our western habit of self-indulgent retirement. Community needs the breadth of outlook, the supposed calm detachment from the responsibilities and obligations of work and family that the elderly are purported to possess. They can be the counter-acting balance to the focus on this world required of those in the middle, child-rearing stage of life.
It is Monday morning. The weekend is over and work beckons. ‘Time to make the donuts,’ as the old Tim Horton’s commercial went.
Have a wonderful day.