Monday, 29 August 2016

Out and About in the Big, Bad World

It is time for the college and university kids to head back to school. ( I may have told you this story; forgive me if I have. ) I always think back to the time my two daughters were doing just that.  They were five provinces away from me living on the 15th floor of an apartment building in the big city.  I remember the phone calls went something like this..

Me: .Is your door locked?
Them: Yeesss (said with sighing)
Me: Is the patio door locked?
Them: Yeesss ( and a few Oh Moms)
Me: Walk right over to it now so I can hear the click.
Them: Oh Mom (now annoyed) Who's going to be out on the patio? We're on the 15th floor.

 I tell them  about a story I read of a fellow who learned to rappel down the sides of buildings for the express purpose of breaking into apartments through the patio doors.

  Them: Oh Mom, only you would know something like that!!

 Much guffawing at my foolishness.  Sadly we all know it isn't all foolishness, is it? But the young have that innate fearlessness/ trustworthiness that propels them headlong into the big wide world.
My special concern (among many!!) was because I had raised them in places where you basically didn't need to lock your door; fear of strangers was not an issue. Of course, this fact just fueled extra concern on my part...  I worried that would give them a false sense of security out and about in the big bad world.
Anyway, they somehow survived and are now in the big bad work world I suppose I could say, though luckily in their case, they both enjoy their jobs.

Been on a happy roll with my recent reads.

 Just finished this one, The Green Road by Man Booker Prize winner, Anne Enright.  I loved it as I did her big winner, The Gathering.  I think I liked this one a little more.  I don't know how an author can write meaningful and a little comic all at the same time but she manages that feat.  She always strikes a chord or two in me with something a character is saying.

At one point Anne writes this about the mother of the clan, Rosaleen.

"...Rosaleen at six.  Rosaleen at seventy-six. It was getting harder to connect the dots between the two."

That's the way I feel sometimes.  Thinking back to the worried mother in my story and my journey to now being the family grandmother.  There are a lot of dots in between to connect. And for me to reach back all the way to age six; connecting those dots would be like threading wet tissues.

And I'm sure my daughters think a bit like that too.  Trying to remember themselves as teenagers and now young forty-somethings with jobs and motherhood themselves. Reconciling the two...

 The narratives of our lives, the stages, the experiences, finding meaning and trying to hold on to that meaning and carry it forward.  Or simply trying to remember who we used to be.