I spend lot of time just sitting around on my ass.
Sure, there’s a lot (a LOT) of time spent running around after WonderBaby. There’s also a fair amount of time spent pushing her around in a stroller or carting her about in a carrier or – more frequently, now – hovering a step or two behind her in the park while she toddles toward the slide that has the bad manners to beg that she climb it. And then, too, there’s the couple of hours each week that I spend standing behind a lectern or pacing back and forth in front of that lectern, and the time spent walking to and from the subway to get to that lectern. And the time spend going up and down the stairs in my house with a baby or basket of laundry in my arms.
So, okay, maybe I don’t actually spend all that much time on my ass. But I’d like to.
If I could have my way, I’d spend a lot more time on my ass. A lot more time with books and paper and pens and my laptop, of course. (Ideally, that time would come from the alleviation of laundry duty, and the addition of eight hours to the twenty-four clock.)
Reading and writing and reflecting. I could devote infinite amounts of time to it, and I would love every minute of that time. On my ass.
When you love anything that much, you worry that you might get lost in it. I love WonderBaby that much. I love my husband that much. I love these so much that sometimes the desire to just totally retreat, escape, into these things is visceral. I can feel that desire squeezing my heart, I can taste its sweet tang in my mouth.
(A cabin! The woods! Long days and nights curled up with Husband and baby and books and laptop!)
(In this dream, wireless access is everywhere!)
Escape, away from the real world of real activity. Away from mess and pain and politics and noise and stress and Bad Things.
But I can’t do that. We can’t do that. In part, because it is simply impossible: life follows you wherever you go. You can’t escape mess and stress and politics and pain simply by turning your back on them. You can’t escape them, period.
And, we can’t escape them because in escaping them we would lose our humanity. The challenges of life shape us, obviously. Any Hallmark Card or Learning-Annex-Deepak-Chopra-wannabe will tell you that. But what makes us really human is facing challenges together, and taking on challenges for each other. What really makes us human is acting as members of a community. Building community. Protecting community. Taking responsibility for community.
These past two weeks, as the ‘Call to Action’ posts have rolled in, I’ve seen so much humanity. I see it all the time, of course, out here in our corner of the blogosphere, where we write again and again and again our love for our families. But these posts, they showed me so much more. You’re all so much more than mothers, fathers, parents, friends. You are all so human, in the best possible sense.
(I know, I know… getting SAPPIER.)
(Did I mention my ass, and how I sit on it, yet?)
Here’s what we do, what we can do, how we can and do exercise our humanity, even from the comfort of the perch of our butts…
(Please. Do go visit these. I tried to organize them all by issue, but it was just too difficult and this post just never would have gone up if I’d kept at it. So you need to wade through the list, but please take a stab at it. Every single one of these posts is an inspiration.)
(Yes. You MUST KEEP READING. To the very bottom of this post, and then back up through the links. Yes, it will make you dizzy. But you will be a better person for it.)
Parenthacks – Spread the Word (Toys to Iraq)
If I’ve missed anyone, please let me know, and accept my apologies. And, if you’re late to the party and inspired to write a post of your own, don’t hesitate to send in a link – I’ll keep adding links in as I receive them.
Okay. NOW will go celebrate anniversary…