This link is to an article from January of 2010, when Natalie and I, getting ready to move out of our home for the already encroaching remodel, also did an art installation at our favorite café — with kids in tow, of course. I was reminded of it, because the same local weekly journal did a year-end issue last month featuring some of 2010’s most memorable photos, including the above photo of our installation.
We spent 2 days and 14 hours just in the hanging of the show. Each ticket was attached by three small pieces of poster sticky tack, which at times was delivered from Natalie to me via one of the girls. At other times in the process, when the girls were asleep for the night, Natalie stayed at home with them, and I worked on with the help of two other friends who busily applied adhesive wads and placed them within my grasp while I stretched and leaned to reach the expansive edges of the wall to individually place each one of the 1,980-something tickets. The whole project was a village effort, and our kids were right there throughout.
I just wanted to share this with you, as kind of the opposite end of the spectrum from the previous post on taking time out of projects and “doing” in general to enjoy “being” with our kids. We have, believe it or not, still managed to live life and “get things done” (as they say) while continuing to nurture the relationships we share with our kids.
I mention this, in particular, only because I don’t want to be misunderstood to be saying that parenting “naturally”, or “conscientiously”, or “consciously” is the opposite of achieving any goals outside of parenting. I don’t want to be misunderstood as saying stop doing or your kids will suffer. And I don’t want to be misunderstood as advocating a form of parenting that ignores the heart and soul of the parents in favor of playing ponies.
I am simply saying, there is cake to be eaten, and also cake to have. We parents may enjoy both, because unlike our un-procreated neighbors, we do all of our living with kids, too. Non-parents have no choice but to focus on achievement, we happen to have the luxury of enjoying some details that wholly escape their notice on our way (if only due to our progeny-laden pace). So may I encourage you — take advantage of your exceptional position — enjoy the fact that you can live your life and accomplish goals (while still nurturing your children), and enjoy also that you have a built-in excuse when you’d rather play ponies.