Does an image from your past life ever flash across your mental screen? You know, from those days gone by when your life was more your own, whenever that was, when you could go alone into the bathroom to do your business without small people screaming and banging on the door, when you had the time and energy to follow a sudden inspiration, when you had the freedom to arrange at least part of your life to go just the way you want it.
Yesterday, in the midst of the multi-tasking madness that is my daily routine, I was muching a few cashews, purchased purely because my husband and kids like them, when I suddenly remembered that I used to carry around trail mix in my backpack. I would buy the ingredients separately from the bulk bins of the health food store: almonds, walnuts, dates, sunflower seeds, raisins, cashews. I’d combine them into a big jar, and then I’d pour a couple of cups worth into a plastic bag and carry it around with me as a snack (or emergency survival tool!)
Why do I not do this any more? I think the reasons shed much light on why I don’t do a lot of things I like to do anymore:
- I often can’t afford to buy quantities of expensive nuts and things
- Small children can choke on nuts, raisins, etc. so I couldn’t share my concoction with everyone
- I have to coordinate mealtime/hunger management with the entire family, so I am not at liberty to simply quench my own appetite whenever I fancy a nibble
What do we give up to set off down this path of parenthood? What things that literally or figuratively feed us as individuals do we let fall by the wayside so that we can do what’s best for the new unit, so that we can harmonize with the new group we’ve created? Which parts of me have disappeared into my existence as my children’s Mama, and someday, when those children no longer need me as much, which parts of me will still be there?