When we were little, my siblings and I would sit up at night for hours and fantisize about how it would be when we grew up. We would all get married and live in the same little town. It would be close enough to the city that we wouldn't get bored, but far into the country that we so loved and lost ourselves in every summer. And we would have it all to ourselves.
When you grow up in a tight knit--and large--family like mine, the rest of the world is faded compared to the vibrant colors of home. I never suffered from peer pressure. All I wanted to be was just like my big sisters, and my little sisters want to be just like me. We had our own language, our own games, our own way of looking at the world. We are all tall and when we all walk together we walk taller. Green eyed, light skinned, prone to laughter and a slightly sarcastic sense of humor, we would live together forever.
Husbands and kids and stuff too, of course.
Then we really did grow up. Got husbands and kids and stuff.
And moved far away from each other.
As of August, when some visiting siblings blow this joint, ('cause "blow this joint" sounds light and like I don't even really care that they are all LEAVING ME) I will live 6,000 miles from the nearest green-eyed, light skinned (slightly) sarcastic sister.
It's not that I don't love my new little family with all my heart. It's just that when I play scrabble with my husband, we don't play the way I played growing up (namely, flipping your board around and saying, "OMG, I have the worst letters ever. Does anyone have a T?" And then someone handing you a T.) and actually, that's not it, either. It's fun to play by the real rules sometimes. And adding staight hair and brown eyes to the gene pool is good, too.
And honestly...you can't ever go back, so maybe that's what this is about. You can't grow up and still have things stay the same. I can't be a mother and make (the right?) choices for my family and still run from the friday night shabbas table with my siblings and play "fire" as the laughter and singing from the adults left at the table wafted into the darkness of the den.
But it's not about that, either, is it? I was not the happiest child. I don't really want to be a child again. I just...want...things to be...simple. Like the tormenting thoughts that visit at night and after I ate something that I shouldn't have; am I a good mother? a good enough wife? do I bring joy to my home? are we making the right decisions about our children's future? do I give my husband the confidence that he needs and the love he deserves?
That self-doubt and worry versus being 10 siblings strong, strong enough to be our own community, strong enough to be our own bulwark against anything dark and scary and unknown. When we had all the answers and knew just what the future was going to be like-- namely, us, together, having fun.
I miss that.
I do miss that.
That I'm all grown up and too big to fly again to NeverNever Land makes me a little sad.
I'm just sad that everyone is leaving.
Just a little sad.
Backwards, turn backwards O Time, in Your flight
Make me a child again, just for tonight
Rock me to sleep, Mother,
Rock me to sleep!