Sister Mine has observed that, when you have kids, you discover a bunch of latent things that you suddenly want to pass along. For some, it's a newfound concern with healthy foods or family relationships. For others, it's a near-forgotten coin collection or a near-dormant religion.
With me, apparently, it's playing dress-up.
Long, long before this blog -- which makes it long, long ago indeed -- I was
profoundly committed to a closet full of flowing capes, poet shirts, funny hats,
full skirts, and scrunchy boots. Of course, that was the 1980s.
Fast-forward through 20 years of very boring suits and heels with
matching scarves and bags, and here I am in Mommy-land with the freedom to do,
and to wear, whatever I want.
So, with this insane freedom enfolding me, I find myself now profoundly
committed to dressing up He'en and dragging her to every Renaissance festival
in the tri-state area. Who knew?
He'en loves it, of course. We have much preparatory talk about "Peay
Desses" (pretty dresses) and hearing "max" (music). She knows what "road trip"
means. And the other month she lisped out - to my heart's delight - "Mommy sooo
HAP-py! Mommy go wenfest!"
Yes, Mommy is so unspeakably happy to go to Renfest. We've bought pastries and facepaint. We've ridden elephants. We've tried on endless little princessy
hats. She has bumbled around to bagpipes, hopped to hammer dulcimer, and
lyrically twirled to lute. I have one great mental picture of her - because I wasn't fast enough with
the camera - in her tiny brown-and-red tabard dress, standing in the lanes and
staring up from knee-height in delight at six or seven huge barbarians costumed in furs
As I watch my little one taking such joy in all this music and motion, I
remember who I used to be. It's a chance to remember the good parts without
all the angst and squick: the creativity, the colors, the joy of sharing a good
day with like-minded people doing something slightly bonkers.
I thought once that I was not ready to stop and be still for a child. Now that
I actually have a child, I realize that I haven't stopped at all. Well, I have. But in a
good way. It's a stopping of meditation, of examination, of being rather than
doing. It's a stopping, and a quiet backward-moving, in a gentle eddy of life's
emotional river. It's a fleeting time and an amazing gift.
And maybe there is some divine forgiveness at work here, too, in the form of a grace-full and entirely unexpected chance to wear Peay Desses once again.
[N.B. - This musing, with an original drafting date of February 26, 2011, seemed a perfect sourdough starter for the new blog.]