Thursday, November 8, 2012

Unlonely

If you ask me what is my greatest fear, and you mean it in the deep, philosophical way, I will tell you it is loneliness. (If you meant to ask what scares me, I'd say the dark). I fear being lonely. I fear failing at my life's current trajectory, becoming a lonely old woman with no family or friends. How sad, and how paralyzing.
It's an unnatural condition, loneliness. What would become of a human race full of people bent on living alone? Lonely? We are designed to be social creatures, we can't turn away from that. Beyond mere biological forces, the desire to spend my days among people is akin to colouring in my life's sketches. I am often bored when I am alone. To be honest, I do need solitude to balance out the demands of being excessively social with my children, friends and family. There can always be too much of a good thing. But carving out alone time is an antidote for overdosing on a condition I choose to pursue.
"What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured." - Kurt Vonnegut
It's hard to remember the last time I felt truly lonely. Part of that is due to the beauty of marriage. (I know I haven't felt lonely since signing up a partner for ever). Part of that is due to being a stay-at-home mother. (It's hard to feel alone when there is at least one daughter attaching herself to me at all times). Part of that is being ever-conscious that loneliness threatens to be my one sworn enemy, and I fight against it like a masked crusader.
Like any mother, I fight the same battles for my young daughters until they can take it on themselves, loneliness included.
I am so glad that we have been able to give Abby the gift of siblings. I hope she will never feel the sadness of being lonely. She is very sensitive to knowing when she needs to play alone, or have a quiet moment to herself, and I see her grow in those moments. 
But oh, do I see her shine with her sisters. I see her mimic them, come up with silly languages and noise exchanges that they all find mutually thrilling. I see her involve them in her play, and pepper her make-believe world. When I tuck her in and ask her what has made her happy that day, she frequently tells me her best time was spent playing with her sisters, or with her friends if she has had a play date that day.
This afternoon, I have found a quiet moment in my day while my three girls sleep. It is peaceful, but I feel myself anticipating their waking so we can play, laugh, dance and be alive together. I look forward to every phone call that comes through our home. I relish in every tea date shared with a friend, and endeavour to be very present during the time I share with friends and family. What greater gift have I been given in my life than that of the people who colour my world with their presence? 

I need only look down to be reminded of how very un-alone I am.



Recommended Reading I came across today:
1- How Spoiled Are Our Children?
2- What will your kids remember from their childhood?


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