Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Rebel Yell

I've always enjoyed the feeling of rebelliousness. I painted right on my bedroom wall as a teenager after my mother forbade it. I snuck out and ran away. I body surfed at rock shows when I was supposed to be sleeping over at a friend's house. I pierced and tattooed myself at questionable parlours that didn't require an ID.  

As I grew older (and, arguably, more mature), I desperately clung to rebellion as a sign that I was successfully resisting being indoctrinated as a status quo normal adult. The no-fun kind. I reasoned if I kept checking myself for signs of acquiescence, I could avoid the regret I heard middle-aged adults whine about. There is no way I will arrive at age 45 wondering where the time has gone, (as Ferris Bueller cautioned). 

Full disclosure: I drive a minivan to and from my suburban home, use social media, comment on the weather with people I don't know well and love a good run down to my local Tim Horton's for some caffeine. I can appear to be veering down a basic path, I know. The rebellion is different now. It is subversive, which makes it feel all the more juicy to me. I buy ethical clothing when possible, and go out of my way to purchase local, humanely-produced food, so as to vote with my dollars. I buy and refurbish used furniture almost exclusively from buying new. I refuse to wear clothing or makeup that doesn't appeal to my personal sensibilities, regardless of what the social situation may call for. I run by myself, without technology, because that is my chosen means of religious worship. 

This rebellious inclination permeates my whole life. I relish in it. When nothing else seems to be working, it motivates me to keep doing things my way. As Oscar Wilde wrote, "Be yourself; everybody else is already taken." The path less travelled and all that. Rich is not a rebel. He likes following well-worn paths. He even follows the instruction on the box of Kraft Dinner to a T. We share the responsibility of parenting, and so I humbly accept that I am unable to raise these four girls on a foundation of rebellion against...normalcy? The mundane? Whatever it is, I know it will be part of the formula we're using. I admit, when he's not around, I infiltrate their minds with stories of warrior women and I remind them of the importance to always ask questions before accepting something as a given. I try and subterfuge Rich's influence insofar as status quo is concerned. I believe they will benefit from both of our perspectives.

My personal version of the rebel yell is more Beyonce than Billy Idol. I do not buy into the whole "mamas need wine and coffee to survive" marketing. I am confident I am parenting "good enough" and trust in my inner wisdom to guide me, as opposed to what other people are doing or what Huffpost articles tell me to worry about. It's exciting and liberating to continually, subversively, passively even give a big 'eff you' to the way things are supposed to be, the majority rule, the expectations all around me. There is always room for more, if you'd care to join in the fun!

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