I have recently been reading a lot of adult novels about sprawling families. They start out small and then the characters get older and become adults and have children of their own and life gets . . . complicated. And sad. And overwhelming. And the adult kids aren’t such great friends and they don’t get along with their parents. There are regrets and mistakes and betrayals and all the things that make literary fiction a lot to take on.
As I’ve been reading these books, which are beautiful, but heavy but really beautiful, I’ve been thinking, is life joyful? Do families survive? Are parents always ruining their children? Will my children go to therapy and talk about me? is that okay? What does hope mean? How do we get through hard times? Why is connection so difficult? And so important? And sometimes, does it feel safer to isolate than to be vulnerable and real and let your heart get stomped or maybe loved but maybe stomped?
I also have been thinking about what a refuge it is to read hard things and then work through the mistakes and sadnesses on a couch in the sunshine. To feel not so alone because other fake but so real people are going through a lot of the same things I am. To see futures and try to understand what I want and don’t want. To see that healing can happen and kids are resilient and happy and true. I love kids.
I love kids.
I love that they get to feel things so deeply but also play so hard and laugh so much and get hurt all the time and scream if they get hurt. SCREAM!!!! They get to scream and yell and run around live so fully in the grass and on the tramp and in the dirt. They get to wonder at the praying mantis and touch a snake and then SCREAM!!! They get to feel love fully and truly and they get to forgive so much better than I do. They get to cling and whisper and skip and dance and I love them.
I always want them right here with me. I always want to draw with them and try to learn how to not get mad at them because they SCREAM and they eat all the peanut butter and steal the chocolate chips and put on mustaches and capes and jump from the couches and live their life and SCREAM!!!!!
I’m glad to be an adult but oh how I love the kids. Oh how I want to be like them and learn form them and be like them and SCREAM!!! whenever I want to and people still love me and hold me.