1. We are knee deep in one of the worst winters in history. When the winds pummel my house and the ocean flows through my basement, what am I thinking is: “I’m so glad I have flood insurance.” What I am feeling is help. I scared. I want my mommy. I need a daddy.
It’s hard to admit as a middle-aged woman (and feminist) how much the idea of rescue appeals. I have decades of experiential knowing that wishing is futile.
I know my craving for the present, stable and loving parents I never had is like wanting to snort, stab a needle, drink too much or inhale food. I know not to dive into the craving but I can’t pretend desire is gone.
It comes and comes back. Always. Even when it goes away it returns. Usually when I’m tired, sick or afraid.
2. I live in a small cottage near the ocean. It’s my sanctuary. I’ve lived here for 15 years, the longest I have ever lived anywhere. After my divorce, I learned to manage solo – emotionally, financially and even practically. The pilot light doesn’t scare me. I have a snow thrower and even installed a motion detector light by my porch. I got a new roof, a dog and a cat, and didn’t consult a soul. I’m a grown-up.
Still, when my tween is an adult I want her to have a singular image of home. I want it to be a feeling of being safe and loved that comes with an actual street address. This one.
As a child, I moved often. My mother married three times. Houses changed. Schools changed. Even the men we called “Dad” changed.
Childhood was a train ride that moved at dizzying speed. I didn’t control the brakes or have my hand on the wheel.
I don’t want my daughter to feel she is running, on the run or in danger of being run over. She deserves stability. A garden. A hammock. Solid ground.