Last week, I sat with a group of mamas who’ve walked with me and beside me over the past nine months since leaving ministry and entering into into full-time mama-hood. Because when you spend just two hours a week with someone (or someones), that person enters into your life, and he or she sees the wholeness of who you are. Collectively, you start to know each others stories, and week after week, like overlapping patterns on a wore and thread-bare quilt, there’s an interweaving of of our lives, experienced and shared and received together.
And it’s just altogether lovely.
So last week, the mamas were asking me how I’ve been doing post-break-in, and I was honest: it’s still hard sometimes. I still feel the weight of that day whenever I enter the front door and see the newly installed bars on our kitchen window, and the crowbar marks that noisily scraped our front door. In my head, I know that the paranoia and anxiety have calmed and quelled (and will continue to do so), but the remnants of the day’s violation remain. And I don’t like that – I don’t like it at all.
Mama Anne told the story of a sermon she heard once, about living in San Francisco – there exists a honeymoon period, in which which it’s all dreamy, all breezy, beautiful Cover Girl. We’re excited that we get to walk more than we drive, and the loudness and the noise and the lights and the grit alights our insides. We feel like we’re part of something bigger and greater than ourselves, and in the Beauty of this urban jungle, we claim a roaring, gripping sense of pride: I can live in The City, in an urban jungle, in mere 1000 square feet, because less is more – I mean, can’t you?
But then, like anyone who’s entered into marriage or started a new job or survived life with a baby after your partner goes back to work and the Meal Train Fairy stops dropping off piping hot dinners on your doorstep, the honeymoon is over. Something happens and you question whether you ever really loved Her, and whether this marriage is really worth fighting for.
It becomes a matter fight or flight – so what are you going to choose?
Friends, I wish I could say we’ve chosen to fight. I wish I could say we’re going to continue to enter into the grit and the grime, as we proclaim a zip code that’s not eight miles outside of the urban sprawl, but is in the thick of Living the Apparent San Francisco Dream.
But we’re not: we’ve chosen flight.
And here’s the thing: in my head, I know it’s the right choice for our sanity and well-being, for our family, for our future. But I can’t help but feel like I’ve lost the battle. I can’t help but feel like Suburbia won, like another Urban Dweller bites the dust because we weren’t able to cut it in The City.
And that is so lame.
And so not true.
Because that is Pride and Envy and Arrogance rearing its ugly head into the portals of my mind again, making me think that I’ve somehow been cooler and sexier and better than those who haven’t chosen a particular zip code.
So Friendlies, let’s just clarify: I’m not cooler than you. I still sport my maternity tank tops and wear yoga pants every other day. I think that it’s hip to quote songs from the 90’s, and I think it’s really, really funny to have entire conversations and friendships based solely on sarcasm. And that’s just weird. I’m also not sexier than you. The height of sexiness reached its peak about a week or two after the actual marriage honeymoon, when I’d worn all the new pieces of lingerie and decided that sweatpants were far tastier to wear as bedroom attire. And finally, and with all sincerity, I’m not better than you. And if I’ve given you this impression, well then, seventy times seven, I ask for your forgiveness. Because no one should be made to feel like they’re less human than somebody else.
But all humor and tears and honesty aside, Pacifica, we’re excited to get to know you.
Surf’s up, dude!
What about you? Have you ever experienced the end of a honeymoon, or had to choose between flight or fight? How did you respond?