Good morning a day early from cold, snowy Vermont. For those of you who thought I dropped off the face of the earth last week, I didn’t. I was out of state and away from technology, so I gave myself a pass. To set the scene, Scout’s in my lap at the table, and there’s the sharp smell of burned millet. Tim’s pots and pans got away from him in the kitchen.
Lately I’ve been reflecting on self-care. You know how in a plane, the flight attendants always tell you to give yourself the oxygen first, and then your children? There’s no bone in my body or thought in my mind that would let me do such a thing. I could not take the oxygen first. Neither could my mom. Or her mom. Right down the ancestral line to the first Boudreau mother.
I get that I need to take care of myself. I’ve constructed an entire toolkit of self-care–meditation, time to myself, music, books, walks, nice soaps and lotions, tea. And I dip into that toolkit as much as I can. But if one of my girls is in need, it’s their mask I reach for. Always.
So where does that leave me? With a somewhat distorted view of parenting, I guess. The sense that I haven’t done it right. And I’m probably carrying more life weight on my shoulders than necessary. As a highly sensitive person, I raised two highly sensitive girls. I tried to model for them self-care; I really did. But this is what I wonder: When my girls have children, whose mask will they reach for?
When millet burns, it emits an acrid, permeating smell. But here at Soft Landing, our kitchen fan that wicked it away in short order. And that’s my queue to close. What would you do with the mask?
Check in next week for another segment of Finding Home.