Perhaps you’ve seen the old Merrie Melodies cartoon “Of Fox and Hounds” featuring the character that said, “Which way did he go, George?” If not, you can watch it here in its entirety.
In this cartoon, you see this overly stupid hound dog fox hunting. He’s so unintelligent, he runs up to the fox (named George) and asks him if he has seen a fox. He tells him the fox went the other way. So he runs off, gets injured, and then figures out it was the fox the whole time. He then runs into a fox in a painfully obvious hound dog costume (zipper visible), who identifies himself as George also. He tells him the fox went the other way. The scene repeats over and over again. If you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about. If not, watch it at the link above.
Not that this has anything to do with my post, but it does. As a parent with multiple children, too often we get so busy and so wrapped up in the craziness of life, we can hardly seem to find ourselves. It’s so bad that when we are without children for a day (where did those kids go?), we barely know what to do with ourselves. We sit, eerily spooked by this new-found thing called silence. We look at each other and try to figure out what exactly it was we did before we had kids. It’s a very odd experience.
We know we used to be individual people. We know we used to have hobbies and friends. But somehow, all that stuff got swallowed up by our life with children. The single people we used to hang out with just don’t seem to get us anymore. The married couples who haven’t been “blessed” with children yet seem too put together for us to relate. So, here we are all by ourselves – no kids – and we can’t think of a single thing to do.
So, what usually ends up happening is we do the one thing we can’t do when kids are around. No, not THAT thing…we sleep. Sleep is the first piece of normalcy that disappears upon having your first child. I’m told that eventually you’re able to sleep again, but I don’t think I’ve had a solid eight hours of sleep in nearly eleven years, so I’ll have to take their word for it. I guess I’ll believe it when I see it.
How is it that who we are gets swallowed up by our kids? What happened to all the stuff we used to do? Surely those pieces must exist somewhere? Surely there must be some shred of who we once were somewhere in there?
Perhaps once your kids are teenagers, a shred of normality returns? But then there are dances, dating, and driving. The dreaded triple “D” of parenthood! How can you sleep with all that going on? Sure, maybe your kids can drive and be more independent, but, really, should they? From what I’ve heard from parents of teenagers, life gets even more hectic once they get a little older. I don’t know if I can even fathom MORE hectic. My heart skips a beat even thinking of it.
My only solace is that someday, when all my kids are adults with jobs and families, I’ll find myself again. I’m sure I’m in here somewhere. And, if I recall, I was a pretty cool person (it was 2001, so my memory is kind of fuzzy)! If I’m still blogging in sixteen more years, maybe this will become a “finding myself again” blog. Time will tell.
Until next time…