Life's Little Details: Knitting, Sewing, Green Living, Frugal Living and Cooking In A Little Corner of Southern French Countryside.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Too Much Of A Good Thing

When I was little and my parents sent me off to a friend's house, they used to always say, "Now, don't have too much fun." That's just the kind of parents they were... always worrying about my welfare. Wouldn't want an accidental overdose, you know.

At the time, it made me ponder the idea of getting too much of a good thing. "Not possible," I thought. Now that I'm older and hopefully wiser, I know better. It is possible to have too much of a good thing. Too much chocolate cake shows on the hips. Too much wine causes headaches and other possible side effects like unexpected pregnancies and humiliating yourself in front of coworkers. Take all things in moderation, they say. So, how does that work when these good things are a mandatory part of your everyday life? You live with them, you know, so is moderation possible? Take kids for instance. Love 'em. Really, I do, but can you get a little too much of that kind of good thing? As a stay-at-home mom, I can tell you that you certainly can.

As I told my husband earlier today, it seems like kids are definitely the sponges they are often described as. It's just that people usually mean that they soak up knowledge or language skills so easily. What nobody ever mentions is how they also soak up things like love, affection and pretty much any other thing a parent has to give. Unlike sponges, though, it would be frowned upon to wring them out to see if you could get all that you put in to come back out for you. You just can't do that kind of thing, and I'd have to say, it just wouldn't work. Instead, you continue to feed the sponge more and more affection, quality-time, etc. Some of these things do come back to you but in much smaller quantities than you originally put in. The sponge is just so busy growing and learning that it needs more and more of all this love and general giving and doesn't have the time to stop and think of what the giver might need. It can be quite exhausting work, and while the rewards are there, at times, they're difficult to see. You just feel lonely. You need something more than the constant giving.

Then, there is the beauty and tranquility of the place we live (the picture up top is the view of my husband's vineyard and the property we live on, as seen from our upstairs window). Hearing the birds chirping and the rustle of leaves in the wind is far better than hearing the sounds of the city. I certainly don't miss the sirens and motorcycles passing by. At times, the vastness can feel a bit too vast, though, and I crave the sound of other people's voices. I've been stuck inside all week with a sick child, though, and even the give and take of adult conversation has been hard to come by.

They're worth it, though. Just look at them. Maybe it's the hormones talking again, but I get teary just looking at them. So, I know they're worth all of it. I just might not feel all that motivated about doing the housework taking care of them requires.