?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Freedom

« previous entry | next entry »
Jun. 15th, 2014 | 10:09 pm

There are a lot of things you don’t buy when you don’t have kids. Sprinkles. String cheese. Gogurt. You will never pick up the check at a Chuck E. Cheese's. The prospect of a child drowning in your pool is more of a legal concern than a daily visceral panic. You have a lot of opinions about what children should be made to eat. There are no uncancellable plans.

You will never experience the ninety-nine percent of a recital that is other people’s children, or the embarrassment of playing Barrel Of Monkeys and discovering you want to win. You will never bake cookies at midnight while sober, or crumble the edges of store-bought oatmeal raisin to look like you remembered. You’re basically OK with global warming. In the nuclear apocalypse, you can hole up in your basement, secure in the knowledge there is no-one you love enough to allow them to eat you.

Sally Struthers and Save The Children hurt your heart a little less. You will never be stabbed by the look of a five-year-old just after yelling and just before tears.

There will be no reason to save your school drawings, or the journals unfortunately under the burst pipe, so painstakingly dried and de-molded. There is no reason to collect old-fashioned primers with a thought of home-schooling. No need to tell your boyfriend you’re older than you look.

No need to be sad or even remember the Barbie clothes your mother handmade—a purple velvet evening dress, a summer frock of white eyelet with a matching cartwheel hat—that you sold at a garage sale when you were eleven. Silly, anyway, to pick them out from the box of Barbies and Barbie accessories bought for two dollars by two black ladies—what were they doing in your neighborhood?—one saying, “My daughter will be thrilled.”



_________________________________________________
whipchick is at writing camp; this was inspired by the prompt of smelling a maraschino cherry.





.

Link | Leave a comment | Share

Comments {54}

Page 1 of 2
<<[1] [2] >>

MamaCheshire

(no subject)

from: cheshire23
date: Jun. 16th, 2014 02:12 am (UTC)
Link

Given that my girls had their dance recital this afternoon, this post is quite amusingly timely. :)

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jun. 17th, 2014 06:53 pm (UTC)
Link

Haha, thanks!

Reply | Parent | Thread

blahblahblah, whatever

(no subject)

from: kathrynrose
date: Jun. 16th, 2014 02:25 am (UTC)
Link

Sally Struthers and Save The Children hurt your heart a little less.

This hit me during the Sandy Hook shooting, when everyone on my friends lists were talking about how they couldn't bear to watch, and I watched 24/7 for three days straight.

I love how vivid the images are in here. You're so good at that.

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jun. 17th, 2014 06:54 pm (UTC)
Link

Wow, yeah - it's funny, there's stuff I can't listen to when people read it, and other stuff that doesn't bug me at all.

Thanks - I'm working on details :)

Reply | Parent | Thread

Lifestyle Guru for the Hot Mess Set

(no subject)

from: tamaraland
date: Jun. 16th, 2014 11:23 am (UTC)
Link

That 99% is a killer too.

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jun. 17th, 2014 06:54 pm (UTC)
Link

You haven't lived until you've lived through "Beat It" as a tap number...

Reply | Parent | Thread | Expand

☾

(no subject)

from: witches
date: Jun. 16th, 2014 01:41 pm (UTC)
Link

I really loved this :3

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jun. 23rd, 2014 05:26 pm (UTC)
Link

Thanks!

Reply | Parent | Thread

Bridget Ilene Delaney

(no subject)

from: kagomeshuko
date: Jun. 16th, 2014 07:47 pm (UTC)
Link

Such great images! You do get to experience a lot of that when you volunteer in Youth Ministry and mentoring, though!

I've been to dance recitals, concerts, made the odd 2am Walmart run with youth while we are all wearing pajamas, cooked at odd hours, played games how they are supposed to be played, played games with the oddest rules because "that's how they want to play," and so much more . . .

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jun. 23rd, 2014 05:27 pm (UTC)
Link

Yeah, I feel like I get most of my kid-quotient from teaching :)

Reply | Parent | Thread

drwex

(no subject)

from: drwex
date: Jun. 16th, 2014 08:38 pm (UTC)
Link

Among other things.

(except I ate real string cheese long before I had kids.)

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jun. 23rd, 2014 05:27 pm (UTC)
Link

Haha, I have been known to eat jello cut into squares...

Reply | Parent | Thread | Expand

Vince Conaway

(no subject)

from: vconaway
date: Jun. 16th, 2014 10:56 pm (UTC)
Link

And let's not forget the magical phrase, "do you want to go to Barcelona in two weeks?"

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jun. 23rd, 2014 05:27 pm (UTC)
Link

Yeah, because that second plane ticket and writing the excuse note to the teacher is a bitch :)

Reply | Parent | Thread

kick_galvanic, zagzagael, skull_theatre

(no subject)

from: bleodswean
date: Jun. 17th, 2014 12:36 am (UTC)
Link

You've got such a flair for dry humour. I loved this - You’re basically OK with global warming.

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jun. 23rd, 2014 05:28 pm (UTC)
Link

Thanks! Yeah, I realized lately that one of the reasons I'm not squirting out children is that I don't like the look of the world I'd leave them.

Reply | Parent | Thread

tatdatcm

(no subject)

from: tatdatcm
date: Jun. 17th, 2014 04:09 am (UTC)
Link

Kids or no kids, sprinkles are awesomely delicious fun, especially on soft serve ice-cream in a cake cone. You are missing out if you don't ever buy sprinkles. :)

I liked this. There's a sense of contentment (or relief?), but also a sense of underlying sadness. But that sadness may be my own projection because I do have children and a lot of this made me nostalgic for the days when they were young.

Of course, my 16 year old son just came into the room with sharpie markers stuck in his hair like curlers so that might skew my interpretation a bit as well.

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jun. 23rd, 2014 05:31 pm (UTC)
Link

What I love is dark chocolate sprinkles on buttered toast - it's a Dutch thing, and when I first had it, I was all, WHAT? You get to eat this for BREAKFAST?

I'm glad you got the bit of sadness - I meant it to turn that way at the end. Maybe could have stressed that more :)

Reply | Parent | Thread

Heather Hambel Curley

(no subject)

from: Heather Hambel Curley
date: Jun. 17th, 2014 09:53 pm (UTC)
Link

There's also never the thrill of catching vomit in your hand, which was oddly overlooked. Hmm..... :)

And, despite my status as a parent, I'm still fairly okay with global warming.

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jun. 23rd, 2014 05:33 pm (UTC)
Link

I'm so thankful I've missed that one!

Reply | Parent | Thread

Laura, aka "Ro Arwen"

(no subject)

from: roina_arwen
date: Jun. 18th, 2014 02:43 pm (UTC)
Link

This has a very nostalgic feel to it. Even though I'm not a parent, I do like string cheese, and have - on occasion - baked cookies at midnight, as long as I didn't have to be up at the buttcrack of dawn the next day. :)

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jun. 23rd, 2014 05:34 pm (UTC)
Link

I think more of us should be doing late-night baking :)

Reply | Parent | Thread | Expand

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors

(no subject)

from: halfshellvenus
date: Jun. 18th, 2014 08:14 pm (UTC)
Link

I love all of the vivid details in here, so many of them applicable to parenting and absolutely nothing else, and most non-parents would never even think of them!

There will be no reason to save your school drawings, or the journals unfortunately under the burst pipe, so painstakingly dried and de-molded.

But I also love that, in describing the pain of the loss of things that have such sentimental importance, the reader gets an indirect sense of what non-parents might be missing out on. They might think the tradeoff is worth it, or the right choice for them, absolutely. But it is not nothing.

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jun. 23rd, 2014 05:37 pm (UTC)
Link

Thanks - I'm glad you got the turn in tone. When I was working on this, I suddenly remembered the Barbie clothes and burst into tears in a crosswalk!

I'm at the age now where it's gone from when to whether to last chance - so far I'm good with it, but I do wonder if I'll mourn it later.

Reply | Parent | Thread | Expand

Ink Well

(no subject)

from: penpusher
date: Jun. 19th, 2014 03:20 pm (UTC)
Link

Nicely relatable. 100 pts for eating the cherry, Ms. Pac-Man.

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jun. 23rd, 2014 05:50 pm (UTC)
Link

Thanks!! It was a pretty cool exercise :)

Reply | Parent | Thread

tonithegreat

(no subject)

from: tonithegreat
date: Jun. 20th, 2014 02:44 am (UTC)
Link

Aw, nice. You inspire me to work towards more elegant brevity!

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jun. 23rd, 2014 05:51 pm (UTC)
Link

Thanks! I spent last week in a flash nonfiction class :)

Reply | Parent | Thread

ArmagedDan

(no subject)

from: hosticle_fifer
date: Jun. 20th, 2014 02:53 am (UTC)
Link

I really loved this. The silly annoying things like having to buy the correct flavors of Go Gurt - strawberry and blueberry because your offspring won't eat anything that isn't red and blue respectively. To the heart pulse felt at seeing a ragged horse on the floor, only because you watched your kid love it so relentlessly - so now this piece of plastic with a knotted mane means something to you.

This really resonated with me, is what I'm saying. :)


post-edit: I see you did mention barrel of monkeys here - I originally clicked your name, and not the entry link, and when I didn't see any mention of idol at the bottom I assumed I'd ended up in the wrong place. So I originally prefaced this with a bit about accidentally coming here and reading the story anyway. D'oh!

Edited at 2014-06-20 02:57 am (UTC)

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jun. 23rd, 2014 05:53 pm (UTC)
Link

Thanks on all counts :) And your description of the plastic horse is lovely - that's a whole essay right there. Glad you liked!

Reply | Parent | Thread