Learning to smile

Things are going well. Or, who knows. By the time I get here, I am barely capable of putting grammatically correct and meaningful sentences together. Even though I don’t really do anything much during the day…. just smile and babble and hold my son when he is feeling lonely.
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Of course, I was kicking and screaming at some of the consequences of the big families in Indonesia. Like, I was always pretty much the last afterthought, anything came before me, like slaughtering a cow for a family feast and playing brainless music for two days on end for a birthday party. I would go insane if I never had a minute alone to myself, if anyone could walk into my house anytime unannounced, drop in to lunch whenever they please, no privacy, no free time to myself. Always multiple cousins and uncles to consider, somebody always drops dead in an inconvenient moment or needs an urgent loan. It is exhausting even just to look at it from a distance.
But the other extreme over here is also really harsh. Not that I am left completely alone to fend for myself and take care of my son, western style, very far from that. I can consider myself lucky, somebody helps me every day. I just really wish I had a little more time for myself, just an hour a day when someone else holds my son and I can cook or go for a walk or whatever, just switch off.
If we were part of an Indonesian family, someone would be helping to take care of him all day. You would never be alone with a problem.
You would never be alone, even when you wanted to be alone.
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Why just extremes, I wonder. Why the complete western break with even the closest family, even grandparents considering it a favour to help out. Why the complete eastern lack of privacy and self-reliance. I’m not even sure which one I would take harder on the long run. Luckily I don’t have to make that choice for now. We will go back someday to see our Indonesian family. And we go from there. Until then, It’s just this small circle of us, teaching each other to smile more. Like some vicious circle. Who knows, I might even end up happy one day.
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One thing is for sure, I need to learn to live in the present moment. Now. Not always dream about the past or plan for the future. Just sing some silly song now or make faces or just hold him in my arms when he calls me. Not worry so much about what will happen when he starts to crawl or talk or needs toys or needs to go to school. I need to stop worrying or I will go crazy.
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By the way, I still don’t understand how this all happened and why. I’m still not living my own life. I’m watching this in a movie. And it is now beginning to scare me. It is just too easy and dreadfully difficult at the same time, and I’m still not sure I can deal with what is coming up now. The dark, cold, gloomy days and all the rest.
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I still wish I was somewhere else, although this is where I wanted to be all my life. And for now, it is enough to smile, even with tears in my eyes, and I can deceive him, he won’t know the difference. But this won’t last forever. I need to learn to smile for real, not just go through the motions. Before he catches me and asks me why I am crying all the time.

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