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The irony is that I actually really enjoy this housewife gig when I’m not fighting the inner battle between me and decades of feminist rhetoric. Just like everything else, I can’t sort out the truth from the bullshit.
But I really love cold autumn days, like today, when my entire day revolves around nurturing…cooking, snuggling, reading to, creating with….making a home that is a sanctuary, creating a place where others are free to be themselves. I just never feel completely at ease with it all, expecting someone to expect more.
If a function of art is to validate the experiences of others, to point to a higher truth, then isn’t making a home an art?
And yet, there is no denying the moments when I’m stifled, when I crave escape, when I imagine a different life, a different path. The simple truth is that motherhood is stifling, no matter how you do it. Unless you completely neglect your children…if they are at home or in school, if they are young or all grown-up…loving someone like that is stifling. You can’t understand it if you aren’t a mother.
Sometimes I feel that in telling Deenie’s story, I’m telling my own story. God, that terrifies me. I feel like I’m tiptoeing near the border of real honesty with myself about who I am, and I don’t know if I like her as much as the person I’ve spent a lifetime convincing myself that I am. I’m actually afraid to find out.
This is a particular kind of fear, the moment you start to realize the truth, but it isn’t clear enough yet…there’s still time to go back. There’s still time to forget. I have opened a door and caught a glimpse of someone, but if I close it very fast, I’ll never be sure.
To be sure, I’d have to open the door and really take a look.
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