Saturday, November 17, 2007


I think I have used foster parenting as a shield, and I'm not sure to what extent that is a good or a bad thing.

See, there are things about my job that I love, and there are things that I don't like and don't really think are important. I often look at the people around me and wonder how they can find it important. I think that my colleagues don't have a sense of proportion. Everything is taken very seriously; everything is debated; every argument is considered. We get caught up in issues and forget that nothing hangs on them.

There are tasks that must be done, but doing them or not doing them is just not going to make much of a difference.

And when I was doing foster care I had a buffer between myself and all that. I allowed myself to avoid the most (to me) meaningless of tasks and even to feel a bit scornful of people who took them seriously because I did things that Mattered In The World. I did things that changed people's lives, at least some people's live.

Now though I am not doing care and not even committed to doing it again.

It is a strange place that I find myself. I expect to care about it again. I predict that I will want to do it again, but at this point I don't. I don't even want to plan a quilt (which is a pretty big deal). I wouldn't be surprised if it is information about a particular kid that shakes me out of this state. I have a feeling that I could get energetic about caring for a particular youth in a way that I can't get energetic about "doing care."

But in any case, I have not plans to do care again in the near future.

So I have no reason not to invest time in some of the things that I have tended not to do. I have no reason not to join my colleagues in their dedication to minutiae. I too can dedicated hours and hours to doing a very good job on reports that will go no where and affect no one. I can prepare and invest energy in debates that result in nothing. And I do it well, too. I suppose that is what bothers me the most. I can fall into that life again and start believing that all the petty politics is important, only periodically waking up and realizing how absurd my life is.

My bioboys are growing older and becoming more independent. No one is demanding hours of time and deep energy of my soul.

So now I too can join the pod people. I can go to sleep and wake up as one of them. I will care about what they care about. I can think the trivial is important and forget that there is real human pain and suffering in the world. Just keep walking and show no emotion and you won't get caught.

Don't take that last paragraph too seriously. My husband rented Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) last week. I don't really feel like that.

But I almost do.


  1. you know, the mundane, and the politics of academia could be just what you need right now. just rest up and focus on the petty world of the pod people for a while. give your mind and your heart a rest. mine could use one. i spent the last week in the hospital with my elderly, demented mother. she broke the femor in her left leg and had to have a plate put in. we were up 72 hours straight, then she slept 24, then she was up 48 more. she went back to the nursing home wed. and i come home for the first time in a week. i slept until about two fri. afternoon, had to get up then as strangers were coming to my house. i'm getting things together in case we have to go back, she is having trouble breathing. well, she's wheezing now. am putting this all here as my computer is still wonky an tonight doesn't seem to mind being here, or letting me type here! so that's where i've been, how are you? really?

  2. As one of the fish that definitely spends most of its time swimming against the tide and away from the rest of the school, sometime there are times when it's a good thing to run with the herd.

    Maybe this is the time to do that. Maybe living the life of the "pod people" will bring what you really want back into focus.

  3. What Foster Abba said.

    When/if you're ready to jump back on the rollercoaster, it will still be there.

  4. Naw, you will never be one of THEM. Your life has been touched and changed in too many profound ways.


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