Sometimes something happens and it brings you out of the present and reconnects you with the past you, a part of you which can get lost in the maelstrom of parenting.
There are odd moments in life that reconnect you directly to the past you. They can come unexpectedly or be prompted by a place, a person, a piece of music or whatever. As you get older they seem to occur more often. Partly it is because, as your children grow up they start doing things that had a big impact on your own formative years. Whether that is going to university, getting a job, doing exams, coping with parents’ divorce, falling in love…whatever it might be it brings the past flooding back in both good and bad ways. Hopefully the bad stuff can be repackaged to help those going through it now. Understanding the bad stuff, even if you can’t really do anything about it, is something we sometimes underestimate.
Even the good stuff is often mixed with a range of different emotions. Emotions are very rarely one solid block of colour, but a range of shades. The main point is that reliving these things, often through children experiencing them for the first time, can bring you up short because they reconnect you with the past you. Of course there is not only one you, but in the maelstrom of parenting you can often lose any sense of who you were or are. You become a verb rather than a noun. A list of actions that never ends. You lose substance, you rarely see friends and when you do you do a kind of dump on them of various aspects of your life because they have been going round and round in your brain without any outlet and you haven’t had time to form them into something cohesive. Sometimes I do this to people I’ve only just met, but who I happen to have more than five minutes to speak to. I’m not entirely sure what they make of it, but they may well be in the very same position.
I’d like to make a film one day of the school run because it is one of the frames of my life. Not the rushing and yelling and general logistics, but the repetition of the road to the school. The path continually trodden. I have to drive to school as we live quite far from any of the three schools my kids go to. There have been different schools in the last 15 years I’ve done the school run, but the general gist of it is the same. I have probably got around 10 years more of it, unless only son gets on the bus list [we came off it due to the cost and appear to have been blacklisted…]. It’s a marker of time, of children growing, of people laughing or crying on the way to school or home, of stories told, while the road still stays more or less the same, the trees rustling, the road dipping and turning no matter what else is happening in the human world out there. There is a lingering sense of being a witness of time passing, but not really being in it, which is why those times when you do reconnect to the past you are so important, if fleeting. You have to grab them where you can.