Friday, September 11, 2009

Spontaneity:the state of being spontaneous. Swept away in the moment. Able to live, love, breathe and act without thinking. Without planning and foresight.
Ahhhhhhh....doesnt that sound glorious? I cannot rememeber the last time i did something truly spontaneous. But then - can one be spontaneous when one has five children? Two of them with special dietary restrictions? And one of them a teenager full throttle in teenage cares and concerns? And a construction company? A home-based soap making business? And four dogs? A church calling ( or two.) And one is (supposed to be) following a rigorous training program that requires getting lots of sleep and lots of vegetables. ( do u know how much time it takes to peel all the carrots i need to eat to keep me from eating the entire bag of corn chips?!) Hmmm...

So there we were, Darren and I, discussing ( for the millionth time) whether or not we should buy a house in New Zealand. We've been planning it for going on a year now. Perused countless real estate internet sites. Looked at numerous houses - from dream mansions to almost ghettolike extreme makeovers. We've even gone so far as to almost buy not one, but two different houses, halted only by hidden asbestos and faulty electrical wiring. So you cant really fault our cautiousness. Or studying and pondering. But sitting there analyzing all the pro's and con's just one more time - I just couldnt take it a minute longer.

"Let's do it" I said. (Darren looked surprised and gleeful.) "No" I clarified "Lets go buy a house. No more talking about it. No more thinking about it. Lets get on a plane tomorrow, Look at the 4 houses we saw online today and just buy the best out of the 4. What the heck - lets just do it!"

The full glory of spontaneity dawned upon us. A fly by night trip to Auckland? Without our children? Throwing caution to the winds? Where we could then throw our life savings at a stranger in exchange for a house? And sell our souls to the bank on a whim? It was daring. It was foolhardy. It was exciting! And of course the thought of eating at McDonalds peacefully without five hangers-on...or sitting on a plane and being able to eat the horrible food. Because you dont have a wriggly, screaming toddler sitting on your lap. And being able to watch the lame movie. And actually listen to the headphones. Or (heaven forbid) even shut one's eyes and sleep if one so desired?! Or go to the mall and only look in stores that carry adult clothing. And books. and NOT have to stop at a single playground? Heck - i was feeling positively giddy...

But then - as it so often does. The rollercoaster ride of spontaneity came to a shuddering halt. Leaving one feeling slightly let down. And sick. I started thinking - WHAT IF?
*theres a tidal wave while were gone? Who will drive the kids to safety?
*theres a cyclone. And its so bad no planes can come here for weeks and we cant get back home in time?
*We both get swine flu on the plane and get stuck in intensive care?
*The plane crashes and we both die and our five children are left orphans?
*One of the Fab Five chokes on a piece of apple and nobody here knows how to do the Heimlich maneouvre as wonderfully as I do?
*Zach falls out of the tree. Again. Only this time he doesnt just hit the ground and laugh uproariously. Instead, he lands on the swingset, breaks his back in four places, ruptures his spleen and needs to be airlifted out?
*Somebody gets overwhelmed with RHD despair and too many James Bond movies and takes over the government with a stick of dynamite ( disguised as a pencil). And there is mass rioting. And confusion. And Fiji-coup-like-craziness?

Once I got going with the what-ifs, that was it. All spontaneity fled. Replaced with worry. And guilt. And frantic self-doubt. And a desire to hug ones children tightly ( in case just me thinking about the above stuff made it come true...) Is it just me? Or does every parent suffer from an over active imagination coupled with over-hyped-worry syndrome? How do other people do it? Go on holidays without their kids? Let them run to Kickboxing class without praying they wont get hit by a car. Or attacked by a gang street thugs? You'd think that with five children - I'd be a pro by now at "letting them go....and go...and go...please just go!" Instead, Im flipping out at the mere thought of jetsetting to Auckland for 4 days without them. I need help. From 'Psycho Overanxious Parents Anonymous.'

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