Tuesday, July 3, 2012

the last book I ever read (Lizz Free or Die, excerpt two)

from Lizz Winstead's Lizz Free or Die: Essays:

All my crazy dreams for the future were always a source of bewilderment to Mom. I think because she simply loved being a mom, so she couldn’t imagine why her youngest daughter wanted to complicated her life by fantasizing about something else. She never discouraged me from pursuing the things I was interested in, like becoming an altar boy on my way to the priesthood, for example, but when I hit the roadblocks that slammed into my psyche, she never really understood how bad my internal injuries were. Because they weren’t her roadblocks, and because she loved her life, it baffled her when I couldn’t find comfort in her world. She saw my pain as an unnecessary burden—on me and on herself.

Yes, she always hugged me during the disappointment, but she couldn’t fathom why I chose things that seemed so hard. So confusing. So exhausting. Why didn’t I take that energy and play house, then when I got older, find the right guy, get married, have some kids, and channel my creativity through them?

She was completely comfortable with the power structures she had in her life. The certainties of marriage, and family, and the church imposed clear roles on her, because none of those roles blocked her from her path.

That was her path. And even decades after I spied on my sisters at our bedroom door, she still worried about me, because I chose a life of great unknowns. Being a wife and mother, the fallback Ginny Winstead hoped her youngest daughter would eventually embrace, was no longer an option for me. I would not watch my kids in school plays, watch them play basketball, or watch them dance at halftime at a football game.

The key word here is watch.

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