Friday, September 03, 2010

Forget To Remember

I've come to realize that my life is a lot like that thin layer of earth that sits atop an underground stream of moving water. I spend my day wandering along, whistling a tune to the sky, all the while assuming that the ground is solid and substantial, mostly forgetting that there can be potholes and sinkholes when and where I least expect them.

Wednesday night I nearly tripped and fell right into one. All because of a silly little blue ribbon.

I was so excited when we arrived at the fair. My friend Frank was assisting the judge for the photography contest and when he saw me he whispered, "Tanya! Look!" I was trying to be cool, 'cause ya know, that's how I am and all. . . but my face gave me away. Ali was behind me and when I turned to show her what I saw, I could see my joy reflected in her eyes.

I know it's silly to be excited about a ribbon on a photo. Intellectually, I know that it's just a fun little exercise for late summer amusement in Ohio, but still. . . I just can't help myself.

And that's when I came close to falling through that little layer of solid ground and ending up head-first in the cold, rushing water below.

It happens when I forget to remember.

When I forget to remember that I don't have the luxury of measuring my self-worth against accomplishments to be shared with my family. When I forget to remember that while Ali is calling her Mom to share the good news, that I can't call mine. When I forget to remember that my parents are missing out knowing a really funny, interesting, thoughtful person – and now photographer! – in me.

And one would think, that by now, I wouldn't forget to remember such things. But sometimes I still do.

I doesn't really diminish the fact that winning a silly ribbon makes me proud. It just still makes me sad that this is what it still is. It makes me wonder – do you ever get over wanting to make your parents proud? Do you ever quit wishing that something you did might make them smile? And do you ever stop looking for even the smallest approval in their eyes?

Everywhere we went around the fairgrounds the rest of the night, Ali bragged on me. She called her mom. She called her step-dad. Their joy made me smile and I am so very, very thankful that they have taken me into their lives and made me feel so much like a part of their family.

But I was still kind of sad, at least for a little bit.

I got over it. Ali, dancing around the kitchen just before bedtime singing, "Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner!" certainly helped.

{I don't ever, even for a second, have any misgivings about living my life with honesty and integrity. I would not change my decision to tell the truth in order to be in a relationship with people who require lies to make me appear to be acceptable in their eyes. It just still occasionally makes me sad.}


Frank Wilson said...

Luv the "My friend Frank . . . "


Tanya said...

Thanks. . .

Ami said...

I am sorry that the love you and Ali share isn't celebrated by your family the way love should be.

All I want for my kids is for them to be happy. I can't imagine not supporting them and I love them no matter what.

I can't imagine a parent feeling any other way.


And congrats on the ribbon again... it IS a big deal. You should feel proud.