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The Inspiriations Of A Sweet Potato


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I was standing in front of the stove cooking dinner when my eleven year old daughter, reading a form that needed to be filled in for school, asked...

"What do I write for mums occupation?"

"Nothing....mum doesn't do anything." said my sixteen year old.

Whirling around with a wooden spoon in my hand I snapped....

"That's right, I sit on my backside on the couch all day eating bon bons watching days of our lives! Yup, that's me - she who doesn't do ANYTHING."

"I didn't mean THAT mum!" said the sixteen year old rolling her eyes.

It made me angry and depressed all the same.

What has my life become?

Who AM I?

Why am I here?

Questions I find myself asking time and time again as I stir yet another pan of gravy and think about the fact that I am now nearing my fortieth birthday.

My boobs are determined to greet my knees, my belly is now rounded, my ass is melting down the backs of my thighs and I have completely lost touch with "me" - the person in my other life.... 20 years BC. (before children.)

The other day I found a sweet potato that was growing "vines" in my kitchen.

I looked at it sitting there among the onions in a bowl on top of the microwave and thought it was the most beautiful thing I'd seen in a long time.

The colours.....lime green awash with subtle shades of dusky pink on the foliage, reaching up the wall.....(yes the thing is growing leaves)

To think that left on it's own accord, with no water or earth or even much sunlight, it was beginning a new transformation, a new "life" there among the onions, seemed amazing to me!

(Certainly a lot prettier than the time I discovered the corpse of an aubergine under the kitchen sink.)

"Why are you taking photo's of a sweet potato?" my children asked as they caught me arranging the vines against a brightly painted wall.

And in that moment.....I knew.

I have lost the plot.

I really have become the person I feared I would become.

A dreary housewife who gets excited over "past their used by date" vegetables.

What becomes of us?

Those that choose to stay home and raise their children, to forgo a career where they can interact on a daily basis with their peers, get paid for their work, feel as though they have a true purpose in life as a contributing member of society, and have something to TALK about in a gathering of other intellectual adults?

Do we wither away, our brains atrophying in the mundane repetition of daily household chores?

Every day the same dishes sit in the sink waiting for me to wash them up, the same dirt on the floor walked in by the dogs and the kids waits to be swept up, the same tinkle drops on the toilet seat wait for me to inadvertantly sit in them, the same fluff gathers on the carpet, the same bench tops needing wiping, table that needs clearing, garbage needs taking out, washing needs folded, the same kids come home everyday with the same gripes, the same arguments, the same shoes and school bags left for me to trip over them in the hall.....

At night the same complaints meet me at the dinner table, the same protests of "but it's not my turn to wash up tonight!", the same painful grade three reading books I have to sit and listen to as my mind turns to mush...and in bed at night....the same penis pokes me from behind.

The same, the same the SAME!

I am not the same.

I am changing.

I only have to look in the mirror to see that.

Oh gravity!

The same age I remember my parents and their friends were as I approached puberty, and thought they were SO old....past it.....their lives OVER!

And here *I* am - "there" where they were and how quickly I have travelled here.

I remember the first dawn I spent as a new mother lying in the hospital bed staring at my brand new infant feeling this incredible sense of overwhelming joy.

*I* had made this perfect creature. ME!

What I felt was as close to bliss as I have ever experienced and I knew I would love her with all of my soul and I did and I still do... all four of them.

I know I have the most valuable (though undervalued) job on earth, being a parent and I would not change this whole journey even if I could, but there comes a time, in every womans life where a sweet potato brings you back to reality!

I am an intelligent, creative thinking, feeling PERSON.

I am NOT "she who sits among bon bon wrappers on the sofa".

I DO have a life - one that needs tending.

My soul that has outgrown the comfortable cloak of motherhood screams for high heels and a loud red dress!

I look at that sweet potato....

Neglected and ignored it has sat in that bowl on top of my microwave.

Soft and wrinkly it has become.

I could have thrown it out, but I'm glad I didn't, because it has given me such inspiration in the lesson that it teaches...

Even things that are past their use by date can, all on their own, become beautiful amazing things.

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Been there. Got the T shirt. :-[ I became a father (for the 7th time) when I was 36 (3rd wife). Because my wife wanted to go back to work, I stayed home with our 2 offspring! I loved it!. What I didn't realise, was I was turning into a vegetable! All the friends I had, I worked with! When I stopped work, I stopped seeing my friends! Instead, I was now an object of curiosity amongst the women at the playgroup. (I also became an object of desire with 2 or 3 of them as well!). What I didn't get, was invited back for coffee with all the others! So it became a very solitary existance! After 3 years alone, I lost all my confidence, all my social skills, all my incentive to exist! The only thing I had was music. I was more productive in that time than anytime since! I think because I had more time on my hands! When the sprog was old enough to attend school regularly, I got some part time work. I never had the urge to wear a red dress and high heels, (well not outside the house anyway!) but I know exactly how you feel! What I would recommend you do, is show this blog to your hubby and kids. I think you've expressed yourself extremely well here. Get some feedback from them! Go and buy that red dress and flaunt yourself! (And post some photos' here :) ) You have a tremendous amount of talent. You should be using it more. You have a wonderful voice. Your piano playing is great, and you write some stunning music. I have several of your tracks on my MP3 player. Get yourself a band and go do some gigs. If your hubby plays bass, then you're halfway there! I wish I had half your talent! Sadly, I think my playing days are over. My job is f*ck*ng up my hands making it very difficult for me to play! Don't waste away and become bitter and twisted! Use what you have! And before your boobs meet your knees, get some good photos' and post them up here as well! :whistle: And just remember! Everybody here at Songstuff loves you OK? Especially me! You put a smile on my face when I read your posts! :) You're inteligent, articulate, and damn funny! Don't give the old man too hard a time! It's probably not his fault!

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What a nice ( and funny) post Steve.

Thanks :)

Interesting to read from your perspective as a stay at home dad.

Yeah, I can see how much MORE isolating that would be to be in that position from what you wrote.

I wrote this "sweet potato" thing about eight months ago actually but I still go back and read it to remind myself that I should be doing MORE to "nurture myself".

Heck, ain't nobody else gonna do it for me round here, lol!

It's one of the reasons I took up belly dancing. I'm STILL trying to rejoice in all my wobbly bits!

Trying to do something with music is an ongoing thing.

Moving to Perth has not exactly helped, but you never know...I'm in touch with a guitarist right now.

He's having panic attacks at the mere THOUGHT of performing but I'll keep working on him, lol!

Whether or not there is actually somewhere TO perform over here is another thing again though we might try some writers nights...just for fun.

Anyway.....Thanks again for your encouraging words.

Tracy

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