I live an insulated life. Sometimes I forget what a wonderfully insulated life God has blessed us with. We get to travel a lot and see many different cultures and ways of living. My husband is able to provide a unique and wonderful life for us. In so many ways we get to set our own schedules and priorities. I know our lives are different from many, especially those in mainstream America. But it’s normal for me and for our family. So normal, that it can be a little jarring at times when I’m once again confronted with the actual “normal” way of viewing the world.
In my everyday life I get to forget that I’m supposed to be embarrassed about being a stay-at-home wife and mother. In my world it’s just another lifestyle choice. It’s assumed that individuals are making the best choice for themselves and their families. I don’t need to justify it or convince anyone else of my position. I’m not wasting or squandering anything by my choice. I’m simply making the right choice for my family at this moment. I’m smart enough to make that choice.
In my everyday life I forget that I’m supposed to augment my natural fertility so that I only have just the “right” number of children. In fact, I get to forget that there is a “right” number of children. In my world I get to view my children as fellow humans and not commodities to be acquired or not. Parenting is seen as this difficult and glorious endeavor. It’s assumed that overwhelmingly parents love their children and are doing the best they can, and when parents want to, or think they need to, do things differently, they aren’t simply told what to do, but rather given the knowledge and tools to make a different choice.
In my everyday life I forget that I’m supposed to not think about medical care in terms of choices. I forget that I’m supposed to view my, and my children’s, medical care in terms of a list of things to be done without question. In my world medical experts are a resource, consultants, to help me make an informed decision, but not to make the decision for me or my children. I’m smart enough to make that decision.
In my everyday life I forget that I’m supposed to compartmentalize knowledge into these discrete categories, and that experts are the sole gatekeepers to this knowledge. In my world knowledge and learning are ubiquitously threaded into every little mundane and fantastic aspects of our lives. There’s no need to contrive “learning opportunities,” because our whole lives are a learning opportunity. Life is about exploring, understanding, researching, and considering. It’s not a closed system, it’s an open system. It’s assumed that there is always more to know, but that I’m doing the best I can with the knowledge I currently have. Learning is seen as a very personal endeavor, not measured by what peers are doing, but by how well I think I’m getting to where I want to go. Mostly, it’s assumed: you got this, and if you need help, I’m here to help.
So, it’s jarring when I drift back into “normal” life and then find myself doing an inner eye-roll, because I remember, right, that’s still a thing here: choice is ok, just so long as I don’t make that choice.
I think I’ll go back to my insulated bubble, maybe the “normal” world can drift into my world for a while.