Saturday, August 11, 2012

Impromptu


James and I took the kids to the beach yesterday afternoon. We didn't leave until 1:20 and we got back about 12 hours later. The beach is 3 to 5 hours away, depending on who is driving. Last time we took Bea and Am to the beach? They screamed the entire way, both ways. We wore earplugs and were basically miserable. Yesterday, they were good. We timed it so that the driving coincided with their regular nap time or bedtime. *smart*

James and I had plenty of time to talk, mostly on the way back (because I needed to think on the way down and James needed to nap). We talked about existential questions. Why are we here, what are we supposed to be doing, are we on track, what do we want out of life? How is our mainstream American life living up to our expectations? Are we settling for less than our potential? What is our lifestyle teaching our children? What do we really want to instill in them during the years that they are in our care? How?

We always have these conversations after visiting the ocean. I think it is because being so close to such a force of nature puts a lot of thing in perspective.

Got any answers?

9 comments:

  1. I always need to bathe in the sea to wash away the last year's psychic dirt.

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  2. I think the immensity of a place like that can inspire smart, self-aware people to question their little place in a giant world. There's something about being face-to-face with a part of nature so vast and unending that makes you want to self-reflect. I used to feel this way a lot in Utah, with the giant skies and the bluffs and red rocks for as far as you can see.

    I'm glad you guys had a good time at the beach, and even more glad you have a partner like James who you can have these conversations with.

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  3. I actually have all the answers to those questions, it turns out. There is a fascinating book I can send you that will spell it all out for you. It is called Dianetics and it will change your life!

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  4. I miss living close to the beach. Jake and I talk about stuff like that on almost a nightly basis. We'll let you know if we get any closer to the answers.

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  5. I think just by taking your kids to the beach and letting them experience that natural power is teaching them so much.

    Enjoy the beach and the freezy-pops. =D

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  6. I think that just being the kind of parents that talk about this stuff will cause your children ask the same questions and be 'deep thinkers' ... which is is what we all want, right?
    It really inspires me actually, that you haven't settled for your 'american life' but continue to ask these type of questions (that I think most people only identify with when they're 19 or so), It also makes me excited to spend my life with my partner (because I think I have this idea that at some point we'll get boring and stop caring), but two kids later y'all still care about where you are and your relationship ...

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    1. We have to always ask questions and challenge ourselves because the day has not come when we just say, "ok, we are here, we've arrived at our potential," you know? When I was a kid, I imagined an adult life that was really typical and mundane with everything in its place, but I didn't ever see myself happy or content with that. I feel that much of the American Dream and what people look at as "success" is a lie built on taking advantage of weaker people. What I want to do as a parent is give my children the knowledge and the tools to rise above the consumer culture and carve out their own sustainable place in this world.

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