June 3 : personal growth and parenting

Dear June,

you have been of an unstable mood and this is kind of irresponsible; sorry to take it on you, but we have been waiting to wear summer clothes, hats, sun glasses, and instead we are taking out our umbrellas, on a daily basis. Well, I am sorry to be moody, but I have cought a slight cold.

And so has Alexandre my little god-son, in my hometown, as his mother informed me on the phone.

Or, Spiderman, because his Spider-mania continues.

Fortunately, I have a personal relationship with Spiderman, and I gave him an acount on his latest adventures.

Alexandre’s parents on their side, are facing the challenge of raising two babies and working full time.

How is it possible to continue doing things they need/and like? How not to feel that they sacrifice themselves? Is the smile of a child enough to compensate for not having time to go out, exerce, exist as a couple?

And then come other cases, of friends with broken couples. B, my favorite guy who tries to balance between his son and his job. S, father of a two year-old girl whose mother has a completely different idea than him on her upbringing. Or my friend E, mother of a little girl who cares a lot for her child and the father not at all.

How is it possible for the one who invests more time and effort to rebuilt a love-life with a new partner?

Actually, the only think I can tell my friends, because I am not having any experience on these questions, is the advice we are given in the airplanes in case there is a lack of oxygen. That parents need to wear their oxygen mask first, and then put it on their children. If they pass out, their children are also in danger. In that sense, taking care of oneself, could be a way to take care of the people we care for.

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April 27- rainy Sunday

Hi  April,

Spiderman came indeed in Alexandre’s sleep. He told me himself on the phone. His mother described him wearing on his head his underwear for a mask, and his socks as gloves, chasing around Marius, who copied him.

He wanted to speak with his godmother, who understands the Spider-mania.

And other “manias” of course.

His call found me at the local restaurant where I was having lunch with family and friends.

Outside, it was raining heavily.

Just after, I found a quiet spot and started taking notes for my next book.

That was good. I felt advancing.

 

April 25- the return of Spiderman

Dear April,

I realize that you are leaving us soon, and I also decided to leave my hometown on the same day.

Since I had been seriously working and stressing the day before, I decided to take it easy on this Friday. I woke up late, spent too much time showering, fixing my hair, doing my exercise routine.

It was almost the afternoon, when my good friend and mother of my godson, Alexandre, rung me up to see if I could meet with them: Alexandre, Marius, and the happy parents could come nearby. It sounded like a great idea, and before I knew it, they arrived.

Alexandre was very excited to be outdoors -he is ready to follow any stranger if he is heading to the front door of their apartment-.

As a serious and conscientious godmother I took him to some toys, in the form of an air-balloon and a taxi, that become agitated as soon as you put some coins in the right place. But as soon as he perceived some balls with the form of Spiderman on the surface, he managed to get his hands on one of them.

He was so excited, impossible not to buy it! With this acquisition we all went to the café near a place where he could play. Alexandre was in ecstasy: he threw the ball on some of the tables where innocent bystanders were having a drink or coffee. Three adolescents were frightened when the ball almost landed on their head.

Come play with me! Alexandre demanded.

And there I was running up and down, trying to avoid proximity with café clients. It was fun. Spiderman was at his best: he was going up, down, changed hands, feet.

I had a chance to talk to my friend A when P, Alexandre’s father was in charge of the Spiderman ball and the two kids.

We talked about life, friendship, ex-boyfriends, choices, what I look for in a man, growing up, having a purpose.

It was 23.00 when they decided it was time to go. Marius, already asleep didn’t have an objection, but Alexandre was not ready to go home.

Spiderman will come and pay us a visit this evening, I told him. But we need to have our eyes closed, if we want him to really manifest. I was hoping that if he closed his eyes, he would go to sleep.

I am not sure I have given him the right advice.

I’d better keep my eyes open when Spiderman drops by for a visit.

 

April 16- Hometown neighbours

Hello April,

I have two deadlines related to job- search: one is for April 24 and the other for the end of May. Today I have checked them and started updating my CV. There are people I need to contact, to put a word for me, the sooner the better.

The other thing I did was to meet with a work associate from my hometown, to discuss our summer event; an old friend who initially asked me to join the event organization. This is great, but we are still at the beginning. We put together a list of the artists we would like to involve, including ourselves, of course. As for the funding, I need to finish writing our proposal.

We met at one of the local cafés.

As I stepped out, I run into the father of an old schoolmate who was trying to find out everything he could about my life in Paris, without asking direct questions. And I tried to stay polite without answering him. Quiet an art.

Yes, my hometown is a small place.

If you go for bread, or sit in one of the cafés, there is a big chance to be nearby someone who knows you, or your parents, … and who would like an update.

I wouldn’t exactly call it a village, but it is close.

With the advantages and disadvantages a small place has.

Globalization is important, but in the small town, there is also a different temporality.

People live a lot for and with their neighbours. There are neighbours I love: an older man, for example, who encourages my writing and has proclaimed himself my grandfather. Or the local pharmacist.

But there are also others, with daughters my age who are just curious and want to compare us and decide: Am I more or less successful? Beautiful? Rich?

What on earth am I doing in Paris? Why don’t I bring my boyfriend for inspection? What am I hiding?

I should have told them I am Spiderman’s new girlfriend. That might have calmed them down for a while.

 

April 15- first day in my home town: the spiderman syndrome

April, hello

First day in my hometown. Do you want to know how my transformation advances?

Spiderman could be a useful metaphor for this:

I am godmother to one of my dearest friend’s sons: Alexandre is 3 years and a half and a big fun of Spiderman. His parents disapprove of this interest but the grandparents let him watch a film with the superhero. And he was “bitten” by spider-mania.

So I had no choice than to buy for him a spider-present. I also told him my version of the spider-hero, whom I know in person. The part that caught his attention was the transformation. Future Spiderman started as an average boy; at least, that is what he felt about himself. This is also what the others perceived him to be.

But, the fact that a spider bites him, radio-active or not- is the first step of his transformation to a super hero. Was it a form of destiny? Could he have “chosen” not to transform?

It seems that getting his super powers is irreversible. The choice is what he decides to do with them. He could have ignored them and hidden them even from himself. He could have turned bad and tried to dominate all those he could.

So the question for me is: I have powers and talents.

Am I conscious of that?

And

What do I do with them?