A package arrived for me this morning from a dear friend of mine. I had been forewarned, and had awaited it with some nervousness these past few days, for alongside the excitement with which I looked forward to receiving it, was the fear that it would not arrive. It certainly took longer than I thought it would, but maybe this is because I was using letter mailing times for my estimate. Regardless, it has arrived, and I am overjoyed. I waited most of the morning with it in my room, eagerly anticipating the pleasure of opening it. Lunchtime came. Andrea asked what was inside, and was astounded to hear I had the patience to wait so long. At last dieKinder were put down for their nap, and my two hour afternoon break began.
Now, please keep in mind that I am a person of infinite preparation. I love ceremonies, so nearly everything I do is done ceremoniously. I cannot just open a package, I have to open it properly. Not doing so would spoil the moment. Some of this is good and enjoyable, but I will admit that I take it to extremes at times. I often spend so much time preparing for something that the thought of actually doing it seems strange to me. I was so mentally wrapped up in preparing myself for coming to Germany, from the eight months I had between the time I heard about it till when I actually left, that I accomplished nothing to any great effect during that time. I dwelt for so long on thoughts about leaving that once I arrived, I could not quite grasp the notion that I had really left. The Grand Event had taken place, now what do I do? I am like this with my artwork as well. I could spend days drawing concept work for a picture. I waste a good deal of time “researching” or doing “character design.” I convince myself that I cannot start my drawing because I am not “ready.” I am trying to break myself of this notion, because as long as I cling to it, I will never be ready. Some things must just be done, because it is hard to tell what doing them really involves until you have already started.
Parenting, I imagine, is a lot like this. My great inconsistency is that with all the experience I am gaining now, I feel as if I am prepared for the one thing in life I ought to feel the least prepared for.
So, my break comes along, and at last I am free to open my package. I cut up an apple. I wash out my teapot, and plug in my hotpot. I make my bed. I water my horticulture. I arrange my tea table with the tea that is now steeping in my teapot, my mug, my glass of milk, my apples, my sugar cubes, my teabag rest, my Hob Nob, my spoon…
And at last I open my package. I take my time as I pull out each item, looking them over, and reading some of the notes my dear friend left on them. I will not disclose the contents of my package here, but I will say that they made me smile. Often, they made me more than smile. They ranged from the highly appropriate, to the odd and laughable, but everything was beautiful and wonderful in its own right. Once my package was opened, (and once I had emptied all the styrofoam peanuts onto my bed and rummaged through them to be quite sure there was nothing more,) I surveyed my treasures. There were a number of things that required reading, some that required using, some that required examining, and some that required eating. In all honesty, I did not know where to start.
So, I painted my nails.
Many thanks, meine Freundin, I am very happy. Your letter is forthcoming, but not until I read through your bundle, which may take a few days. I want to savor them, after all, and I do have a ceremony for these things.