I think that more than anything, what drives my mind is the constant swarm of thoughts. While the majority of the issue is probably my extreme aversion for being like everyone else, it is also from a life long battle with feeling like I was different. Part of me wanted to fit in, but there was and still is that little fire that burns inside that told me no. It may have been from growing up watching all of my friends with their normal lives, or what I perceived as normal, while mine was anything but. Perhaps my aversion developed as my mind’s way of saying F*ck it….
I have this grossly fairytale mindset of what life is suppose to be like. You grow up… you get married, you have kids. Mom is in the kitchen baking cookies… the kids are watching the black and white TV while dad sits on the couch reading the newspaper. That is what I try to provide for my own kids. Normalcy. While we have had a lot of set backs in our tiny little family and life events have kicked us in the teeth numerous times, if anything, we have always provided a united front for our kids. Our kids know the life isn’t fair, that at times it even sucks. It sucks so bad sometimes that you just want to throw in the towel. Give up. Cease to exist. But, we always dust ourselves off, get up and move forward. Our kids have watched us fall, then get back up again. Through it all though, they have also had what I would call “normal.” There is no abuse in our home, no lack of love or support. While we may not be able to provide them with the latest and greatest, it makes me feel good to hear them complain about something as dull as a cell phone. Or ask why all their friends have the latest game console and they don’t. Why? Because they aren’t afraid to come home. They aren’t afraid of either of their parents. They don’t lock themselves in their bedrooms at night and cry themselves to sleep asking why this was happening to them. Their ambitions aren’t hindered. Their social and spiritual growth has not been tampered with. They are everything I couldn’t be and that makes me happy. Happier than one could ever explain.
My latest set of images are almost a release of emotion from myself. My kids are happy to pose for the images and often just say “oh cool” and head back to their video games or tv shows. That sloughing off of mom’s “art” feels good to me. It tells me they don’t know, they don’t get it and I am happy to say I hope they never do. It means I’m doing a damn good job and they will succeed where I failed. If there is anything I can leave behind its the knowledge that I did it. I stopped the freight train.