Monday, January 31, 2011

African Tribal Momma

Last summer I started watching a movie.  I never finished it, though I intended to.  It was called Babies and it follows the first year of life for babies from 5 different countries.  I was completely wrapped up in the story of the African tribal baby.  I loved this baby and I loved his little life.  I watched him drink from puddles, play with rocks and nurse from his mamma's naked breast whenever he felt like it.  I'd anxiously sit through the Japanese, American and British babies, just waiting for this little one to come back on the screen.  I sometimes needed to cover my eyes while watching the Mongolian baby - scary stuff people!

I started thinking, why wasn't I born into an African tribe?  Why do I have to live in this world full of greed and possessions and rat racing?  Why can't I just sit with other African tribal mamma's while our babies play in the dirt at our feet?  What a carefree existence.  Seeing this very simple living made me so jealous.  I want so much to just spend days with my kids, not the few hours that I have every night.  Hours that are filled with house work and laundry and dinners and bath time and bed time.  Not enough hours to play and explore and imagine with them.  I want to move to Africa and be a tribal momma!!

Then, it snowed here last week.  A pretty big snow.  I ended up being left at the house with the kids alone.  The rest of the family stuck in grueling traffic for hours on end.  During this time, a few things happened that made me realize I may not be cut out for the African jungle.

I'm sure when you are born into an African tribe in the African jungle, you must be brave and cunning.  You need to protect your young from lions and other carnivorous creatures.  You must be smarter than members of other tribes or they may absorb you in most unpleasant ways.

Most likely, it is probably frowned upon to scream like a little girl and stifle tears when a neighbor startles you through the front window.  Especially considering you have 3 man eating dogs at your disposal.  Not really, but what does he know other than the three 50+ pound dogs barking like lunatics and trying to eat him through the storm door.

Also, as an African tribal momma, you can't depend on conveniences like heat and electricity.  You must know how to feed your children without a stove or boiling water.  You must be able to keep them warm on cool evenings.  You probably need to be able to start a fire.  There is probably not an "ON" button for the fire place...actually, there is probably not a fire place. 

So when the electricity went out, it was probably not the best to come very close to a panic attack.  I called my sister and told her this, to which she laughed. I don't think she realized I was serious.

There we sat in the dark, cold house all alone.  I thought about the movie, because I often think of it when I'm sick of my crazy life and how much I don't want the craziness, I just want the simplicity.  But this time I think about how I just want the heat to come back on, because how quickly will the house get cold?  And I just want the lights to come on, because I'm kind of afraid of the dark, especially when I'm all alone.  But I can't really be afraid, because I don't want the kids to be afraid.  And I think, I am so not cut out to be an African tribal momma.

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