It’s official: We’re country girls now. I took the girls to the mall yesterday to look for some “fancy” clothes that will be appropriate for a few upcoming life-event ceremonies, both happy and sad. We live in a small village in a rural area, and the mall is in an urban center 40 minutes away. By the time we left there to drive home it was rush hour. There were so many cars on the road and I haven’t driven in traffic like that in a long time. The girls looked out the window at the long line of cars with amazement. ‘H’ said, “That’s what you call traffic!”
I didn’t care for any of it. When we finally got close to home where the street lights are few and far between, where the road is so dark at night that you can barely see it, I relaxed. I had to ask myself what happened to me – am I the same person who used to drive my car in New York City while we lived there? The same person who used to drive around the Northeast visiting friends and family, zipping in and out of traffic seamlessly? Lots of intersections to go through, exits to choose from? No problem. Driving in the sunrise, high noon, dusk and nighttime? It was all the same. Now I am becoming one of those people who can’t do it.
I’m out of touch with so many of the things I saw yesterday – traffic, crowds of people, a lot of stores, lights everywhere. We don’t see that on a regular basis. At one point I took my girls to the makeup counter at Macy’s so they would know what a makeup counter even was. If I can help it they won’t grow up to be sheltered, small town girls. I want them to feel at home here in the woods, under the bright stars, but I also want them to grow to be confident, knowledgeable and aware young women who can navigate social situations with ease. I want them to know that many different lifestyles exist and that ours is one we chose because it works for us. They are free to choose their own as they grow. The only way to know how they might like to live is to learn as much as they can about the world. There was a time when I never would have thought that trips to the mall counted as glimpses into another culture. But here we are.
From my small town to you, wherever you are, Happy Thanksgiving. May we all feel that we have just enough this season.