Tuesday, June 24, 2008


As parents, we try to teach it. As kids we tried to avoid it. But, there is no escape. Even on a lazy summer day you are still accountable to something, to someone. From the SPF in your sunscreen to the amount of skin you expose at the pool, from the hours you wander through an air-conditioned mall to the hours you have managed to avoid folding the laundry.

Once, I thought I’d live an unaccountable life. I quit my job, married a man who loved me unconditionally. He worked all day, rarely phoned home and then began to travel- a lot.
I was on my own. Sort of. Just me and the baby. It wasn’t that the baby told me what to do, it was all those parenting books that made me feel I was never doing enough.
I became accountable to words, views, opinions and when they visited- family.
Another few moves and I felt accountable to a dog, another child, two acres and all the household finances, repairs and renovations.
When would this non-accountability start?

I dream of a day when no one will notice or care what time I wake up, what I eat or skip at breakfast, how often I use the bathroom, how long I read and whether or not I choose to answer the phone.

I have not spent a night as the solo human in my own home since 1991.

I know that even if I did, I would wake up early in the morning and feel obligated to clean up the dishes, wipe down the counters and take care of the animals. Because I am supposed to. That is my job. And mostly because when the door opened and the husband came in and complained or the kids walked in and needed something… well, then I’d feel like a failure. Because how can you teach and expect someone to do the things you yourself have chosen to avoid?
I sometimes wonder what parts of my brain and body would flourish if I did none of those accountable things. If I hired people to do all of that for me- like a constant state of all-expenses paid resort living.

I wonder if I would finally be able to fly like I do in my dreams.
Or if I’d just find something else to feel accountable to.

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