Friday, April 2, 2010

This is the Place...

I have lived in Utah all of my life. I think it was a good place for me as a kid. Growing up with a single mother with an undiagnosed mental illness would have been really tough in a bigger place. The little town I grew up in was a good village in the sense that people did watch out for me. There were many drawbacks, of course, but I shudder to think what my life would have been like if I had been in the same circumstances in say the Bronx.

In my early adult life, I hated this place. I think it was mostly rebellion, it is very conservative. Once I freed my self from the LDS church, the animosity was greatly reduced.

I feel myself creeping back towards not liking it here. It is hard to be a quirky, non conservative family in Utah. Having a 7 year old whose interests include anime, Tim Burton, and gothic clothing and make-up does not go over too well here. I was thinking this morning, however, that I do not know if it would go over well anywhere.

Ari is one of the most amazing people I have ever met. Her interests from the time she was small were out of the ordinary. When she was 2 she told me she wanted to "be evil when she grew up" and she has always had an affinity for villains. She has always had an interest in the dark side of life, the one most people totally avoid. She has always been wise well beyond her years, articulate, like parenting your grandma.

Mina is a really different kind of kid too. She has more energy than anyone I have ever met. I say that as a person who is hyperactive myself. She has a magnetic like field around her, people love her, they are drawn to her. Our friend Kyan is like that too, you meet him and you love him. I really have not seen that quality in many other kids. I like kids but this goes beyond just liking them. You want to be near them.

This morning I am trying to make peace with this place we live. Right now it is our home. I yearn sometimes for more kids for Ari to play with, but I have no proof that theses kids would materialize in a bigger or less conservative place. I also know that technology can get us some of the way there, using Skype and the like she could interact with kids who share her passions no matter where they are. I am making some plans to take her to some anime festivals this year, spending time visiting comic book and gaming stores, and researching anime we can check out from the library.

I know that in our family, we are all rather reclusive, except maybe Mina and we don't need other people a lot. But I also know what it is like to have a conversation with someone who totally gets you and who can share other views, someone you totally trust but who is not so immersed in your family's dynamic that they can't see clearly. My friend Julie does that for me all the time. I guess I long for that connection for Ari but I wonder if I am not seeing it in what she already has too.