Abandon Text!

W. H. Auden once said: "Poems are not finished; they are abandoned." I have been abandoning writing projects for many years, since only the pressure of deadline and high expectations ever got me to finish, or even start, anything of merit. This blog is an attempt to create a more consistent, self-directed writing habit. Hopefully a direction and voice will emerge.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Basically Better Person moment

I mentioned in an earlier post that one of my professors at NCSSM introduced us to the idea of the Basically Better Person (BBP). A Basically Better Person is someone who, as far as you can tell, has just got it all over you in every category you care about and a few that you don't. They are the most formidable challenge to the ego, because usually you can find some fault in someone to spare you being completely belittled. Maybe they are a better programmer than you, but not as good with people; maybe they are more organized than you, but they are big as a whale, etc.

But I think we ran into one this weekend. When Janet was planning our trip to DC, she contacted an Attachment Parenting leader in DC to get some recommendations on where to stay and how to get around the city. The leader, to our complete surprise, offered to put us up in her guest room for the weekend. At first we politely declined -- how could we possibly inflict ourselves on a stranger like that? But after seeing the hotel rates in the city, and all the hassle of getting around, we took her up on it. And she was within walking distance of the National Zoo. It felt like a karmic blessing, carrying with it a formidable karmic debt.

As we got to know the AP leader (who will have to remain as semi-anonymous as me) we found that she was also:
  • A licensed real estate broker who was semi-retired from the business while she raised her family
  • A home-schooler in the Waldorf tradition
  • The volunteer coordinator in her ward for one of the candidates in the mayoral race
  • Raising her kids bilingually (with her Equidoran husband)
  • The leader of her community homeowners association
  • Training to become a La Leche League leader
  • A vegetarian who cooks most of the family's almost entirely organic food
  • Two or three other things I can't even remember.

And on top of all that, her kids were beautiful, quiet, well-behaved, and happy.

So as we're struggling to contain the raw energies of our loud, emotionally turbulent progeny, and saying for the bazillionth time "please don't...", we're left inevitably to believe that:

a) This woman is uniquely gifted with extraordinarily easy kids, cooperative husband, and a variety of talents most of us could only dream of;


b) We just really suck. I mean, really -- doing any one of the things that she was doing just makes my tired just thinking about it. And I have grown accustomed to thinking of myself as a superior life-form. What was I thinking?


Blogger heather said...

Okay....I'm so addicted to this blog!

So funny....I'm always thinking of you and J as the BBP's that I (we) idolize!!! That family must really REALLY have it together, b/c your family sure DOES!


10:07 PM  

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