Thursday, May 15, 2014

Why eating Octopus is completely unconventional...

Why sure, I do think of my self as quite unconventional.  Hence the title here.  Even though I am married, live in a white ranch, with two kids, a dog and two cats... I think that is where conventional ends.  I have always been at least 3 steps away from normal.

 I am American, but I wasn't born here in the States.  I was born on a Mediterranean Island.  For my friends growing up in rural NH, that was exotic!  My mom did not speak clear English, and had a fabulous Italian accent.  She would confuse words like "chicken and kitchen" and only we would understand what she meant.  I had been to Europe 3 times by the age of 14, and most of my friends hardly ever left the state, their big adventure was to drive to the big city of "Manchester" to go to the mall.  My Dad is American, but Mom is Italian, and her entire family is still there. My Fabulous Aunt Stella visited us when I was 12, and my "Nonno" when I was 15.  Mom did things a little different than other mothers growing up- We had the most Immaculately Clean House in the whole town- I think we could have won a blue ribbon for it.  Mom was also constantly trying to recreate her long lost Italian delicacies out of the SAD foods in America, like trying to recreate Italian Brioche and Gelato with Hood Ice Cream and Hamburger buns.   We ate TONS of pasta, and even exotic foods like marzipan and octopus, delicacies not too common here in NH.   So whatever "normal" is suppose to be is not something I concern myself with.  I think its fabulous to do all things differently than others.

I married my high school sweet heart.  We started dating when I was 14, and now are happily married for nearly 2 decades.  I work as an artist, and a yoga teacher, and am Self Employed and LOVE IT.  That whole 9-5, 7 days a week think, just is completely anti-me.  I think its just not normal... We (my family, hubby and daughters) are Vegan.  Now that is something that can make people run away from a dinner conversation FAST.  Definite "Weirdo" goes with the word "VEGAN".   I think if you record VEGAN on an LP and play it backwards, you definitely hear the word "WEIRDO".  But I also do not drink alcohol.  So, never mind, I don't get invited to dinner parties anyway.  They can't feed me, or offer me a drink.   I am a Yogin, which today, is not abnormal, with millions of people claiming to practice Yoga (or at least the ASANA- physical posture part).  But I also chant and play Kirtan music live, in front of other people.  And love it.  Being VEGAN and practicing KIRTAN, and not drinking alcohol, puts you in a very, very, very small category of people, even in the Yoga world. 

I also have a TYPE 1 Diabetes Daughter.  She isn't even a normal Type 1, as her Pancreas is injured from an awful illness when she was three.   Her body does not make Antibodies against her pancreas- so its "Atypical- Type 1 Diabetes".   Anyone handling Type 1 diabetes in a child will tell you that thier lives often seem far  from normal.  You have to travel everywhere with medical juice boxes, emergency sugars, keto stix, glucagon, meters,  and the doctors numbers on speed dial.  It's worse than carrying a diaper bag was when they were infants.  And if you forget that bag anywhere on your journey, the whole journey ends to find the "D" bag.  Every meal your diabetic child eats has to be calculated and quantified.  Only a mom of a diabetic, or a diabetic, can look at a plate of pasta and know the number of carbohydrates on that plate.  Its an entire lifestyle, and one we surely did not choose.

So to compound the unconventional life we are lucky enough to own, we have recently decided to homeschool our two girls next school year.  Largely this comes from their own requests.  I used to homeschool, for two years with my first daughter.  She has learning difficulties and putting her in public school helped us sort through some of it, but now it seems that it may be time to try again. With homeschooling  you can make all of life an exquisite learning adventure.  I look forward  to giving those precious girls the time to explore their hearts curiosity, to take away the tests and the rote memorization (that isn't working anyway) and to create a whole organic experience out of learning.  School is way too normal, so I am not sure why I thought that was something for me.  I think I had a weird notion that maybe the kids should be in a "normal" setting.  But that is an unlikely probability, being that they are my offspring.   So we will add homeschooling to our list of anti-normal behavior.   It is far more interesting to walk the road less traveled anyway, or to just make up your own road as you go along, chanting and eating vegan faux octopus along the way...

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