(Sarah R. Callender, author of “Sherpa”, posed the question “What do you carry?” If you’d like to play along, please visit her blog inside-out underpants to read her latest “confessions of a musing multi-tasker”.)
Sherpa • 1 a member of a Himalayan people living on the borders of Nepal and Tibet, renowned for their skill in mountaineering. 2 a member of that most awesome tribe of kid-wranglers, commonly referred to as Mothers. Hallelujah!
Apparently, Sherpas often answer to the name of the week they were born. And since I can relate, you can just call me, Friday. I like Fridays. I was born on a Friday. This Sherpa migrated from the hills of Kentucky, knobs really. She speaks fluent dog, cat, bunny, rat, horse, chicken and kid-speak, doesn’t own a llama, but is open to the possibilities; and is considered by most to be out of her mind – and likely a close descendent of The Little Old Lady Who Lived In a Shoe; whom she believes to be a Sherpa of the most
sensible cautious variety. (Fearful of losing one of her errant charges, she stuck close to home.)
Regretfully, this Sherpa must disclose, to the relief of her own conscience and Sherpa law, 1 her general distaste of yaks (arrogant cows), 2 freezing temperatures resulting in icicles forming at the end of her nose hairs; and 3, is opposed to any venture, with she as your guide, which would have her “humping” tanks of air to the top of the world. She doesn’t see the point. Childbirth was good enough for her. If given the opportunity, however, she would enjoy seeing the movie. (Bad Sherpa.)
This one, tasked with carrying the wee bits and pieces of her children’s flights of fancy since conception, the equally unrealistic and somewhat sadistic expectation of turning water to wine (or in this case, a non-existent savings plan into a college education for three children), and bearing the weight of the world on her shoulders, which can hardly keep up with her own sick-and-twisted desire to publish something resembling anything, sometimes feels like Sisyphus (as in, Albert Camus’ The Myth of Sisyphus), caught up in that same meaningless task of pushing a boulder up a mountain, only to watch helplessly, as the damn thing surrenders to Newton’s laws of gravity and motion tumbling back to the bottom, mocking her very existence. The gods truly must be crazy!
With what, you ask, do I prepare myself and my charges to tackle this world and all its uncertainty? Well, of those things large and small, valuable and insignificant, which were stuffed into my pockets by wee little fingers, or unceremoniously shoved by the Sherpa, deep into the recesses of whatever bag Sherpa slung over her shoulder, I must admit I needed and loved all of them.
ripped rescued from her post.
The pennies – all heads up.
The pink and green and orange
drink umbrellas rocket blasters.
The snowflakes that never made it home in fuzzy mittens.
The child’s “tickle feet 10¢” coupon, delivered on Sherpa’s birthday.
The locks of hair cut by child, hidden in pajamas by child.
The little gray seashell that looked just like The Big Comfy Couch.
And the multitude of hungry-wet-sleepy baby, precocious-walking-talking toddler, obnoxious-ants-in-their-pants-tween and the knows-everything-teenager STUFF that They, and We, depend on to organize our sanity!
What do I carry? It’s simple really. I carry the struggle itself. Like Sisyphus and his rock, I am content with the load, because it is absurd and because they look into my very soul with those eyes, which mirror my own.
“I must imagine (this Sherpa) is happy.”