I Want Their Life 

I have an endless curiosity about people. How they live. What makes them tick, what their triggers are, what drives them. I guess that’s why I have preferred connecting to people via Instagram rather than Facebook. The visual learner in me is satisfied with the photos and brief blurbs of human existence. 

You would think I would spend a great deal of my time envying those folks who are in St. Tropez one day and Australia the next. Nah…But there are two people these days that I’m kinda wishing I was living their life right about now. It’s not glamorous by any means, but they ‘give me life’ every time I experience living through their lenses. 

The first is my mother-in-law. She’s just a bit over sixty. She’s on all types of medication. She can stand to lose some pounds. She stays with the constant doctor’s appointments. To top it all off, she’s seen her last child fly the coop. From a house of four boys down to a house of none. Living with a caring but curmudgeon for a husband has it pluses and deltas too. 

Then there’s my six month old niece. If the Michelin tire man ever had kids, she would have been his dead ringer. With chubby rolls on both arms and legs, she has proven that love and breast milk is all you need to survive out here. I placed an APB on her neck cause I haven’t seen it in months–she’s so chunky! She’s at the mercy of her parents. If they are out fruit picking, she’s tightly strapped to her mama, enduring the hot sun whether she likes it or not. The life of one diaper change after another, watching her older siblings run around and do what she would want to be doing is her lot. Decisions made for her or about her are beyond her control. 

So why would I want the life of two apparently helpless individuals? Two human beings who are living life based on the whims and actions of others. 

I would trade my anxieties any day for one day of not worrying about what I’m gonna eat, or what I’m gonna do. When I told my mother-in-law if she was traveling to Haiti this year, her response in Creole was, “Si yo voye-m, mwe prale. Si yo pa voye-m, gelen mwe pap prale.” Simply put, I go where they send me and if they don’t, that’s okay too. 

Such a natural acceptance of what life has to offer without the push back that we tend to give when things do not go our way. Such a natural acceptance of how life happens to us. Being at peace with our lot and making the best of any situation. Living the routine life of an aging woman or a curious toddler definitely has it perks. Granted each is living with challenges that are unique to their existence. There’s nothing romantic about getting older or waiting for your diaper to be changed. 

Yet the sunset and sunrise of their lives is filled with a simplicity that isn’t found anywhere else on the continuum of life. There’s no hidden agendas. No people to please or impress. Life just is. 



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