This week’s Corner View subject was what are we thinking about these days. Those who follow our little story along would probably say I could have just left off with the photo above. What’s in my head is fairly self-evident when you look down to the two little starfish shaped hands I’m typically found holding.
It’s funny to think that a few years ago they were barely on my mind. I was more interested in- well, myself. Also food, gardening, travel, TV and books, music and live shows, the world, my family and friends that already existed in front of me. I’m sure to those without children my incessant and seemingly redundant stories must get to be a bore. I get that. It’s shocking how consumed you become with your own children and their world once they exist. And sadly it’s hard to explain how small your world shrinks and yet simultaneously, how full it becomes.
I remember being so surprised in the year after Zuzu was born that I had no interest in planting a summer garden. That was one of those coupley things that Lovey and I did. Not well mind you, but we did it and we enjoyed the time together. When that first year came to a close and indeed I had not gotten back into my BC (before children) routine even a little; I was disappointed in myself. It wasn’t like I wanted some rock-n-roll, of-the-moment lifestyle. But I found I had little energy or focus for all the domestic bliss-filled activities that had filled our hearts and days BC and had led me to think we’d make great parents. I was lucky to get fish-sticks cooked and the fruit cup drained let alone go fishing or grow a small fruit tree. I think it was even during this timeframe that a number of our precious plants that had traveled with us from the early 90’s gave up the ghost.
There was some talk of postpartum depression and anxiety and just plain ol’ exhaustion. I cut a lot of regular activities out of my routine and pared it back to basics. I needed to nurse the baby, pump milk, go to work, clean and feed the baby, take a few photos of her and sleep. I felt really fancy when at the end of a week I had managed a daily shower.
And then Zuzu started nearing age 2 and Lovey and I started estimating the life of our reproductive years and considering the difficulty we had getting Zuzu here, we figured we best start again now. Tired or not. The Quail managed to become more than a twinkle in our eyes right off. I hadn’t even managed to wean Zuzu or move her out of the family bed before I could feel the tiny kicks from inside. So out she came with all her mysteries and hidden secrets and off we went on a new research tangent trying to understand how best to nurture her and her stister. Our world became more full and yet even smaller and focused.
We worry that there isn’t enough “us time”. We heed the warning from everyone around us. To me this time with small children is intense and presses us forward so rapidly (at least in hind-site). But it’s just that- a moment in time. Moments that I already find myself sporadically wishing I could have back with each growing sigh of relief as a worry passes and we survive another day. But there are no do-overs with our blessing of new knowledge gained from our days We can only move forward with time. Now and hopefully forever more though, the definition of us- well it isn’t just 2. It’s all of us. How to find peace in daily ordinariness is what I ponder most resolutely now. How to continue to want what I have already rather than wonder what could have been, should have been, could still be.
Those other trains of thought and activity, they’ll find their way back into our lives eventually. The fish sticks will eventually morph back into some version of a parchment wrapped filet and the fruit cups will become more exotic, if not home-grown. Maybe our end results will be more basic but we can hope they will still hold some blessing ala Alice.
Perhaps the real difference in what I pondered a few years ago and now isn’t so vast. A few years ago I had the luxury of wearing my heart properly tucked inside my chest. Now, I am blessed with the luxury of it beating outside of me and all the beauty, worry and vulnerability that comes with that small luxury and privilege.
See what everyone else in the world has on their minds of late:
jane – ian – bonnie – joyce – kim – kay – trinsch – ritva – francesca – state of bliss – cabrizette – isabelle – janis – kari – jgy – lise – cate – otli – dorte – b – sophie – mcgillicutty – sunnymama – daan – ibb – pienduzz – kelleyn – ninja – sammi – theresa – cherry b – juliette – shokoofeh – cole – grey lemon – lucylaine – lynn – skywriting – anna – dorit – conny – l´atelier – kamana – anne marie – rosamaría – victoria – tikjewit – juniper – annabel – andrea – valerie – merel – soisses – mlle paradis – cacahuete – wander chow – barbara – emily – tally – nadine – matilda – don – flowtops – susanna – tania – dana – ingrid – mary – hinke