This morning, I awoke to a still-quiet house, and I slipped out of bed and into the kitchen to get a cup of coffee. The sky was just beginning to lighten, a few low clouds on the horizon catching the first rays of red, orange and gold, the pond reflecting the glorious scene back up toward the heavens. I poured my coffee and paused for a moment, undecided. Should I go out and sit on the patio, and enjoy these minutes, or wait indoors for the baby to waken and cry for me? I chose the patio, near an open window, and I watched the sun rise over the distant trees, sitting in companionable silence with a large toad. In that moment, feeling my soul reaching outward in solidarity with all of creation, the stress melting away, I realized that I have passed the point of needing sleep more than solitude. It’s time to reset my alarm for an earlier hour. I need time alone with my own self and my God. I need time upon which nobody else has any claims.
Facing the twin trials of a potty-training toddler and a newborn has been wearing on me. I’m not usually prone to long bouts of discontent, but not having any time to call my own is negatively affecting my mood. Little Henry rightly enjoys my arms above all other places, but I miss writing and sketching and painting and even cooking anything even slightly complicated. I see some small signs of him settling in a little, maybe taking a longish nap without my help soon. He sleeps well at night, from 8 or 9 to around 6, with a mid-night nursing around 3, so I’m not complaining too much. Just a little.
On the home front, we are moving along with some projects, namely a patio kitchen that David has been working on for quite a while. I think he’s going to get it finished soon! Or, if not finished, at least not muddy. I haven’t had any say in this particular project, and it’s really not like me to mind my own business, but I think he’s having fun working on this, and I know it’s a gift for me. Sweet, yes? And while he’s doing that, I have to build two more chicken crates, one because he accidentally ran one over in the field with the tractor and it’s just limping along, and another because we have more chickens than we intended to have. I have all the materials now; we just need to cut and glue. Each takes about two hours to build.
The other night, I walked in on Evie in the bathroom. “You forgot to knock!” she scolded. Back out I went, to knock, knock, knock on the door. “Who is it?” she called.
“It’s Mama,” I replied.”
“Oh! Come in, Mama!”
After dinner last night, out on the patio, Delaney asked, “Why is it that when we eat out here, we’re never in a hurry? We just sit here long after the dinner hour is over and never notice.” It’s true, isn’t it? There are no clocks, no humming appliances, no messes to clean up or chores to finish – just lawn and trees and sky and food and children jumping up from the table to play in the sunshine while the older folks chat about life and love. Good stuff.
So how are you doing?