Today More Coffee.
Today not enough sleep. We need bananas, paper towels, bread. The dishwasher needs unloading. It always astounds me how life keeps coming back to these things. To bread and dishes. To sleep. To love.
Today I sit on the couch and press my nose into that warm place behind Sprout's tiny ear and whisper. I love you. I love you. I can't remember before him now, in the same way that I can no longer snow.
I am always surprised by this: that I cannot remember winter when the meadows are rife with grass and pollen, when the trees have leaves wider than my palms, even though winter stayed so long every sinew and capillary in my body must have a dormant memory of snow. My memory fickle, like black ice.
Hard to recall the way the sky was dark at four. The way the birds all left except the noisy jays and chickadees. The way the steps were covered in ice, the water in the coop frozen solid, everything requiring the extra effort of warmth.
I think of the first humans making fire. That astounding spark. What chest pounding, what sheer joy must have ensued! How urgently we need heat to be alive: warmth touching us like the fingers of god, sparking our thoughts, making our blood move, making yeast and flour swell and turn into the bread we break and eat.
In the wood stove all winter, a fire, until the motions of preparing it, lighting it, banking it down became as familiar as making love or breaking bread, and now here we are with hours and hours of extra sun and everything green, and my baby is on my lap, holding locks of my long hair.
I try to explain to DH how I'll miss him small, but he doesn't really get it. To him, words are better. Sentences and walking, tools held, handed. Telling jokes. Getting them. He's so in love with Bean right now. A big boy who says things like "Apparently the water bottle was removed from the running stroller," and who calls for "Assistance!" when I catch him and tickle him on the couch until his daddy comes, laughing, and for a few minutes we're all a pile of arms and legs, close. And I am too of course, but I also love this right now in a way I never expected.
I fell in love with Sprout differently, utterly from the start, and while it feels like a betrayal saying this, in the end a pound of feathers and a pound of bricks both weigh the same, though one falls harder, faster to the ground. I love them both.
It's just that this now is such a blurry tender place. I curl up into the present on the couch, hold him, try to get words down. I listen to the way things hum and chatter in the house: the refrigerator, the birds, the bathroom fan. Sometimes I think about how this life, mine, has become so small. The circumference of it just circling this. Now. So often the four of us going about the small things of our day. Bread with butter and honey. Making jam from old apricots and leftover blackberries. Running. Books.
Sometimes I feel guilty that it isn't bigger, flashier, more. Something. Guilty? Maybe that is the wrong word. But some days I feel the judgment, coming from somewhere. The world pressing up against the thin glycerin skin of this moment, fragile as it is.
I used to love watching bubbles float up and away over the roof of the house, out of sight. Of course they burst, but in my head I imagined them floating on and on, up, into the blue sky, to Jupiter or Japan, on the tail of a kite or a songbird.
Such are the moments today. Tired. More tired. The nights still sometimes haphazard, but mostly soft with sleep and pillows, dreams right there, and even when he wakes up more, as he did last night, when the morning comes a small piece of me is grateful for the fitful night, for the broken moments of rest.
I love him so, small like this. Full of radiant smiles and giggles. Before words and sippy cups and defiance. I can't believe I'm saying this. For so long I was reluctant, and many days I still am. Motherhood pisses me off in this country. Women are limited so much by this choice we make to bring small people into the world and to be good to them, feed them with love and stories and crackers with mozzarella.
There is no field guide for this, for these moments, and yet I know I'll stumble through and be fifty before I am ready. So I keep putting the words down. Some kind of record. Now. More coffee.
words: Christina Rosalie, webland (my topograpy)
image: Molly Sutton Kiefer, Minnesota (field work)
another shrinking and expanding life reflection: On Some Road (#16)