Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Magic from within the chaos

I sit down on the couch, with my feet on the edge of the coffee table, my red marble notebook against my pen.  Slits of morning sunlight come in through the mostly closed blinds, which is good because BG is climbing on the glider to turn off the light so her dolls can sleep.

Baby sister is cruising around the coffee table with a smile on her face, grabbing everything that doesn't belong to her, ignoring the huge pile of baby toys around her feet.  I glance up from my book nervously, waiting for her to grab the toy that her sister is currently playing with.

I manage three more words before the screaming starts.  "No!  No, baby!  You can't play because you're a baby!"

And then my oldest daughter is repeatedly hitting my youngest daughter in the head with a wooden magnetic Melissa and Doug dress up doll.

"BG!" I yell without getting up from the couch.  "STOP!"

Everyone freezes.  The baby turns and looks at me as if to say "What the heck??"  before she starts to wail.

"It's mine, it's mine, it's not fair," trills my three year old, and I wonder for the millionth time how she got the exact wrong message from that Llama Llama book as I set down my pen so I can parent.  Again.

There was a time in my life when I used to write in coffee shops.  When I would bring a notebook and buy a latte and sit at a  table and just write for no reason. No goal.  No project.  Just me and the notebook and the pen, spiraling deeper and deeper into the idea the longer I sat with it.

That was before leaving the house meant pumping, prepping snacks, and coming home to a huge mess, two cranky children, and a crankier husband.

It was longer ago than that really.  It was before there was a kitchen to clean, work lunches to make, papers to grade.  Before there was a husband to snuggle with and watch TV at night.  Before there was anyone else who depended on me, who shared this life with me, who craved my presence.

It's not a time I wish I could go back to.  Really.

But sometimes, as I sip my reheated coffee, turn on Thomas, and try to position my notebook around my sleep nursing baby, I wish there was a way to reclaim that magic from within the chaos.

Linking up with Just Write


  1. I think the magic returns, honestly. You see snippets of it and probably won't realize it's back until it smacks you in the face. But then your idea of magic and chaos may continue to change, just like you know you don't want to go back to before it all started. It's tricky but worth talking about, absolutely. Too often we stay quiet about the genuine occasional downside to motherhood (uh oh! did I cue all the people to yell about there never being a downside? Be thankful, be grateful!) when we should discuss the reality that sometimes? Sometimes it ain't all pretty and I'd like to wash my hair in peace.

  2. I think that we tend to forget our former selves and when we are reminded of that, there is sort of feelings of grief attached to it. And that is normal. I find myself wishing for what used to be too as I am elbow deep in dishes while making a lunch while looking at my son's b-hole to make sure that "Did I get my bum bum cleaned good enough"....
    Would it be possible to schedule a time of day that is solely just about you?
    I try with all of my might to do that. It is a sanity saver.

  3. Oh honey, I wish I could come over and let my girls play with Baby sister and BG. I long for the day where I can pee in peace. It is beautiful, but this parenting gig is hard and not glamorous.