Friday, April 12, 2013

The Wheres

The first thing on my Bucket List was to have a child, preferably a girl, a detail which I now chuckle at a lot.

I cannot imagine a girl now, so immersed is my heart in the burgeoning boy-ness of Orion.
His babyhood is partly behind him and now the joys of life are wrestling with Daddy
eating avocado and rice cakes
and making small lakes in which to splash 
from the tear in nipple of his sippy cup.

Right now he is gently patting Janey (with lavish praise from me!) in between 
stacking blocks and practicing new combinations of vowels and consonants
and I observe 
making sure Janey doesn't get stacked upon
and my boy's tender gums are soothed with kisses and coos.

These are the days I anticipated when I thought about having a baby: the days of little to no work
and the occupation of loving.
Memorable days of swinging on the porch in the warm afternoon sun
blowing raspberries on his neck
and sharing lots of giggles and pecks.

These are the days I saved up for in my creative making,
relentlessly pursuing all of my ideas and ideals with the knowledge of impending sacrifice
now that those times are here
it doesn't feel like a hardship...
it feels like a privilege.

Knowing I wanted to be a mama
I knew there was a lot to pursue before that happened.
I got in the car at every whim and chased 'it' down, whatever 'it' was
wrote in my journals copiously and visited friends on the fly
free as the wind
and happy as can be

Now I am the mother and guide of a little uncivilized beastie
riding out waves of compassionate sleep-training (oy)
and the death rattle of the endless cough and cold that dogged us all winter

I am humbled (also more than a little ragged)
gobsmacked by wonder
and satisfied beyond any previous satisfaction I've known

In The Creative Habit Twyla Tharp speaks of finding freedom in our constraint
and tells a story about an artist with no limit in their budget or their timetable, frozen by the possibilities and unhappier by the minute.

I know that in my experience when I had no other place to be I wasted a lot of time 
frivolously. I recall being overwhelmed by the vastness of my days.

Now that Orion is on the move (oh how he can scoot and crawl!!)
creative time is at a premium and when I find myself in the studio I am a woman on fire!
I've done my research!
I've warmed the pickle and carved the hide!
It feels so good, this intentional place, these spare tides.
My work now is akin to those fabulous moments when you first make love after a separation:
desperate and sensuous and deep.

But the joy of my 'constraint' (if it can even fairly be called that) is the time I spend with Orion.

He has such a great sense of humor
and makes a really wonderful dining partner,
charming waiters and waitresses all around the Bay Area.
His good-natured alive-ness is such a joy to behold that
I get overcome with gratitude that I am his. 
Orion brings me and my Schmilly to life
in a way we've never been alive before.
His growing has made a family out of a couple
and a cat in a city cottage.

We are whole now
the four of us

Sending love this fine spring evening,


sassysistersink said...

orion is positively adorable-- i'm so glad that you have the freedom to indulge in your love for him during this critical time in his life! i wish that every little one could experience the beautiful beginning that you are able to provide for your child. it seems to me that you both benefit here, because you continue to turn out beautiful work on a regular basis working within those creative constraints-- good work, mama!!

Ash said...

A beautiful post, Allison, and a beautiful wee boy. (Those golden curls!!!) I love watching parents, seeing and hearing about the joys and struggles of raising children (all of it wonderful fodder for stories)! It's the reconnection with the primal, I think, that moves me every time. We will be the perpetual aunt and uncle, which has it's many joys and it's own little aches, BUT, a total upside--according to parenting siblings--we totally won't get wrinkles!!

Ash said...

Oh, and I'm so glad you included that comment from Twyla Tharp. I have picked up her book many, many times but just never read it. Obviously I should have. I do not have any time constraints pursuing this creative life, and it has nearly crushed me. (So any person who considers ditching their job to pursue life as a writer or artist, etc., I find myself saying, "Don't do it! Not yet, anyway.") Only when I began filling my days with non-writing stuff did I feel I could move again, breathe again, write again. I do not regret the journey; it was mine to take. But if I could do things over again, this is one of the few times I probably would.

Heidi said...

So glad you are finding this peace and happiness with your new boy!

I am going to check out that book... I seem to be in that exact same situation (except less money) but with time to spare... and never have I been less productive! Restraints are a glorious thing indeed, in moderation.

Allisunny S. said...

Thank you dear sister-ladies all so much for taking the time to write here!!!

Sassysisterink: we feel utterly blessed beyond blessed to have the privilege of a work-at-home parent. I cannot tell you how frequently I thank God for that. xoxox

Ash: oooh, read it my dear woman, read it!!! Unlike The Artists's Way it appeals to something quick and sharp in me...she's like Julia Cameron's less patient but more practical older sister. In a good way :) And p.s.: the world needs excellent aunts and uncles just as much as parents - thank you for being that!!!!

Heidi: Ahhh, yes....I chuckled at "in moderation" as a modifier to the 'joys' of constraint. Indeed in moderation because Lord Knows those days when it's too much one can feel utterly stifled. oxoxoxox

Cat said...

Orion brings me and my Schmilly to life
in a way we've never been alive before.

this is what they do
those little beans
change us in ways no one, or nothing else can
it is the gift and the challenge that they bring
you expressed it perfectly A...every

love to you and yours my friend
love and light