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,