Kerry: Sometimes the Universe reaches out and gives little hugs
I wish I had a brain that could juggle two babies and two teenagers and a husband that wants to chat as soon as I sit down to check my e-mail. But I don’t. Not lately. Multitasking is holding one crying infant while making dinner, listening to the newest teenage angst about how I ruined yet another child, trying to make my way across the room with the 22 month old attached to my leg and then the phone rings? What? It’s my other teenager, wanting to come over for dinner, and she needs a ride.
I haven’t been very positive lately. If one more of my well-meaning relatives asks me if I’ve painted anything lately, or if I’m still writing (gave up that gig after baby #1), I think I’ll run screaming from the house. I don’t. I say something snappy about taking care of babies…that’s what I do. That’s all I do. I usually have to say it two or three times during the visit, reminding them that I still have the little ones. Are they blind? Are they deaf? Do they not see the little boy, the most adorable baby boy, scrunching up his tiny face in rage when I try to put him down for one second to pick up baby girl as she tries to launch herself from the sofa? Do they not hear the constant shrieking? I don’t get many visitors. Too bad too. I love it when someone holds the baby so I can run off for a potty break.
I can’t write. I can’t think. I always have my ears fine tuned for the sounds of baby wails, and my reflexes ready to grab another bottle as I’m trying to persuade my darling little girl that the potty seat is not a hat.
Kudos to those of us who can tune it out, but I need to get into that space, that zone, that meditative communing with my muse or I can’t hear her. Two minutes is not enough. I don’t know how to stop listening to the happenings in the house. I don’t know how to turn it off. When the babies are quiet, I fall into bed and sleep the blissful sleep of one who knows it’s short-lived. Usually one, if not both babies wake up every night. I’m tired and I’m frustrated and I’m angry, if the truth be told.
Sometimes I feel like I’ve become a traitor to my true self, to that artist and writer I was, I am, I will be. I look at myself in the mirror and think, Really? Is this all there is? What happened to the me that I was? And then the baby cries and it all fades into another day. Another day gone by.
But that pity party won’t get me anywhere. I still have babies to take care of. And sometimes there is a little glimmer of hope…like e-mails reminding me that once I used to write a blog, and that things will get better. I suppose they will. I’m still trying to live in the moment, in the now, as Eckhart Tolle would say. But my now sure is full of dirty diapers.
But a positive, a piece of synchronicity at work in my very own life, a little reminder, a kiss from beyond:
My significant other has been working on various projects around the house…since we bought it. I’ve been waiting for the building in the backyard to become my studio for five years. So far it has housed an assortment of tools, old furniture and Christmas decorations. My paints are in there too, somewhere. But in my husband’s defense, he has been working on it, actually working on it for the last few weeks. Reframed a couple of walls, rehung some cabinets, and in the midst of it, he comes to me with an old piece of paper. “Look what I found in the studio,” he says. Studio, I think. That has never been nor will ever be my studio at the rate I’m going. But I take the folded slip of paper from his hand and see the date March 1994 scrawled across the top. Curious, I open it. And my heart beats a little faster as I read: “I am an artist and this was my studio. I hope it brings as much joy to the next person as it has brought to me over the years.” Signed by the artist herself. And I think, how funny, that building that we named “the studio” the first day we viewed the house, was always meant to contain art. Like it was taken out of my hands. It doesn’t have to become anything. It already is.
And inside I danced a little jig and smiled. It is mine. Given to me. Just like that. I’m going to frame that note and hang it on the wall for everyone to see, but mostly for me to see, to remind me of possibilities waiting.