In which I gush, frankly. And voice confusion.
Floating like scum on the surface of my life are a lot of complaints. Too tired, not enough time, writing goes poorly, etc etc and endless so forth. It’s easy, and shallow, and fills up the morning pages.
But it’s not even close to the deepest truth. The truth, dear reader, is that I am in love. Deliriously in love. With my little Madam. It’s so difficult for me to write about her without sounding maudlin. I’m struck dumb by her. Both TEG and I are. We say that we’re “besotted” which is exactly right, as it evokes two swains jockeying to present tributes to their fair lass. I watch the way the sunlight plays in her curly hair, the way her small hand turns the pages of her books so deftly. I'm fascinated by her beauty--she looks nothing like TEG and I, and yet, it's obvious that she's our child. I have the urge to take little nibbles of her, to consume her, to carry some essence of her inside of me again.
It amazes me that I can spend all day walking and playing with someone under two and find such pleasure in it. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of us in a store mirror, walking side by side, and I feel as though I’m expanding into some greater version of myself. I’m not such a good person that I deserve her.
And who else knows that we NEVER EVER pass a bookstore without going inside?
Not to say that it’s always perfection—she IS a toddler, after all, and has more than her share of toddler moments and tantrums. But, oh, the joy she brings to me keeps me in a haze of love for her.
Today, we went to our first toddler/mommy class. It was fascinating to watch all of the little ids negotiate such difficult (and counterintuitive) tasks as sharing, waiting. Patience. Madam struggled with these, as did all of the other children. But, once she was comfortable, I was able to step into the background and watch her labor with the slide (and triumph). I was able to see her clap and cheer for the other children who went down the slide, because, hey, slides are FUN whether you are the actor or spectator, apparently. It filled me with a feeling that I couldn’t quite name for a moment. Then it occurred to me. Hope. Being a mother is something I never thought I would be…I never thought I would WANT it, honestly. But being a mother has reintroduced me to hope. And I am so grateful.
So, like I said, maudlin. Apologies all around. But it needed to be said. I never knew I was capable of this—of this maturity, of this resourcefulness, of this pleasure. And it’s all because of her.
The other day, after yet another bookstore adventure (Madam made me go inside, I swear, I was going to go past it), I bought a few books. Feeling the need to confess, I called Jessie. She and I have a bit of a running joke that certain books will “save” us. The thing is, I DO think I believe that, at least a little bit. How else to explain that breath-catching little frission of excitement that comes over me when I see a new book that seems to promise a lesson that I’d otherwise have to wait my whole life to learn?
Not surprisingly, most of these books are writing books. And not surprisingly, they tend to lose their magic powers as soon as they enter my house and reunite with all of their writing book brethren.
I’m especially susceptible to this phenomena lately, because the novel has ground to a slow drag. I can’t seem to remember what excited me about my main character to begin with, and I’m firmly mired in the muck of the Middle.
This wonderful post likens the rewriting process to the seven stages of grief. Even though I'm still in the first draft stage, I could see the wisdom in that.
Writers, artists, lend me your tips. How do you jumpstart a stalled project?
Madam will have her speech evaluation on Friday. Wish us luck, please. I'm so nervous.