The time I have in summer is shrunk. The silent breathing air I usually have when the children are in school and when the baby is asleep seems to have vanished, vacuumed up, gone. The day becomes harder to focus on writing, work, wondering.
I want to write more, write newer words, any type of words, but that too is hard.
I am surrounded by noise, by clutter, by voices that become loud easily, by moods that lift high into laughter and down into tears, by a baby that is growing, growing, growing and whose little hands and feet and knees have become that of a crawler, and have changed the dynamic of the household.
I remember blogging when my middle child A had started to crawl, and now that baby H has morphed into a crawler, how my day has changed once more.
With a crawler, toy boxes get pulled over haphazardly. DVDs stowed underneath a television get strewn about. Uno cards, Memory cards, and Playing cards get happily tossed around. Kitchen cabinets are curiously opened and IKEA plastic bowls are merrily added to the mixture on the floor.
How does one accomplish anything with a crawling baby? I wonder.
I have a friend who is a new mother who has fellow new mother friends who are immaculately dressed and made up.
How do they look like that? she wonders over the phone to me.
I don’t think there is a quick-and-easy answer to the How questions.
Rather, we slowly find our own path.
Pick up the IKEA plastic bowls, whimsically put them in Rainbow order because you feel like it, close the cabinet door and repeat a little bit later.
One day when the baby finally sleeps, after you catch a nap, see your reflection in the mirror, and add lip gloss today.
Little by little, we may find the answers to our How questions. We eventually find confidence in our parenting, our looks, our cluttered homes.
The crawling baby will grow up and become an app-swiping-preschooler who will learn to put things back.
The newborn baby will grow up into a child who colors pages dutifully giving you minutes to add color to your lips, cheeks, and maybe even eyes.
And we will look at the baby that has morphed into a preschool child, whose cheeks have flattened, whose chubby knees have become knobbly, and wonder instead, How did that happen and where did the time go?