Bitsabobs, by Boy two and the girls
Tuesday my lists were long, my spirit overwhelmed, and my brain sick of starving. Brain space is a problem around here. Heart space that lacks sufficient solitude gets satisfied in other ways, the magic of children, the joy of love. But brain space can be meager rations.
At breakfast I said I had a few quick things to do, work jobs began at 9:00 a.m. sharp. It was a plan. There was logic involved. On the porch, I wrote and thought. The kids don’t wear watches anyway, said I to me at 9:00. What’s it to them if we start late? At 11:30, I decided to run an errand, integral I determined to getting my ducks in a row. Besides, I could still hear them. I’ll be back in an hour. Make PB & J if you get hungry, I said to the children.
But why was there paint everywhere? They were squatting in a circle holding paintbrushes. And paint was against the rules without permission. I told them to clean it up, noted to be angry later, and left. I arrived home to apple cores and trails and piles of raisins on the table, happy sounds coming from upstairs. The raisins had been some kind of medicine or ammunition. I couldn’t understand the explanation, but whatever it was, it required them to consume great amounts with a great deal remaining, various piles belonging very specifically to someone. With great pride they told me of the triple decker, open faced PB & J sandwich that three of them had split. I was then asked to negotiate a battle involving a needle.
What needle, I asked cluing in half way through the diatribe of who did what. They had, I learned, forsaken the forbidden paints and gone straight to the use with permission only sewing kit. Amazing clothing had been produced, but they were terribly sorry about the not asking part. Someone should have done something really grim. But I couldn’t do it. I needed more space to think and didn’t want my entire brain power spent on speeches about rules and permission. I made them clean it up and promised out loud to be angry later. It seemed like the least I could do. Then I went back to thinking.
After dinner I sent everybody on a task that required them to be somewhere else and was somehow related to their crimes, although everyone preferred what they were asked to do to dishes. I did the dishes by myself in peace. Then I took pictures of their painted creation and their sewing projects.
One plus one is supposed to be two. Ergo, I should feel terrible about letting so much go . . . but if Bitsabobs and stuffed animal clothes were the cost of damn the torpedoes while the house crashes down around us so I can breathe some space to think, I accept with gratitude.
Another view of contraband laden, Bitsabob
Pants to accommodate tails available for early Christmas orders. :)
Advent is the road to Christmas. It is my favourite time of year. I love Christmas, but I crave Advent.
I am a woman with many opinions and a well exercised mouth. Or at least I can be. Many times my thoughts come out with a force stronger than I would have wished had I taken a day to think about it. (That counting to ten thing doesn’t work for me and mine. Ten seconds is only enough time for us to rev the engines a little hotter.) The best defense is a good offense came built into my operating instructions. My bold words mask fear and protect against rejection.
Then Advent comes and it all finally looks like what it really is. Utter nonsense. Babies don’t get bravado, they just want you to be with them. Provided I don’t get caught up in lists, the relief I feel walking the path to Christmas is palpable. Very little is required of me beyond what would naturally pour out of me were someone to hand me a baby I long for. My broken tear ducts work for this little one. I can cry just thinking about welcoming the baby in the manger. I want to be ready.
Babies know things without words, and they drink, and poop, and sleep it off. I don’t want my sarcastic, caustic self for a baby. I want soft and warm. A voice that is used to saying kind things. Arms that are accustomed to embracing generously. If I allow it, Advent gives me a break from me.
I don’t float around gently dispensing peace and love in my kitchen or on the street. I try to be a little kinder and I then I fall flat on my face because it is barely December and I already cannot handle the fifty two memos from school about canned food, shoeboxes for seniors, parties, concerts, celebrations and never ending details. I snap at the innocents, feel like a failure and snap some more. I want to go on strike, say choice words, and kick over a few snowmen. Then I remember that it is just about the baby and I go quiet again.
I scrounge around in my heart. Pace back and forth. Sigh. There’s no use telling a baby that I couldn’t think of what to give him, just come back next year. He doesn’t want my stuff, he just wants me and you. Good news that is terrifying.
It’s like the bathroom needs cleaning and the laundry isn’t done, but company I really care about is at the door. I pull shut the laundry room door, and yell for them to let themselves in. I grab a clean hand towel, some disinfectant and a rag for as good as I can get it in 90 seconds.
I’m coming, I yell from the bathroom.
Me too, says the baby.