Well, I know in my last post I was bemoaning all the distractions I am getting from my writing but today there’s one I am going to celebrate. [See, I told you I was going to improve my attitude!] This distraction is the marvellous, magnificent B2. B2 is six and a half months old, likes spoons, yells in foyers to hear the echo of her own voice, giggles at her sister’s funny faces and is currently recovering from croup. I know, Croup. Poor thing. It’s waking her (and us) several times a night / morning. She’s part of the reason my writing is not getting done, my washing machine is always full and my hair looks, well, reaaaaally bad.
Anyone will tell you that parenting is challenging. But they can’t really share exactly how challenging and in which ways will be so shocking for you personally. Post baby hormones, Guilt (that capital is on purpose) and alternating boredom and insane busy-ness have all been big surprises for me. And yet as I write that, I think – aren’t they all such cliches??! Just goes to show how you have to live it to get it. Right?
Then there’s the flip side. Also a laundry list of cliches: The laughter. The smiles. The rolls on the backs of the knees. The eyelashes. The need for Mummy. Only Mummy. The sleepy yawn. The grabbing of hair. The delight in a world that is so brand new. It really does turn me away from my piles of research papers and the dishes in the sink and the mirror and think WOW. Right this very second B2 is singing and rolling around on the floor. A bit like a puppy; only cuter.
I recently read a wonderful, slightly cheesy (aren’t all the good ones?) quote: “The things we cannot change end up changing us”. How very true. From the last few weeks’ trials and tribulations I am learning that life does not always (ever!!) go to plan. I’m learning that you really do have to surrender to that and that when you do, well, magic can happen. Accepting, Surrendering and Allowing…now there’s the rub. That stuff is tough.
I was recently cheered reading a great personal story by Mem Fox, children’s book author extraordinaire, describing how she came to write Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes. Read it here, it’s very buoying. She’d had so much success with her books and then suddenly her talent and passion seemed to just evaporate. She put in her resignations (yes, she really did!), accepted her lot and out of nowhere came not one but TWO manuscripts. Just like that.
It’s hard when our busy, ‘doing’ minds get involved in solving our problems. I’ll put her in a bouncy chair while I write, I’ll shower in the evening..and then...I’m no good anyway, It will never get done… I love that Mem Fox admits her best ideas come from her heart, not her brain. I love that when she allowed the dilemmas and challenges and inner-criticism to just be, accepted it all, she got some of her best work. That’s where I am right now. I’m going to enjoy B2 as her six month self, croup and all, try my hardest not to wish for something different. I’m going to join her on the floor. Spend a moment rolling around on the carpet.
PS. I know my hair doesn’t look too dreadful in this photo. That’s because I spent time straightening it. And putting on make-up. And then took a zillion photos. Because it’s like seeing Haley’s Comet or something.