I’m dwelling, Emily

I am writing these words because if I don’t, it will be another three months without them. I wrote my last post just before returning to work again, this time as a mother of three (three!) children.

I am just now coming up for air again.

I know that saying this will jinx it, but it’s the point when I start to breathe again. We’re mostly past the sleepless nights of newbornland, though teething is just around the corner (not welcome, just unavoidable). We are mostly sleeping. I (we) have survived the transition of a new school, riding the bus, and making school lunches. We are easing into this new stage of our life.

I’ve been looked at in awe, asked how I balance it all (I don’t), and complimented when I walk around the farmers market with three children, by myself. The truth is, I’m always one tantrum, missed alarm, or spike of fever away from shambles. The beautiful slings you see me wearing with Hannah are one part pretty textile obsession and one part utter freakin’ necessity. I only have two hands; I am already out-numbered, and Farhan has recently mastered the art of disappearing.

And so I sling my youngest child (tying her to my body, literally), enjoying the sweet nuzzle of her head against my neck as try to keep up with the others as they dance on the top stair that is makeshift stage for the acoustic band playing for the veggie-shopping crowd at the market. I squint at my calendar, trying to decide what can be shifted for a few hours or a day so that I can take the afternoon shift of staying home and cuddling my sweet boy, as long as Adeel can take the morning.

I’m enjoying the feeling of getting into our groove. There’s a new crack in the plaster on our bedroom wall; at least, I think it’s new, or longer anyway. We’ll get to that, eventually. Lately, I’m feeling peace, a sense of being at ease with exactly this moment of my life, with my flaws and with my possibilities. It’s not easy; anxiety is often just around the corner. I hadn’t realized just how stuck I’d been feeling, watching these young women graduate from Sweet Briar and feeling jealous of all that lay before them.  But then I was inspired by this story, from last year, of an 81-year-old woman who finally got a degree, and by Diana Nyad’s swim from Cuba to Key West. I’ve always told other people it’s never too late, but somehow stopped believing it for myself. As if I’d reached the end, and there were no hope of a master’s degree, or of writing again, or….you get the idea. But I want to be that 81-year-old on a stage someday. I want revisions, and I want a few new chapters.

So there are some things in the works. Some sketches from my dream book that might finally take shape. Some ideas that I’m finally giving myself permission to explore. And some essays I’m finally giving myself permission to write (silly how we’re often the only one in our way). I’m excited.

But for now, all three kids are asleep, so that’s my cue to rest.