Four years ago, I felt bad that we lived so close but didn’t make it to the Inauguration.
But Harper wasn’t three months old, and was fighting a cold. Or maybe it was that she wasn’t sleeping. It could’ve been that I was anxious about taking an infant and toddler through crowds and the cold.
Whatever the reason, what I remember is that I wanted to do something but felt overwhelmed about doing it with kids.
Four years ago, while we were watching the Inauguration on TV, I was paging through The Writer’s Center courses and found a class I wanted to take that had to do with writing about motherhood. The class was held on a weekday morning, which meant I would have to find a babysitter. I didn’t think that I could or should find someone to take care of my kids so that I could try and write. I had this idea that now that I was a mother my time for figuring out what I wanted to be when I grew up was over. Jesse told me to sign up for the class. He said we’d find a babysitter. And when we did, and I left the house to go write, I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown. I called Jesse at least seventeen times that morning asking him (ok, telling him) to call our babysitter to make sure all was well.
I still get pretty nervous every time I go to write. I worry I can’t. I worry I shouldn’t. But it still seems to follow me around wherever I go. And I might not always get it right. Most of the time I think I’m writing about one thing and it turns out to be about something else.
I think that might be what’s fun about writing, and probably motherhood, too. I think there’s something interesting about that clown fish, but the girls see the starfish clinging to the glass and my goodness what a dazzling starfish it is. How did I miss it?
I suppose the point is that it all just doesn’t happen at once. There are special things you miss because other special things are happening. There are special things that are brewing and you are taking baby steps to steep them for when they’re ready.
So I say don’t beat yourself up because you think you aren’t experiencing the big things. I think you probably are. I think the big things are happening all over the place.
I’m sure you’ll see them after awhile.
* a definition for “inauguration.”