On leaving the house..

Am I considered to be a hermit just because I don’t like going out with seven children in tow?

Or because I love my home and enjoy being here?

I also love people and welcome visitors so maybe that answers my question.

I’m not a hermit. I’m a wimp.

Anyway, homebody is a much kinder title.

Beginning

My seventh child

My sixth son

Smiles back at me from a few feet away

Not knowing who he is or who I am

Just smiling at a smiling face

Content in this moment because his belly is full

And he has had a good sleep

And someone is smiling at him.

He is young enough that soon his belly will need filling

And his eyes will droop again

And he will drift off for another nap.

But for now he is cheerful and friendly.

I have always wondered what babies think.

Before recognition and vocabulary.

Before understanding dawns and they are more than just babies.

What is it worth?

Somehow in the last few years, I’ve come to think of blogging and writing as things that are only worth something if they bring in money. I wrote for many many years without ever thinking this way but professional bloggers have influenced my thinking, mostly subconscious though it may be.

I recently started selling Usbourne books. I tell people left and right that it’s not about the money, that you won’t make a lot of money unless you build your network. That I am doing it to support my sister-in-law who is my sponsor, that I am doing it for discounted books. It’s not about the money, gosh darn it.

So if it’s not about the money and I don’t need the money, than what do I care about writing for money? Shouldn’t I just do it because it’s what I do?

This was seriously like an epiphany. OH! I can write just because. I can write without an audience and without anyone caring and without an income. I can write a book if I feel like it and who cares if it never gets published?

It’s worth my time and effort not because it pays me but because I need it. Because it is part of who I was created to be. I believe that. And if something I write blesses someone or provokes thought or, my personal favourite, makes someone laugh, all the better!

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wish sometimes for my writing to somehow provide for us. It would be amazing if Mike could do something different or work less or just be home. But in the very likely event that it never pays a dime, I need to go on writing just because.

Blocked

Blinking little line:

Reminding me of what I was and have been

And what does not come as easily now.

Thoughts tumbling in silence

Forgotten when the blinking line sits before me.

Poetry and prose and whole stories

Lost.

Songs written and dreams discovered

Leave empty space behind and empty space is all I see now.

Lost.

Identity wrapped in small people and daily necessities

Gifts forgotten; unused.

Gathering dust in places I can’t even see.

Brief memories of desire

To create

To be

Something other than wrapped up in motherhood.

Motherhood is beautiful.

Messy,

Exhausting.

But not my identity.

Or is it now, because days and nights are filled with it?

The creation and care of these small people demands my attention.

But what will I be when they are no longer small?

Will I still have value?

Maybe that is the hardest part:

The knowledge that someday I will just be me again.

Undone and drained after years of what I wanted most:

To be a mother.

To be a wife.

To be wrapped up in it.

I wear it like a cloak

But those things I had before

Are still there

Somewhere.

Layers of myself

Beneath the mothering.

Writer, singer, creator.

Are still there, waiting to be uncovered.

That blinking line threatens me.

Says that when it is all uncovered again,

It will be a shadow of what it once was.

That I have buried my gifts in the ground

In hopes of keeping them safe

But have lost everything instead.

Sick baby, tired mama

Simon has pneumonia, although we are on day three of antibiotics and I’m certain he is improving. But I’m so tired. And I wrote this long post that ended up sounding whiny and rambling so I’m sticking with something short. I have so much to do and finding a balance between work and rest is hard right now. I could really use a tiny little vacation or a week at home with no kids for most of the day. Since those things won’t be happening anytime soon, I’ll just keep getting through one day at a time and hope we come out relatively unscathed on the other side.

Happy New Year!

Here we are in a new year and I’ve picked up a planner again to see if I can reorganize my life. I have weight to lose and stuff to clear out and a brain that can’t handle much in terms of planning unless I write it down. I also have sick kids and have had some form of illness in the house since mid-November. This means I’m going easy on myself for now. I know this will pass and everyone will be well again. For now, I give myself a task or two each day on top of the normal daily stuff and have so far reorganized my linen closet and threw out half of my makeup. Not bad for three days in.

Short and sweet and to the point today. I hope you all had a joyful Christmas and that your 2017 will be blessed!

Used to be..

I used to be a writer. Words came out of me all the time. When I didn’t have a pen in hand or my fingers on the keys, my mind was spinning with things I had to write down as soon as I could. I once said that I wished I had a way to record my thoughts as they happened so I could remember all the stories, poems and prose that were formed there.

I used to be an artist. Not the drawing, painting, sculpting sort, but in my own way artistic. I used to create things and when I wasn’t creating, ideas were always there for something new to make.

I used to be fun. I suppose I still am sometimes but often I just feel old. And confused. And tired.

I watched a video a few minutes ago – a spoken word piece by a popular artist. He said that it is always the things people didn’t do that they regret at the end of their lives. He said we all have a gift and we should all be using our gifts. He said, “Sometimes you gotta leap. And grow your wings on the way down.” I love that. It speaks to me. But putting that into practice while I raise a family and do all the things a mom does is difficult at best. I believe that years ago, God spoke to my heart and called me to something. Something big but not specific. I believed then and do now that it centers on my gifting as a writer. If I based my belief in my gift on the number of readers I have here (one, maybe two?), I wouldn’t have a leg to stand on. But it’s been there for a long time. Long before blogging was a thing. It was always my gift.

So maybe leaping is saying, “I am a writer. I am an artist.” Maybe leaping is not even knowing what I’ll find when I get to where I’m going. Maybe leaping is making a way even when it seems impossible. Even when babies cry and dishes need to be washed.