At this moment I am nestled in a small corner of the cafe at the library, nibbling on a chocolate brownie with sea salt. It feels so very good to be around people coming and going, while also having some quiet alone space.
I can smell the toasty aroma of coffee in the air. A man wearing what looks like a Greek fisherman hat and a striped shirt reminiscent of those worn by Gondoliers is waiting for his drink, while a group of smiling young people sit gathered around a large table talking quietly nearby. Outside the window to my left, the patio is largely empty. I see the museum across the street, and think of Will and Kim (my husband and one of my closest friends). We all loved the diorama exhibit so much!
I have headphones on because I love the compression against my ears, but also because I wanted to dim the noise around me. Right now there is this lovely sensation of listening to jazz underwater. The noises are garbled in the most pleasant way.
I’m thinking about the day. I sometimes felt exasperated with its pace and energy. My children are wonderful, beautiful firecrackers. They are constantly chasing each other and sometimes push each other’s buttons. Rowan has taken to shouting “PIPE. PIIIIIPE!” from across the house to wake Piper in the morning. I’m excited to hear his speech really take off. Also, he says “No” with complete conviction every time. “Rowan, it’s time for me to change your diaper” “No. NOOO!” is a common conversation in our house. He also knows how to tell us just what he wants — “I want more (fill in the blank with cheese, paper, show, etc.)”. He also knows how to beg, in a very professional way! He will often grab my face with both hands, turn it towards his own and look in my eyes with his own puppy eyes and then address me in a voice soft and sweet, “Mommy, mommy… Ducks. Outside. Peas. Ducks.” It’s so amazing, and very funny!
Piper, meanwhile, is asking me these thoughtful questions at the speed of a mile a minute no matter where we are or what we are doing. Sometimes I feel like she’s spinning riddles like Lewis Carroll. “So mommy, if Titi is six years older than you, how much younger are you than Titi?” “What does nine thousand seven hundred and forty three minus five hundred equal?”
It’s all so beautiful and happening so fast. The most challenging aspect of this phase of motherhood is giving enough individual time to each child, and then again finding activities and games that both can participate in and enjoy equally. I have to be understanding with myself and remember that giving my best is good enough, and to remind myself to take quiet time (like this) to recenter and ground myself back in the present moment.
It’s getting late and I’m walking home, so I’ll sign off here.