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In the Meantime

I have now been childless and husbandless for nearly two weeks (although the Uterine Occupant is diligent about informing me of its presence and whims) while M & Z do their thing in Montenegro. Z returns in a few days, M stays for several more months.

The first week of their absence was consumed with frenzy of preparing to take my last round of exams (which I have passed! Am now a MISTRESS of THERAPY oh yeah) and I was grateful for the quietness and emptiness of the hours. Now though, it is harder not to miss them and I still startle at every child's voice I hear beyond the door.

This week has been consumed with my attempts to clean and clear the house in the scrubbing-floor-on-hands-and-knees manner of a Victorian serving wench, as the amount of visible dirt has mobilised even my draft-dodging Nesting Syndrome. Also in an attempt to give myself a sense of purpose and accomplishment in this lull between Children and Exams, I have been attempting to divest myself of as much junk as possible in an epic battle between my Inner Minimalist and Inner Sentimental Hoarder, which is also acting as a warm-up for the Storage Cleaning Extravaganza I have planned for Z's return. (Hi baby! Welcome home! Now hold and heft these heavy things!)*

This project is less a pregnant woman's whimsy and more of an Absolute Necessity, since over the past two years our storage area has morphed from Useful Place In Which To Store Shoes and Bicycles to a Health & Safety hazard that's like the love child of the Bermuda Triangle and a a Black Hole. It is where hope goes to die and where we apparently randomly shove things we never want to be able to find again. It makes Virgos the world over weep.

Despite these periodic bursts of useful activity, having never needed much encouragement in the ways of indolence, in the absence of human males I have reverted back to my old foraging lifestyle of irregular sleep hours and irregular meals. Once more cats and I appear to be synchronising our lifestyles of napping, sprawling on the furniture and complaining to one another about the heat. This helps pass the time both pleasantly and companionably, although obviously not as much as if they were trained to feed me peeled grapes.

The first year of Matei's life I kept a special notebook in which I wrote him a letter each month about things that had happened, what he had had done and so on. I did this partially as an Act of Love, but mostly as an act of Defiance on account of Z expressing doubts about the value and sustainability of my project. I was very smug and proud of this until I lost the notebook (sorry about your lost childhood, my son!) - no doubt absorbed by the bend in the Space-Time continnuum caused by the density of all the Entropy compacted and shoved willy-nilly into the storage space; why am I doomed to never feel smug for long?

But despair is for those without an obsessive passion for Paperchase Stationary, so I've started my project anew (only now with more embellishment!) by writing the letters all old-stylee on writing paper and then illustrating the envelope I put them in and the page I glue the envelope to, like so:

children's book illustrations

While too often in my craft project the vision surpasses the execution, I am quite pleased with how this came out. I'm currently doing a painting a day in order to make headway on this project before the baby comes and all creativity gets lost to sleep deprivation.

It's always hard to know whether our children will see the value in the things that we do for them, or what memories and impressions they will retain of their childhoods, but I hope that if mine look at the books I made for them they will remember how much they have always been loved.


*This is less cruel than it sounds, since holding Heavy Things is one of Z's primary tenets of Love Expression.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
offensive_mango
Jul. 2nd, 2010 09:33 am (UTC)
Mistress of Therapy!
Congratulations on the exams!
rainsinger
Jul. 2nd, 2010 08:05 pm (UTC)
Re: Mistress of Therapy!
Thank you!
xxx
trinity_gal
Jul. 2nd, 2010 12:37 pm (UTC)
Don't get us started on Paperchase addiction...and all those neo-romantic visions of being faux writer and artist!

Argh though on losing that First Year book...so gutting.

PS. I'll be passing through West Hampstead later this afternoon? would you like me to drop in sometime?

rainsinger
Jul. 2nd, 2010 08:08 pm (UTC)
Argh though on losing that First Year book...so gutting.

I is an idiot. The most maddening thing being that I am almost sure it's in the house somewhere. Oh well, there is always the parenthood tag on LJ....

It reminds me of parents standing in the doorway, trying to find keys while my mum rifled through her voluminous and chaotic handbag and my dad saying:

"Well if you lost them, they might turn up somday but if they are in your handbag we shall never see them again."
truth_is_not
Jul. 5th, 2010 01:42 pm (UTC)
Could it possibly be packed in that black hole called the store room?
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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