My job, Mother of an Active Baby

While my husband washes dishes, my son climbs out of the wok. I just missed photographing buddha in a pot. I wonder what I'm teaching him sometimes as Beren tosses an onion out of the refrigerator. Will he do this again and again, will he toss the milk and eggs as a ten year old. All things, good and not so good, end. More quickly than I expect. His fascination with the refrigerator has ebbed. We can open it without needing to slam it shut so Beren can't get in. Fewer arms, child and parent alike, get eaten by the wildly closing fridge door these days.

I sometimes hear from from friends or acquaintances, "I read your blog, don't worry it gets easier."

I marvel at that. My job, Mother of an Active Baby, sometimes feels monumental, impossible, exhausting. That's what I usually write about. Funny things, tough times, surprises, failures. I write but a few lines on how I observe my son still himself as he gazes skyward and follows a turkey vulture with his eyes. Just a passing sentence on how he picks at the clothespins ripping them apart until one gets stuck on his pointer finger, ow, ow, ow, MOMMA, HELP! Just a note how how he cracked his head on a toy cymbal during family time last night, sat in my lap, mouth wide open, no sound coming out his cry was so deep, until he ran halfway across the room away from me, turned back and collapsed again in my lap, woeful. Oh wait, I was writing about the easy stuff, the wonderful stuff.

It's all pretty good.

 Jared carries Beren in his snow suit. He loves it. By that pronoun, I mean both boys in the photo. Beren and I tussle, but nothing like Papa and son. Parenting together doesn't just double my ability as a mother, it multiplies it. My wooly cap is tipped to all single parents. 

Spring and summer clothes on their way up to the attic. January 24, 2012
Perhaps I should just leave them downstairs, as spring is closer than autumn at this time.

My job, Mother of an Active Baby, is easy sometimes. Just begin a project and leave it precariously unfinished. A kettle on the stove, a sack of clothes atop a ladder, the usual. Inspiration falls upon me, baby's asleep, leave the work, it will be there. Let my fingers tap this out instead. I'd rather the sack drop to the ground than forget these words. There are hundreds of reasons not to do something. Only one reason to do something - yourself. Do something for yourself, I say, to who? Myself.

Hurrah for today! 

My son does something for himself every day. Every day is monumental. First snow, first turkey vulture, first tumble off a chair, first bite of a cookie, first time he drags his pull toy across the floor while walking backwards. 

Today he witnesses dust-snow for the first time.


Changing the sheets as the sun streams in the window, I toss the blanket onto the bed. Dust flurries scatter and roll through the air. Beren waves his arms wildly. He runs through the cloud of dust, made of unmentionable things that make adults cringe, spray Endust on a rag, and hope that adult visitors don't notice. No sudden movements in the sunshine next time a guest is in the house. 

I pick up the blanket and toss it down again. "Snow! Snow!" I shout. 

Beren waves and runs in the sunshine and dust-snow. As the dust slows, Beren slows. The blanket crashes to the bed again, I watch the dust-snow, like smoke curling or the furious contents of a snow globe.

Crash, crash, down comes the blanket. Snow! Snow!