Everything and Nothing


I used to steal moments of time, curled up in bed with my laptop while Stella was at school. I used to find pockets of time tucked away between the children’s bedtime and mine. I used to come to my computer in the quiet of the evening or the softness of the late morning, and write. 

 

Now these moments are spent doing everything and nothing. I’m tickling toes, wiping tears, and changing diapers. I’m cleaning out the pantry, in an endless campaign to keep the weevils at bay. I’m running to this embassy or that office, filling out paperwork, determining the correct person to whom I must make the right payment. There’s school drop-off, playgroup, groceries, and in between “Hi we’re here to fix that drain, mend that shelf, and pest control is here too, and oh, you had plans? Well we’re here and we must do it now now now!”

 

And now I’m shouting at my kid, now cuddling on the bed, now praying that nap time will run five more minutes, so I can just finish this one last thing. Then I’m spinning in the kitchen wondering exactly what I’ll make for dinner, and yes, sweetheart, I’ll play ‘estaurant-‘estaurant with you in just a sec, I just need to put these dishes away, and cook the veggies, oh wait, and change that diaper, and answer this text, and just sec just sec just sec, until bedtime. 

 

There are days that are placid, and I uncover a hidden handful of minutes, but then I’m in the living room holding on to the baby with my every and my all, for fear that letting go of him will let everything around me tumble to pieces.

 

I haven’t been finding those moments to write, or put away the laundry, or finally dig my desk out from the piles of paper that gather there before the light has gone too grey, and dinner is on our faces, and bedtime lurks just around the corner.  

 

I want to find my way back here, and tend to these words on my screen, these pictures in my archives. I want to carve out a few moments of ‘estaurant-‘estaurant (yes, I’ll have a cup of tea and an imaginary nasi goreng,). I want to return to giving high fives to my internet friends. I want to practice my craft, and write down my days, and remember what life was like the Spring after Hugo was born, when the light cast golden stains on our walls each day at 4:38 pm and when life was so full of everything and nothing, and amidst the chaos, I’m standing in the living room holding the baby as the day’s last sun spills into our tiny home.