The purple bush next to our front porch vibrates constantly with the movement of bees. I keep thinking how nice the flowers would look in a vase on my dining table, but I can never bring myself to do it. We are the Chipotle of the bee world, it seems mean to take some of it away.
I sit out here every nap time, for at least a little while. Crickets chirp, cicadas buzz, click beetles... well, that's fairly self explanatory. But traffic hums in the background, too far away to pick out any one car, but close enough that I never feel alone. I am, deep down, a city girl. I dream of a decent garden so we can grow all our own vegetables again, fantasize about a coop of chickens with quirky names and fluffy hairstyles I can instagram, but when push comes to shove, I hate the silence. I need to know there are people around, as if somehow that can cushion me from feeling alone.
We do have a milkman, though, in a nod to country living. He (or she, I have no idea) comes in the middle of the night on a Sunday and fills the box on the porch with milk and butter and blessed, blessed coffee creamer and it's all super organic and I feel so fancy. And also horrifyingly middle class, but I am learning to swallow those feelings down and accept that I AM horrifyingly middle class. And a bit old. We were watching 'Stranger Things' on Netflix last night and husband pointed out that these days we watch TV and have nothing left in common with the young adventurous ones. Because, really, Nancy. Stay away from Steve. He is the WORST. K's favourite movie is (god help us) The Little Mermaid and every time Ariel says "I'm 16, I'm not a child" I have to resist the urge to say 'oh PLEASE, of course you are.'
Now the baby is not really a baby (evidenced by asking him "Are you a baby?" and receiving a comical "Nooooo" as a reply, with the "stupid woman" heavily implied) and he takes long naps and the big one goes to preschool (and comes home sounding vaguely like Scarlett O'Hara) I find myself with time again. I have had no time, at all, for most of the last 3 years. Every second has been a challenge of balancing all the things that desperately need to be done with all the things that really need to be done but never including any of the things that I would like to do. I found myself saying "man, I need a hobby" last week, before remembering that I actually used to have a few, and writing in this tiny corner of the internet is one of them.
I suspect there will be less parenting babble, as the longer I do this, the more I realise I have truly nothing original to say. My general parenting philosophy now looks more like 'meh, whatever" than it ever did, which is saying something as I have never been particularly passionate or principled about anything when it came to the kids. Every one knows they are valued and loved, in this house. And that is about as high as I aim on anything. It is so easy, at the start, to feel like you have discovered a whole new universe all by your self, and to babble about it constantly because HOLY SHIT YOU GUYS, WHAT HAS JUST HAPPENED. And after many years of talking about who is eating what and 'what should I do about XYZ' I feel like I've simply reached the end of the road. Of talking about it, any way. As capable as the big one is these days, she still can only read a couple of words at a time thus I am required to stick around.
So what *do* I talk about if it's not the children? Who knows. Books, mainly. I am seriously struggling to finish The Nightingale, despite everyone telling me it's great and getting that general impression from it. Frustrating. It's the same way I felt about Kavalier and Clay. I really wanted to want to read it, but alas... I read a really good one a few weeks ago; the sort where I went back and read the end twice because it was so good and made me so happy without being saccharine. It had a really stupid title about Gravity and Birds (I sometimes wonder if there is some sort pinterest style name generating tool editors use in a bid to make their books exactly the right mix of 'female interest without sounding like chick-lit'- book friends?) but I enjoyed it none-the-less. We have an epic library here. The books are all shiny and new looking, in stark contrast to our beloved, but rather sad, local one in LA. (See previous paragraph on middle class/suburban guilt.) It also has a giant stone fireplace, with an actual fire in the middle of it, surrounded by squishy sofas. Sadly leaving the baby to sleep in the house while I head down there is frowned upon/illegal, so my opportunities for enjoying it shall be limited to 3 minutes of playing 'seat!' with another 15 minutes of screaming 'do not touch that. We need to go home if you touch that!' But still. The concept is beautiful.