Chasing Words

I've been trying to wake up before the kids so I have time to write first thing in the morning. But however early I get up, they get up too.

Petra is confused about why it's still "night" for another hour or so. She thinks we should do Goodnight Yoga. No, if anything, we should do Good Morning Yoga - perfect, magical time with a candle pre-dawn. But really, you (Petra) should still be in bed. Wally up early is fine. He just reads. 

I don't know why in the evening (now) I can't sink into the mood of writing here anymore. I used to love writing in the evenings. 

All I can think of now is a jumble. 

That was last night. Let's see if I can find any more clarity today. Wally is behind me reading. He's reading great books this year. Books I remember from around his age (although I remember them being read to us at floor time). James and the Giant Peach. The Wind in the Willows. He also read The Dragon of Lonely Island, by an author I hadn't heard of -- Rebecca Rupp. She has a fantastic web site where she organizes children's books by category, for example letter writing books , books inspired by Shakespeare, and gardening books. Oh she has a great section on banned books too. She's a Ph.D. in cell biology and biochemistry from Vermont. 

Okay so Wally is quietly reading behind me. The light is ever so slowly just beginning to appear. Not even the light yet, it's just that the sky isn ow a lovely gray blue. the lights of the Empire State Building still shine bright against it. 

"Where's that hot chocolate?" Wally asks. (Friday is hot chocolate day.)

"Coming soon," I tell him. I am selfishly trying to write, but you see I'm not getting far. If I had gone for Twitter, I could have gotten a nice pick and an attempt at a pithy message out into the world. 

Maybe I could have checked email and - answered something about work that would have felt like "checking something off" an infinite, impossibly entangled and constantly renewing To Do? Or answered (or at least read) something from a friend? More on that soon. I've noticed just in the past several weeks a dramatic drop-off from email. I know "no one uses it anymore" but something really suddenly seems to have changed.

Yesterday I rode a bike down to Wally's school and back. I have hardly ridden at all in NYC. Once or twice briefly I took Alex's citibike out to the river and back. I saw my friend Kara on Monday. She biked up to meet me and said she rides all the time. I kept thinking -- that must totally change your perception of the city. Instead of the crowded, frustrating, stressful subway, riding out there by the river, past the Wisteria and the boats and the Honeysuckle.

So yesterday, when Wally got on the bus then turned around and said, "It's the second year in a row I forgot it was picture day," I quickly dropped Petra off then came home and scrambled through his closet. Aha! One kinda nice button-down shirt he's had a few years but should still fit. I grabbed it, gave it a quick glance before stuffing it in a bag, and realized it had red paint on it. Pulled other things out and finally settled on a nice blue plaid shirt my mom had gotten him in June. As I was zipping my backpack I checked the clock and realized the only possible way to get to the school before it started was to ride a bike. I don't have the citibike membership but you can pay for a day (total would only be $6 more than the subway, and well worth the workout I thought). I raced down, not knowing which streets were best, ending up on cobblestone for an uncomfortable stretch. Wally didn't want the clothes after all. I hopped on the bike and road back, this time along the glorious river, past the Wisteria, the Heather, the boats and the Honeysuckle.

Yes it does, absolutely, change one's view of the city. I almost imagined myself in Provence. I near-swooned picturing cooking something later that night with the adorable herbs by Provence Trade Joe's now cells in a little glass bottle with a wooden spoon.

(Instead I spent the day lost in data spreadsheets and sore beyond belief! Rubbing Icy Hot with happy memories of my grandmother - the apartment was full of that minty smell.)

Much lighter now the sky just in the past 10 minutes since I began. Time to turn to other duties. Even wake Petra! Get the kids off. Greet the day without so many racing thoughts for once I hope. 

Comments

  1. "All I can think of now is a jumble" is often how my night writing goes too--though tonight I'm hoping to pull something together. I love this story of digging out the shirt for picture day and cycling to school just in time, only to have the shirt rejected. But your time wasn't wasted. The ride along the river, wisteria, honeysuckle and boats. I could just see you pedaling along! Beautiful. By the way, I have a great chicken recipe with herbs de Provence and vermouth. :)

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  2. Would love to hear the recipe! (Will it work with tofu?)

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  3. I'm also in a similar situation but with me it's my puppy, she's up at 6am and wants my undivided attention, no checking emails or twitter for me just undivided cuddles and playtime from the get go! My 6 year old however sleeps until I wake her! Your struggle to keep up with school events sounds very similar to mine too, I'm often scrabbling to write in the parent comment on homework as we run out of the door! :-)

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  4. I'm also in a similar situation but with me it's my puppy, she's up at 6am and wants my undivided attention, no checking emails or twitter for me just undivided cuddles and playtime from the get go! My 6 year old however sleeps until I wake her! Your struggle to keep up with school events sounds very similar to mine too, I'm often scrabbling to write in the parent comment on homework as we run out of the door! :-)

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  5. Wow -that's so nice that you jump right into puppy-world first thing in the morning. The school events/papers/now emails and constant texts is out of control!!! Thanks so much for your comment and letting me know you share some of these scrambles...

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