Friday, March 1, 2013

The Crab

I am a person who is rarely still.  I’m industrious, I’m a multi-tasker; I’m the mother of three children.  In the rare moments I’m sitting, I’m eating and reading or eating and talking or sewing and listening to NPR or folding laundry and watching trash TV; there is always something being accomplished.

The exception to this rule is the first half-hour of my day.  That, ideally, is spent on my back, gazing through the skylight, watching the sunlight creep down the trees, sorting through my dreams.  My dreams are vivid and they are many.  Lately I’ve spent a lot of the night apartment-hunting in LA until I realize, whoops, I’m married, have three kids, three cats and a dog - a studio apartment is probably not going to do the trick.  When I finally emerge into consciousness, I am exceedingly vulnerable; if I’m down this is when I’ll feel it, if something is bothering me, this is when it’ll come up.  I am, as Ben says, a crab without its shell.

If I start my day in first gear, Mihiretu starts his in fifth.  From the moment he opens his eyes, he is running, he is talking, he is shouting, he is asking questions and making demands. This morning, he asked me in quick succession if I loved him more than Sunny, if it was the weekend, if I had any dreams, if we were going to walk to school, if we were having tacos for dinner, and if I loved him more than the IPad.  Sometimes, if he’s not in a great mood, he might call the sleeping dog onto the bed (where she is forbidden to go), he might shriek just to shriek and when asked to stop because his sisters are sleeping, shriek some more.  If Lana makes it to my bed first, they will fight over my hands – who gets to hold which one.  For someone who’s hardest moment of the day is leaving her bed, this kind of energy is a lot for me to handle.  I am the raw, shell-less crab and he is a sharp stick.

For as early as I rise, I guess I’m not a morning person.  If I had my way, the kids would wake up two hours later than I do – by that time, armed with coffee and warmed blood, I’d have the fortitude to face them.  I love them, these children, I love the fresh day, I love this life of mine but sometimes all I want to do is sleep – escape down the dark, velvety tunnel of my subconscious, float there, dream.