Nonstop

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Six weeks whipped by. We’ve driven up and down this coast, north to Maine, south to the Carolinas. Hours in the car, books and NPR, CDs played loud, water, coffee, pretzels, diner food. Rain and sun, mountains and sea, strangers and friends and family. Looking forward to trip #3 next month, not just out of state but out of country, off continent, and we say “never again,” my husband and I. We earth signs, we introverts, we were not meant for so many days of change and upheaval. We haven’t kayaked once this year, have hardly seen our rocky beach. No hose fights in the backyard, too few cookouts. When we are home, I’ve been working. Two days each week slicing infinite bagels, throwing together sandwiches and salads, endlessly wiping coffee and juice and milk off of counters. At least one precious afternoon a week at the farm, digging potatoes or weeding or harvesting squash. And editing, too, two jobs in two months with the potential for much more coming in the seasons ahead. No time to write. No time to remember that I have this space. I haven’t been stretching enough, haven’t been writing enough. And I can say that last sentence over and over again, aloud and in my thoughts, but I still can’t seem to take care of myself, to break through the haze of my not-quite-thoughts and ACT. Nap time, my oasis each day, has dried up, as I’m working through it or we’re in the car or we’re out of the house, or he skips it altogether,

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And that post was begun early this past week and abandoned; I don’t even remember why.

But I’m between editing work, and so there has been more slow family time this week. Walks to the beach, swimming at the pond, reading books together. Still farm work, but it can hardly be called work to stand under the sun with the ocean breeze slowing and quickening and pick blueberries or string beans or even squash for an hour. And coffeeshop work, but it’s compressed into the weekend, leaving five free days before I need to go back.

Thomas has reached an easy phase. I am so proud of the way he sings songs and tells stories, climbs rocks unassisted, tests his own boundaries and judges them well. He is so in love with this world as he daily becomes more familiar with it. He is friendly and curious and independent. And he is stubborn and mischievous and sometimes downright wild, but he is a toddler and a human. I am proud that he will be stubborn enough to keep his own mind and mischievous enough to surprise people and wild enough to feel free. He listens so well, understands so much. We weaned on the trip south, and now is asking to hold hands throughout the day, willingly giving us fierce little boy hugs. And Wednesday night, after we had a late dinner with his grandparents, I pulled him out of the car and he threw his head back. “Stars. My looks at the stars.”

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