A week or two ago I sat wrapped in fuzzy green blanket on the leather chair upstairs, on a conference call of sorts with a couple of writerly friends. We couldn’t figure out how to get the sound to work, so we each sat there staring at silent bobbling heads on a shared Google screen with phones affixed to our ears. When it came time to update everyone on all the writing I’m doing, on the output that’s a-flowin’, on the hoards of book deals I’m getting, I just laughed. Because life is far from that right now.
So I asked these women to hold me accountable to not producing, at least through the month of October.
To not writing.
To not pounding the pavement or putting the pedal to the metal or trying to get ‘er done …or whatever fill-in-the-blank production-infused I liken to use in order to get one more article submitted and one more chapter finished and one more blog published.
Because right now my job is to snuggle my seven-week old and breathe in that perfect baby smell.
For now, my fingers aren’t to sit glued to a laptop, clicking away, seeking that perfect combination of verbs and adjectives and nouns, but they’re to absorb. They’re to absorb the newness of our family of four and to marvel in the wonder that is us, even if this transition is hard. Even if I wonder how anyone ever successfully raises more than one child. Even if the HBH (Hot Black Husband) and I are playing our own game of Monday Night Football, one-on-one defense at its finest.
But for now my hands are to chop the onions and carrots and celery for dinner, slowly and mindfully, and to smile at the realization that this right here, right now is my sublime.
These are my halcyon days.
Because these are the fingers that hold the glass of water I chug around two every morning when Baby Brother starts to cry, begging, grunting, pleading for food. These are the fingers that just minutes later click “play” on the iPad screen so I can take in another early morning episode of The Gilmore Girls. (God, I love the 90’s). These are the hands that hold A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and these are the limbs, somehow connected to the rest of my body, that remind me to relish in this time of filling. Newborn-parched, I get to rest and take in and simply receive input without feeling an ounce of guilt.
Even if, when I step into the ugly game of Compare and Contrast, I still feel the guilt.
Even if, like right now, there is an aliveness that happens within when my soul is granted permission to speak words to paper. Because this too can wait.
So, if you’ll excuse me I’m going to curl up with book and baby …and be.
What about you? What do you need permission to take a breather from? What are your halcyon days?