I’m there again.
That place between writing and not. Between believing in my words enough to open the laptop, create a new file and begin. I’ve clicked on “discard” a number of times. I’ve perfected the art of discarding blank documents – go me! I read the other day that a writer is someone who finds writing more difficult than other people. I wish I hadn’t read that. And I’m glad I did. You can see where I am. In writerly hell. Or worse, purgatory.
And then – and this is what I adore – life gets in the way. Thank God. My eldest son Zeke comes in and proclaims ‘hugs!’ and next thing the laptop is shoved aside and I’m in the arms of a 12-year-old freshly showered soul that – by some miracle I am not nearly brave enough to stop and figure out -loves me. He’s followed by Atticus who I swear grows every time I look away. And let me tell you about this kid – he puts his head on my chest and it is as if my blood sings. Or stills. Can a child be like a moon pulling a mother’s blood like a tide? How can it not? We fit.
I wasn’t graced with my daughter’s hugs – I’ll go and tuck her in soon – she was in the bath. She hops in after me because then the water is “just right”. Yes, I wonder how long before that becomes “just gross”.
Keziah has spent most of the evening scooting about the house on pink plastic roller skates and asking me, oh, about every nanosecond, “what’re you doing now?” After patiently listening to my replies of “dinner”, “dishes”, “putting a load on”, “calling your father”, “cleaning up”, “getting a hot water bottle for the ducks” (yep!) she got the answer she was looking for. “Nothing. What do you want to do?”
Which is how I ended up watching “Hellcats” on tele – a series about cheerleaders that I really loved but then I’ve had a thing about cheerleading movies ever since “Bring It On”. But my obsessions aside, watching tele with Miss Nine is grand. She told me very sternly that I wasn’t to do what the mum in the show did and embarrass her daughter. Ever.
I told her it was my job and I wouldn’t if she promised to be kind to me when she was all grown up and I came to visit. She considered this and laughed at me. The sound bubbled out of her. It cascade. I remember my mother-in-law saying how she used to hold down my husband when he was little and tickle him until he begged for mercy just so she could hear him laugh. I haven’t done that (yet) but I understand the visceral need of it.
What Keziah was laughing at was the strange thought that there may be a time when she’d “be the boss” – have that kind of power over her mother. Of course I don’t tell her she already has that power now – no-one can ever know that, least of all her. So shhhh! Oh yes, so where was I? Nothing to write?
Saying I had nothing to write about? Ah yes. As you can see, I’m a creative wasteland. Lucky life gets in the way.