Here for the anchovy toast
And the bunnies in the backyard
A place of work that encourages movement: We walk downtown, we sit on the floor during internal meetings, we kneel awkwardly and beseechingly at each other’s desks, we perch on poufs. We’re up and down all day long.
Two bright little babies who are forming a collaborative play relationship with one another. (This morning, they were playing “space robot” by taking turns wearing the salad spinner on their heads. As you do.)
Walking to work every day. Even when it’s hot. Even when it’s so humid that I feel like I ought to breaststroke my way through the air to make progress.
Going to bed early.
A self-sufficient front garden, as I’ve mentioned before. It is especially cheerful in July, when the coneflowers and black-eyed Susans and anemones are out.
A season of many cottontail rabbits in the neighborhood. I know they’re a pest in the garden, but I always think of my grandmother when I see one in the morning, as they were her favorite creatures. I receive them as peaceful little talismans.
Guion! (This continues to be a newsletter for him, if you’ve forgotten.)
Walking to church in the morning, when we prepare ourselves for it, and then watching the boys play at the park afterward with friends while we try to have a mildly civilized conversation.
Anchovy toast on sourdough with garden-grown tomatoes and basil.
I read an interview with a writer who said she gets up every morning at 5 because she dislikes starting her day by being “shotgunned” into her children’s needs first thing, before she can even get out of bed and pee. I liked her use of a verb, as it strikes at precisely the feeling of waking up to a child wailing for you. The whole day starts on a note of urgency.
It is not my favorite way to start the day. I love having even 10 minutes to myself to get ready, unload the dishwasher, start the kettle, and open a window before the boys wake up. But this has been rare lately. Even though we often let our kids “work it out” in their rooms for a good while before we retrieve them, there’s still some mewling going on, discernible from downstairs whilst you are trying to have a cup of tea and be a person.
There is an obvious solution, which is that I could get up at 5, like this writer. I might. Guion and I keep saying we’re going to do it, and then we never do. That hour of sleep from 5 to 6 feels vital.
The other obvious consolation is that it will not always be this way. This continues to be a central lesson of motherhood for me, even though I have not been at this game that long. Time is passing. Very soon, the children will sleep in. Very soon, the children will not need me to fetch them from their beds and cribs and get them dressed. Very soon, the children will not want me for much of anything at all. And so it goes. So I sleep till 6 and permit myself to be shotgunned.
A text for me, a text heard last Sunday, while sitting in a beautiful sanctuary with Tiffany stained glass, while wearing a $150 dress, surrounded by wealthy, comfortable people in their equally wealthy, comfortable clothes:
The seed that fell among the thorns represents others who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced.
— Mark 4:18-20
Let me know if you want to swing by.
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, Gabrielle Zevin
Demon Copperhead, Barbara Kingsolver
The Death of Adam, Marilynne Robinson