Friday, March 4, 2016

Feeding the Flicker

I was all set to go. I'm sure I've lost my original train of thought, but here's hoping for a new one.

Because despite the deep and eerie quiet of the house and the desperate loneliness that prompted me to explore an old and nearly forgotten desire once again, the promise of interruption still hangs over me, working against that same constant but virtually silenced need.

There's always some valid reason: uncomfortable gas pressure, a lost pacifier, a failed first (or second, or third) transition into overnight sleep cycles (which in and of themselves are still unpredictable enough). And the cries, they always come, to signal one or more of them. It makes an early bedtime useless and an evening spent doing anything substantial seemingly not worth attempting.

Until tonight, when the silence presses and my wild and random thoughts press back.

It's not the first night I've spent without my husband. Though I've hated the times I've done it, I survived. Nor is it the first night spent without at least some of my children. While I think I have left Amelia only once, Abby and Michael have done their fair share of leaving me, too. But something felt different this time, as I watched the three biggest entities of the household march out the front door, eagerly anticipating the weekend to come. I missed them all from the moment they drove away.

It seems that if Tom leaves me, I can only miss him so much with the abounding distraction of my loudest and proudest. And when my older two leave me, Tom- in combination with my younger one or two- has been plenty of distraction from overly missing them. But now I am bereft of even preschool-level conversation, and though I can't say I haven't enjoyed a long span of hours in which there's been no need to shout in exasperation at anyone in the house, I feel that trade-off is not quite what it seemed cracked up to be.

To be sure, it's been amazing having the time and peace to gaze lovingly upon my youngest two in their youthful beauty and astounding innocence, but now that they are tucked away and dreaming (or at least working their way to that state), I feel the absence of all the rest ever more profoundly.

And how changed will they seem to me upon their return, even after only two days? Will the gap in in Abby's lower gumline seem strange to me again; must I start anew in my attempts to get used to her choppy new self-styled bangs? And Michael: how much taller will he look? How much more confident and more clearly-articulated will he sound after some time away? Even as they happen before my eyes I feel as though I can't get used to the changes. Shrinking waists and budding hips, expanding hands and lengthening fingers, little girl legs on my itty bitty baby.

All of it makes me simultaneously want to make it stop and to take the time to write about it- the wonder of it- and to record what used to be. I feel ever more poignantly the pain of what I have lost in the time I have spent away, and yet I can't seem to find a way back through the fatigue of mind and body and the constant, constant interruption.

But the flicker of desire is still there, it still lingers. I only hope that I can nourish it just long enough until the day comes again that I might rekindle a flame.