Today I was watching Tulsi practice all the motions that will eventually add up to crawling (lifting her whole trunk up high, pivoting 360 degrees on her belly by walking with her hands, inching backwards, and figuring her weight on one knee pushing up with all her littleBIG might). I cheered her on in my authentic, dorky way, despite her frustrated grunts+whines. And I didn’t stop til I got a big smile. Not a smile because her mama is goofy, but a smile that she is happy with what she is achieving.
And it hit me. I’m learning to crawl, too. I can’t really say just how much that realization helps me.
It’s been a slow and challenging process trying to do my art while being a full time mama. The first 3 months were easy. I just didn’t try. I was in blissville. Still am, but the past 3 months I have been trying to do both because, I have to and I want to (creating makes me insanely giddy and feel alive). But it’s hard! Before Tulsi was born, I never stopped. I took on loads of work and did my own art, too. I was super productive. I can still hear Patrick saying, “you know, you won’t be able to do all this when we have a baby.” I ignored him and thought (naively, although I never said it out loud) that I would and could keep doing it all. Ha.
Um, it’s not that easy. Maybe some of you already know this. Or maybe it’s just harder for me. A friend told me once that she felt like she “hung herself up on a coat hanger for her daughter’s first 2 years.” I don’t want to do that. I know it wouldn’t be healthy for me or Tulsi. She needs me to be me. And so do I. I do feel happy that when I’m with Tulsi, I truly am with her. My mind isn’t trying to do anything else. I LOVE being a mama. Somehow, I’ll find the balance between the two.
Crawling does lead to walking. This I know. And when you can walk, you can soon run. And then skip. And hop and jump and bounce. Tulsi’s learning curve is a great mirror for me. Thanks, girl.
I also have this enormous new found respect for time. I think Patrick and I both do. It’s amazing what one can do in small windows of time when it is viewed as rare. It also makes me realize what is most important to me.
It’s after 11pm. Just a few feet away, three pairs of sleeping breaths sing inhale, exhale, and I get lost for a few minutes in their sweetness.
I did finish another painting today. Only one left for my book. After that, the cover, endpapers and title page. I may be crawling to the finish, but I think that is a fine way to finish.