25 March 2013

The secret blog

I have to confess something: there is an entire, second blog's worth of draft posts waiting to be published on this web page. But I don't publish them, and I'm trying to figure out why.

In part, because they are unfinished and raw and I write them fast then never find time to go back and polish. In part, because when I post so erratically I don't want the one entry on my blog in a month to be me complaining, for example, about the physical toll of parenting. In part, because this blog has an identity crisis: I wish I could write mainly about words and poetry and books and languages and living abroad, but I really write mainly about babies and kids and being a mom.

But also, and I'm starting to think this is the main reason, who I'm really writing for is myself. I get nervous when I think about people reading my little thoughts or stories of our family, but those are the things I want to set down, so I will remember them, a long time from now. I don't want or care much about links or pins or tweets or reader counts--although I do like the thought of loved ones being able to keep up with our lives, a little bit. But Facebook more or less fills that function, doesn't it?

I'm not sure what to do with this realization. I doubt I will go back and publish those other posts--they're linked to a moment in time that was a week ago, a month ago, a lifetime ago (literally a lifetime, when it's Eloi's life). But that's exactly why I am anxious to record, and anxious to keep writing. I love looking back at old blog posts, before kids, or when Gabriel was a baby (even though there aren't many of those). My own words capture and trigger my memory better than Facebook status updates or even photographs can. In addition, despite my qualms about audience, the at least quasi-public nature of a blog is what motivates me to continue to write.

So. We shall see. I will keep writing, and maybe or maybe not clicking "publish." And, because this is exactly the kind of thing I want to remember forever, in all of its messiness, a little portrait of our morning:

7 am. I am laying dozily in the warm bed, next to a baby who has decided that it is morning and life is grand! Squeal! Clap! Screech! Log roll! Scoot to the edge of the bed and attempt nosedive until mom grabs a leg! I should be getting him dressed, because the Mister is dropping him off at daycare this morning, exceptionally, due to all the ice on the ground and due to the fact that I have a work meeting. But Gabriel has, in the meantime, also come into the bed from his room, and is curled up so cozily in the hollow of my arms.

So the Mister, who has just dressed himself, starts dressing the baby next to us, and Gabriel touches his forehead to mine and whispers "hi! g'morning!" with a grin. The Mister is late, so he is getting frustrated, and then Gabriel starts flailing his feet and maybe-on-purpose-maybe-not almost kicking the baby's face. So I grab his feet to me, and sternly tell him that his feet should not be anywhere near the baby's face. We have a little talk and I try to convince him that we should get dressed too, but he earnestly tells me, eyebrows raised, gesturing at the clock he can't read, that we should stay in bed "a foo moh minutes."

The baby is now lotioned, diapered, and dressed. The Mister sets him in the bed and says that he'll go down to eat breakfast, and I suggest that he take the baby with him so they can leave more quickly. But he doesn't like that idea, because he's thinking he'll have to manage the baby while running around--as he does every morning--to find the last-minute items before departure. But I tell him to stick the baby in the high chair, since that's what I do every morning while I prepare the kids' breakfast/school lunch/daycare bottles. I try to say this neutrally. But the running late and possibly the fact that he had to dress the baby when I should have done it make him tense and we are both a bit snippy.

But here's the kicker, and the reason I am telling this story. While the Mister and I are having this interaction, the boys are sitting on the bed, facing each other. I have half an eye on M. and half an eye on them, a hand on Eloi's back to make sure there's no pushing or kicking or the baby doesn't dive off the bed. Instead, Gabriel leans forward and puts his arms gently around Eloi, and says softly, so I almost don't hear it as I listen to the Mister, "Good morning. I love you, baby brother."And then he gives him a kiss on the forehead.

This, in all of its messiness, is life with small children. It's kicking and kisses, snuggling but also running late, shrieks over clothing changes and then two seconds later swagger over a "cool" shirt, a gurgling clapping baby then an enraged hungry baby, and you never know what's coming next. It might be a bit of magic, even in the midst of crabby sleep-deprived conversations.

I want to remember this particular bit of magic, so I'm recording it here. A picture is impossible, a Facebook status doesn't cut it, my memory won't hold it given that I'm operating on months of no more than three consecutive hours of sleep. Given that it's just an ordinary morning, a morning out of thousands like it. But now it's here, in this repository.


kateisfun said...

I totally relate to this post... the blog identity crisis, the crazy kids with built-in tenderness amidst crazier parents, etc... Keep writing, especially for yourself. Know that whatever you do publish is appreciated!

Robin said...

Thanks Kate, that really means a lot!