I said “I’ll be right back.” Lindsay was leaving in twenty minutes, I needed a few minutes to myself before she left. I put in a load of laundry and headed out to my studio, knowing I didn’t have time to work, but maybe just a few marks in my notebook. I look at the time again, fifteen minutes remaining. I mix my favorite watercolor, indigo and start painting, grab my graphite, do some spontaneous drawing. It’s feeling good, I add some collage to a few, before I know it I have several pieces done.
A text comes through, it’s almost four, Lindsay is leaving and Bruce is headed to the East Bay. I rinse my brush, turn off the light and come back upstairs. I look at the clock on the oven, even though I already know the answer, I have three hours to go. Jack and Fiona are climbing on everything, things they couldn’t climb on yesterday, today seem like nothing to get on top of for them. They’ve figured out how to use their arm strength and are starting to learn the concept of momentum. I feel myself starting to panic, petrified that I won’t be able to keep them from falling to a terrible death.
I wonder, should I take those new/ different pills the doctor offered? The ones that are prescribed for people with bi-polar, “I’m not saying you have bi-polar, we just use them to treat people with bi-polar, but we use them for anxiety treatment too” Not yet, I’m not there yet doctor. I think my fears are totally justifiable anyhow. I’ve heard the unbelievable stories for years about toddlers’ tragic deaths. Listened to the parents being beaten up, called neglectful, must have been on drugs, drunk. No, toddlers are fast. They are faster than parents, I was right here in the kitchen when I heard a thump and turned to see jack was sitting on the window sill and had pushed out the screen. If that was the window to his left it could have been a fall to his death. I had insomnia that night, when I was asleep I was having night mares, the ones where I’m on a freeway over water and I’m having a hard time keeping my car on the road. I’m worn out already, or should I say cumulatively? This morning when I woke up I wondered how can I take care of myself better? Or am I going to be tired forever? Drained? Exhausted? Maybe.
Bruce was here for the weekend, he was my mom’s boyfriend when I was a little kid, he helped raise Danny and I. “It’s great that you and Bruce kept in touch all these years” said Lindsay on Friday afternoon. “We didn’t.” I say. “We lost touch for over twenty years, the last time I saw Bruce I was seventeen, living on the streets in San Diego.”
“It seems like you guys are so comfortable together, like you’ve always been close.”
It is like that, Bruce, Danny and I are like three peas in a pod. I’ve written before about how I see that Bruce is a big part of who I am today, the positive qualities! Jack and Fiona like Bruce a lot. Jack said “Bruce” it was so cute. Spending time with Danny and Bruce this weekend was really nice. I felt guilty because I was so tired I couldn’t do any hostess stuff at all. I think they understand though. We focused mostly on Jack and Fiona, talked about their development, what’s going on in their minds. It’s one of the things that’s most difficult about being a parent. I can’t remember the last time someone asked me how I’m doing, what’s happening in my studio, which I’m used to, no one wants to talk about art. I mean only other artists want to talk about art, painting and collage specifically. It’s hard. That’s why it’s so lonely being an artist. It’s like I am no longer Jenny, I’m only Mommy. My art life, internal life, emotional life, is only relevant to others if it has to do with jack and Fiona or being a parent. Evanesce. I was prepared for this. I made space in my life to become three. But there’s still more to me, still something left from when it was just me, from when it is just me. Does anyone see?
The babies are waking up now, it’s 7:00AM Monday morning. Time to get to work!