Tuesday, March 15, 2011

It's the Middle of the Night

It's the middle of the night and I was feverishly rearranging my kitchen when I heard my son start to cry.

It's the middle of the night and I was feverishly rearranging my kitchen to set the groundwork for tomorrow, when I'll cut the rotten spots off the apples and juice the remainders. The juicer is low where the toddler can -and does- help me to make it, forcing the fruit into the machine and mashing it down with my help. The juicer is right next to the spot where the bread machine will go if we buy a bread machine.

It's the middle of the night and I was feverishly rearranging my kitchen. Was it to make room for the imaginary bread machine in the imaginary future where we can't afford the delicious bread we like to buy from the Farmer's Market, and so we have to make our own?

In part, it was.

It's the middle of the night and he began to sob and instead of being upstairs sound asleep, I was in the kitchen right near his room and I darted in. He began to talk, but between the crying and the fact that he seemed to be saying more nonsense than sense, I didn't try to understand; I just soothed.

We sat in the rocking chair in the corner of the room in the middle of the night, rocking. I used to sit there with him every night and read stories and listen to lullabies; that was our bedtime routine. Somewhere late in my pregnancy the rocking chair got uncomfortable and we started to read stories on the living room couch instead. Then, because it's a cardinal law of science that a pregnant woman ensconced upon a couch remains a pregnant woman ensconced upon a couch unless the actual force of going into labor acts upon her, my husband would carry him into bed. So now that's our new routine and we don't sit on the rocker in the corner anymore.

He got big. He got huge! How and when and why did I not notice this? His head was resting on my shoulder and his toes grazed my calves! In the darkness of the middle of the night my two and half year old felt like he could 5 or 7 or even 12. He felt like a boy, a big boy, even though sometimes the pudge of his cheeks or the open wonder of his face suggests he's still a baby.

It's the middle of the night and now instead of feverishly rearranging my kitchen I'm rocking my baby who has suddenly morphed into a tween in my very arms and I don't know how or when or why this all happened so suddenly. And at the verysametime I'm feverishly rearranging his bedroom in my mind's eye, which can see into the imaginary future, while I sit in the rocking chair in the corner of the room and rub his back.

I'm rearranging my kitchen and his bedroom because I don't know if I have a job for much longer, and it looks like I might be working from home in my imaginary future with my imaginary bread machine. And so the arrangements that have worked for a working girl will have to be changed and also I had coffee in the late afternoon while I usually just drink tea now, and that mostly in the morning.

So my mind is racing to rearrange our imaginary future, to make it into a manageable vision, to smooth it into something that will work for our family, to flat out will it into some way in which we will survive. My mind is feverishly writing some story in the middle of the night, some tale in which the details look like blueprints and bake like bread machines and smell like freshly baked bread rather than a dream deferred, and in this story we will not only survive, we will thrive.

It's the middle of the night and I'm feverishly rearranging my whole entire life.

My baby's lullabies are playing, but there's a gigantic boy in my arms, and I can scarcely believe he's even letting me hold him still, large as he is. My imaginary future is moving right into my home -now!- in the middle of the night, and there's nothing I can really do to stop it.

And although I know it's the middle of the night, I don't know exactly where we are, and I don't know where we're going, or when we'll get there. All I know is that we seem to be moving awfully fast.


  1. Pardon the artless comment, but:


  2. Not only do I love the intention of this post, but the way it is written--repeated phrases and juxtapositions--is lovely!

    So glad you found my blog so that I could find yours :)