Being a mama these past six years has changed me in ways beyond comprehension, but truthfully, this far in, I can't really remember what it was like NOT being a mama. What I do remember is summertimes and working late and long hours, I remember doing whatever whenever and being free to just think in terms of my own wants. I remember going to the grocery store and spending $25 for about two weeks worth of groceries. I remember not owning a car and not needing one. (And if I did, riding my thumb as far as it would take me...but don't tell my mom...)
Opening our bedroom door, seeing my girls asleep with all their limbs spread open wide, I just know I wouldn't trade the aching adoration I have for them for any amount of concerts, long bike rides, or cheap dinners. These kiddos rock my world. They are it.
In college I freaked out my boyfriend by telling him all I ever wanted in this world was to write and have babies. He looked at me half-way like I'd lost my marbles, and half way in complete understanding. He knew who I was, and how deeply I wanted this as part of my world. (At least the writing part...)
So here I am, being a mama. And trying to write. Trying to practice this thing once again that I once loved as much as I love my kids. But doing the math, and understanding reality, I haven't done it since my first little one was born. I'm not even stretching the truth with that one. My daughter was born a week after I graduated from college. A HUGE paper was written in the final month of my pregnancy (I was on bed-rest and had ample amounts of time to do it!) and almost nothing since. This paper was seriously every thought I had ever had, and after writing it, I hated the paper itself. I trashed it and saved no copies when I moved four years ago.
In any case, I haven't written a thing until now.
I always have made the assumption that sometime I would get back to it. That mamahood would let me be a writer too, if that is what I really wanted. I've realized the truth of the matter is that to want something, you actually have to DO it, rather then just say you will. (And continue not to.) I guess at this point for me I'm gonna open up Barbara Kingsolver's jar and remember what she said about writing when she was the mama of a young one. She wrote that when she was writing The Bean Trees she would be awake and writing when everyone else was sleeping (her husband and young daughter), hiding in the closet so she wouldn't wake them with her pen scratches and light on. So very considerate of her...
(I let the coffee grinder grind and flush the toilet, open cupboards and sort of tiptoe. Sort of.)
Being a mama lends itself to all sorts of wonderful stories too. I love the idea that you are allowed your second childhood, a glimpse at all the magic that is years past now. What an amazing opportunity.