It's hard to write about being the mother of a six-year-old. Edie's birthday was on the 18th and it's taken me five days to be able to begin a new blog post. It's not so much that I'm an emotional wreck, or can't believe where the time went or that she's this old--it's just that so much is getting away from me lately. In some ways I've never been happier and in some ways I'm completely fragile. I've been sitting here staring at the screen trying to think of how to articulate it all. Generally articulating things isn't difficult for me--usually I simply begin writing and the words flow and those words help me to figure out and organize what I feel and where I am with my work, with motherhood, with seeing and shooting and being. But now, oddly, words fail me.
There's so much that seems to be going on in the back of my brain, behind the scenes. My dreams are wild and strange--being bit on the tip of my finger by an escaped lion in a mall in the Netherlands with a group of people from college is only a tiny fraction of what I dreamt last night. And here I am once again staring at the wall, wondering what to say next, what to tell you. I really did feel the urge to post--that excitement to convey my perspective was strong as I walked the stairs to my office. But as soon as I tried to think of what to say, well--here we are.
Here we are and I'm at a loss so I'll say what needs to be said about my Edie: she's active and skinny and wild--she climbs the molding in our house, inching up until she can hang from the top. She's obsessed with the monkey bars and swinging from trees and jumping and playing. It's a level of activity I haven't witnessed to this extent in her before--it's an energy that is at once overwhelming and beautiful and maddening. Something in her is breaking free, but she hasn't yet learned how to contain it, how to stop climbing when she smashes a picture on the floor, how to part from the tree in the dark in the cold without shoes.
That level of concentration comes to play when she constructs things out of boxes and paper, when she draws and plays games. Her moments of stillness happen at those times, as she focuses, or listens to a book, or of course in front of the TV. She's crazy about June and asks her to play and they concoct these complicated games with dolls and toys, and then when they get angry they hit and scream and screech. Maybe my inability to write is because of this intensity--the extremes of noise and activity, which suddenly shut off when they go to school, and then the silence is a relief and odd all at once. Edie is who she has always been and more so, and her intensity seems to be matched by my intensity of feeling for her--my love is a force, an energy in its own right. It's that feeling of wanting to devour your children, partly because they're so delicious and partly because sometimes you just want to shut them up. Being a mother is a wild, wild thing.