4/9/10

Readjusting

I haven't gone on many trips away from Edie and June for more than a night or so. Actually there are only two to speak of--Santa Fe last year and Portland this year. Both times the adjustment to coming home has been quite difficult. I go away and am in an art bubble--intellectually stimulated, socially engaged, and going to bed without first having put someone else to bed. Now that I'm back the shift is strange--I missed the girls and was more than ready to see them, but they're wacky after a stretch of time away from their routine (not to mention Spring Break bookended things so they were stir-crazy by yesterday). June was up until 11:00 last night, Edie until 10:30 the night before, and they're in and out of their room, bouncing around, generally being a total handful. It's exhausting just to get to sleep.

I always have that saying flashing through my mind, "the days are long but the years are short," and I find it mildly guilt-inducing. My work is so fundamentally about this concept of wanting to freeze time, and the sadness caused by feeling my children's childhoods are flashing by before my eyes--but when you've been trying to get them to go to sleep for three hours the impulse is to want a couple of teenagers who don't get up until noon and go to bed all by themselves. It can be such a difficult contradiction, this desire to enjoy every moment, and the resulting pressure that desire engenders. The longing to be in the here and now can create the opposite effect. At this point if I could just get a decent night's sleep I feel like everything else would fall into place. I do have to remember not to become resentful about the hard times--which takes a certain mental discipline. It would be so easy to hold it against them, to be bitter, to act like a child myself, and I have to force myself to step back and try to see the good in the days/years quote. Nothing is forever, every night will be different, and they really are so gorgeous when they're not being little rascals.

2 comments:

minnie gill said...

This post speaks to me. Photographer, mother, balance. Having photography in your life is like having another child in your life. All consuming.

Elizabeth Fleming said...

Happy to hear that you related, thanks for your comment. It really is like having another child sometimes...