Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I will open my heart
Like a tulip in April
We shall build the cult of imagination

A long, long time ago I was a college student, an English major. I first read this bit of a poem then*, and it’s stuck with me ever since.

Some days I think the morning commute might be the defining test of motherhood. (There are many of these tests.) I am pre-coffee, mid-breakfast, running late, barely progressing. One of my babies wants my food; wants me to put it in her mouth. I oblige because she is still rear-facing, she is still hand-to-mouth-coordination developing, she is still young enough for me to worry about choking and so I become the morsel-by-morsel Monitor of Portion Control. My other baby, she’ll always be my baby but she speaks in treatises, she wants me to talk with her, sing with her, use her foot as a drum and beat the rhythm on her. A good rhythm. No tap-taps. The world is gray and stuck and traffic-jammy but I should be syncopated.

The benefit of a car not moving is that it is okay to use one hand to drop blueberries from heaven and the other for Crocs percussion jam sessions. A shame that God forgot to make my shoulders double-jointed.

There is coffee in my office. There is my comfy Aeron chair and my favorite mug and my broad desk, its wings spreading out to both sides behind and away from me, covered with the research and writing that awaits me for today. My mind is thinking on that research, but my daughters are demanding more entertainment from the driver/jester. Oh! and oooohhh-wuh!, one says, because these days the vowels feel so good in her mouth. Wuh! Wuh! she asks, which, if you’ll allow me the privilege of translating, means ‘more blueberry, please?’ My arm goes back to work.

The other one, though, she wants to press my mind into play. Faster than I can follow along she points to the Toyota in front of us, the one that looks like M’s but isn’t, and yells It’s Daddy! It’s not Daddy and she knows it’s not Daddy. She knows it’s not Daddy because we just dropped him off at the gas station where his car had been dropped off last night for a first-thing-today oil change. Reality is not the point, however, as I quickly am informed. No, Mama! Don’t say it’s not Daddy! I’m just SAYING it’s Daddy! And just as fast: a clue! A clue! A clue, Mama! On Daddy’s car! We're playing Blue's Clues, now, and I didn't even know. I am chastised for not waving my handy-dandy notebook. I should draw Daddy's car! I should drop a blueberry! Another clue! I should draw a fire station! I should drop a blueberry! Another clue! I should draw a police station! Drop a blueberry! Draw "a ambulance station!" (huh?) Safely execute a right on red!

I want to cultivate imagination. I love following the maze of her mindstrings. But it would just be so much easier if I had some coffee, first.

*Why is it so hard to find good links to good poems? Exerpted from “We want everything” by Moe Seager. Worth finding. Pin It


Anonymous said...

No excuses! I got through your childhood without coffee (never mind my allergy to the stuff)! I will not hear of such excuses! (Is that a reference to the wrong sense? We read, not listen to, this blog. Anyhow, we interrupt this interruption....) You're still the grownie in the car - you can cope, sans caffeine! After all, the kids are only getting high on blueberries. Wait 'til they're older and discover the delights of mushrooms on their pizzas!

Hee, hee, hee! To the rest of the reading world: NES is truly one of the world's great copers and improvisers; it's good to see that the young'uns offer her a challenge.

Love, Gramps

Anonymous said...

Dear daughter, IT is called MOTHERHOOD, not merely MULTI-TASKING. It is the very best, worst paying job you'll ever have, but, as they say in the commercial, it is priceless. Enjoy every moment. In a flash your little one will be turning 30 and you'll wonder where all the time went.
Love, Grams

worldmomma said...

Have you tried giving the small bagels in the car (we get Thomases or Pepperidge farm whole wheat)? It's the perfect size for him to hold and it doesn't make much of a mess. It's about the only thing I'll let him eat in the carseat.

Uncle Matt said...

Here is a link. It's the third poem on the page.

Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

Double-joined shoulders! YES! How many problems would that one solution solve?

Love this post. I don't have a morning commute - unless it's storytime at the library or grocery day - but yeah, I can totally relate.

I'm always tanked up on coffee first though.