A year and a half ago, I stopped working in the big world and started working in the small world of our home. It was a remarkable shift, one I welcomed wholeheartedly. This is not the same thing as saying I have loved it every day.
We did not want Miles to pass his hours in an institutional daycare setting. I did not want to miss entire days of his early development. We wanted to be thoughtful about the food we buy, cook, and eat together. I wanted to learn about the practical things I’d been ignoring for years, like how a house works, how to fix (small) things, and how to grow food. I wanted to move around during the day and be outside lots more.
In contemplating my pending life change back in 2009, I also relished the notion of owning my thoughts. For years, I had worked pretty passionately in the name of issues and organizations. I was beginning to forget what I thought about things because it was my job to figure out what to think and say on behalf of an organization or a boss.
Parts of myself, like creative and more introverted impulses, were getting buried in the past. I felt strongly that I needed to retreat a bit into myself and see what bubbled up organically (not in response to job or money pressures).
I’m now in the final two weeks of my time alone with my son before he starts preschool. Although he’ll be out of the house for only three hours a day, it will be a significant shift. Our time together, living outside of group time and institutional expectations, is coming to an end.
So I’ve been reflecting more than usual on what this time has meant. It’s one of the reasons I was drawn to the idea of opening up this blog, as a return to more routine writing. When I was in high school and college, I wrote frequently, filling many blank books with my journals. It went a long way toward helping me make sense of things that felt so ineffable at the time.
Parenting is largely ineffable to me. It’s one of the things I’ll be writing more about here. I want to understand it better.