⪧ We left our life in New York City to make a new one in Provence ⪦

June 14, 2015

Dirt and dust.



Xavier has been gone for a week, traveling for work. A fine time with the little ladies. Parenting a 3 and 1-year old alone can make a weekend feel long. We explored new parks and sort of made a rule that we would eat as few meals at our house as possible (lots of picnics - big fans of cherry tomatoes). I realize when I am alone how smothered I feel by prepping, cooking and cleaning up a meal. Give me endless baths, stories, swings, playground potty crises, pushing a stroller up 50 hills, diapers, everything but cooking. Glad for Xavier's newfound devotion to it. If we ever break up it would be my biggest inadequacy.

Being alone with the girls heightens perception. Children are so miserable and glorious. Every onerous part of the experience is counteracted by an equally blissful force. So sometimes, you end up just neutral, but the undercurrent that gets you there is so wild.

One thing I love about parenting is the physicality of the experience. I've always been affectionate. Pushing it a bit far some might say - licking people, for instance. I love handling little roly-poly bodies - necks right up against my nose. The best smell. Dimpled hands, always grabbing. Hot breath - exhaling laughter. Dirty feet - shoelaces, sandal straps. Four dress changes in a day - with every swap, closeness. So, tonight, when I found myself being licked by my "baby cats", Colette and Romy, I didn't for a minute try to wipe the slaver away.

We get away from that as adults - not licking, specifically, but touching people we don't know well. We have our own outposts - gaps between each other. I love the girls for sweeping me closer. Even when it is dangerous. Romy has taken up biting. When I took away a screwdriver she had discovered and picked her up, she shrieked and turned to my cheek to take a bite today. Animalistic. I sympathize though.

Crazy how it all feels so permanent - set in concrete. The hysterics feel like veritable impasses. Then I go and look at some images I took from 6 months or 2 weeks ago and realize it is ephemeral dust. Blowing away.

5 comments:

Laura said...

Thank you for this. Beautiful.

Jill said...

You always say it so well, Em. And I'm with you...I hate being in charge of meals!

Antonia said...

beautifully said! exactly how I feel now when I spend time alone with the two boys!

Stephanie Kokinos said...

As always, Emilie - your writings paint such a picture. As I embark on 2, I gasp with fret and excitement reading this post. It all goes so quickly! xx

Amber Larson said...

"Children are so miserable and glorious. Every onerous part of the experience is counteracted by an equally blissful force. So sometimes, you end up just neutral, but the undercurrent that gets you there is so wild." YES!

I feel tired just thinking about it. Thanks for putting it so eloquently!

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