Welcome to Interactive Diary Land! Dear Diary:

I am spending most of my time these days either dreaming about our beach vacation, scheduled for the week starting September 8th – and no, SA will be home so don’t even think about robbing our house, internet robby types – and wondering just when it is I will get myself organized to do anything besides keep the house free of ants and the things ants eat.

I give myself – and others – a free pass for the first year of a baby’s life. A free pass on whether or not your pants fit, whether or not you are being civil to strangers at the park or giving them stink eye, a free pass on whether or not you are interested in anything – at all – besides having a nice long shower. In my mind, though, when the year is up, all bets are off. I guess the year thing comes from our maternity leave in Canada, which can be a full year if one plays one’s cards right – and has a good hand dealt in the first place – which makes me wonder if American mothers have a shorter “free pass” schedule or whether, in fact, anyone else in the world has one or if I am just *so* lazy that I give myself as much time as I can to get my ship back up the right way and sailing in the right direction.

Today, Fresco is 16 months old. He runs fast, he yells loud, he climbs like a goat, he does not. lose. focus or loosen his grip and he will charm your pants off in a split second so you don’t notice him stealing your car keys. I think he is descended directly from those street kids in Rome who swarm you and play a sweet song on the recorder and take your camera while you’re fumbling for your change because how adorable are those ringlets, the poor child needs conditioner and who’s going to buy it for him? I love him to pieces, absolute pieces.

Yes, so he is 16 months old. My boat, though, my boat is still sitting half in, half out of the water. I just can’t seem to get – well, ahead is the word that springs to mind but I am discarding it because it sounds like I am working in a corporation. There is no “ahead,” anyway, there is only steady as she goes, only even keel, only recovering quickly from any bumps or storms. I can’t seem to get anything done.

One side of me says, yes, well, these are the most precious years of my precious blah blah blah and all I have to do is be here now and all will be well. OK. Some days that is cool. Just standing in the park saying, the children, look how they run and grow and skip and bounce off the cement. Astounding. Some days it takes 45 minutes to get our shoes on and the park is its own reward.

But other days, usually when I am feeling relatively even-keelish and things have been flowing more smoothly, I start to itch for more. More challenge and I am not referring to the children, they are plenty challenging. There is a list in my head that reads: get back to writing fiction, make a desk for myself in my huge bedroom, most of which is unused, paint a bathroom, really organize all the toys and toss half of them.

The crux of it is that the childrearing, housekeeping, day-to-day stuff feels endless and bottomless; after all, no matter how well / often / quickly I clean the kitchen, it will still be dirty tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. I know someday I will look back and think how fast it went but I think right now something in me needs a project with a beginning and an end, a project not doomed to be in constant progress (though this is the cool thing about kids, right, they’re always changing growing responding, they’re never “done.”) I need to start working on something and then finish it. Like needlepoint except not needlepoint because I’m not really interested in needlepoint.

(I see a red leaf on the tree outside our window. Fall is coming, yay!)

Please vote. Should I:

– haul out my first novel and edit it?
– start running like I said I was going to oh six months ago?
– focus on more focused blog / non fiction writing? (with some kind of deliverable attached)(yes I just said deliverable, suck it)
– make it my mission in life to eat 5 – 10 fruits and vegetables a day and ensure the children do the same?
– re-organize my bedroom?
– take up needlepoint?
– other? (but don’t say scrapbooking please.)(no offense to scrapbookers I just know this is not something I would find fulfilling and all those little bits and pieces of things and glue and AGH I’M PANICKING ALREADY!)

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