Monday, February 8, 2010
Sunday was spent laid up in bed with a horrible migraine all day. I'd been having the "day in bed" fantasy again - I was feeling overwhelmed by all the kid and home stuff. I think there should be a centre where women can check themselves in a few times a year when they feel they are on the edge of losing it. I guess I got my wish, but not exactly the way I wanted. Fortunately, C was home to take care of the girls. In the evening, when I felt slightly recovered and staggered out in my pyjammas to get some food, Ella was affectionate and lovey, and brought me a gift bag.
"It's for you", she said.
I opened it to find two of the photos from our photo album glued to a piece of computer paper. Around the pictures she had drawn scribbly music notes with a thick black marker.
My first instinct was to correct her--I've told both the girls not to make crafts with the photos because I want them to stay there in the book where we can look at them whenever we want. But I couldn't do it. She had given it to me so sweetly and earnestly.
I looked at the photos. They were familiar. One of me 3 months postpartum, tired-looking and still carrying some extra pregnancy weight. I have Ella in my arms and I'm leaning down to kiss her face. The other photograph is of her and I on her first Christmas. I'm not wearing any makeup and I think I've just woken up. I look exhausted. Ella is snuggled against my shoulder. I am smiling slightly for the camera.
Lately I've been plagued by all sorts of thoughts: about how I have not done nearly enough with my life, about how I wish I could give my kids a better upbringing--trees to play in instead of just a small yard, animals instead of just the visiting stray cats. Aren't kids supposed to have a tree house and hills to play in? Isn't that the way the story is supposed to go?
Later, after the girls were in bed and I was feeling a wee bit better, I slumped around the house picking up toys, stray socks, bits of leggo. I saw the piece of paper with the photographs glued to it again. I picked it up. I didn't have enough time with her, was all I could think as I looked at her little baby face. I was so divided when she was born. I wasn't as present as I would have liked to have been.
Then, it was as if a kind, gentle voice said: Look. She drew music notes around the edges. She's trying to tell you that you are like music to her.
I started to cry. Because life some days feels like anything but music. At least yesterday did.
Today feels a little lighter, and althought I still feel a little shakey, I think I am on the mend.
I think that is why I am here painting. Van Gogh said "Could I not be of use and good for something?...in a picture I wish to say something that would console as music does."
Painting consoles me. As I painted this morning, I felt something being made right inside me.