Sunday, June 18, 2006

Sunday Scribblings: The New Normal

It’s about 5:30 a.m. as I type this. Tim is asleep on one side, Ella sleeps between us, and I’m typing on my laptop. I can hear my son, Alex, cough in his sleep in the next room; he has a summer cold that’s in the beginning stages.

If all this sounds wacky, this is an example of the new normal in the O’Neil household—life with two kids. Most days, I dream of going back to bed. No fancy sheets. No big, fluffy pillows. In fact, if I run my hands across the comforter, I can feel the crumbs from Ella’s morning toast. We do everything here. Some people think the kitchen table is the center of the home. But for us, it’s the bed.

With all of this craziness, our bed has been the wellspring of my creativity. After everyone drifts off, I open the laptop and start typing. Since April, this spot has given more inspiration that anywhere in the house. In fact, I penned this Father’s Day poem last night while watching Law and Order: SVW.

Actually, I have a whole series of pictures of Tim, Alex, and Ella asleep in this bed. (Hmmm, maybe I’ll frame the series and hang it—where else—over the bed!)

We’re in the process of buying a bed for Alex so Ella can have his crib. Tim and I desperately want to reclaim this space for us. Let’s just say that Ella makes things a little inconvenient when Tim and I need couple time. Right now, she looks like a frog lying on its back, arms and legs outstretched and floating. (Note to self: buy Alex a set of Wiggles sheets to make new bed more appealing.)

And then there’s my nightstand, stacked full of books that I’m dying to read: Money: A Memoir by Liz Perle; Different Hours by Stephen Dunn; Gathering Ground, the Cave Canem anthology. So many words travel over and through this spot. The most important words, I love you, begin and end here. In our bed, problems are solved, ideas are hatched, and plans for the future are created, right here, fleshed out night after night in our dreams.

12 comments:

chiefbiscuit said...

That's so lovely! Thank you :)

Left-handed Trees... said...

I think it says a lot that "some people think the kitchen table is the center of the home" but, for you, "it's the bed." This tells about the nurturing environment you are creating. By the way--the father's day poem was so very rich. I saw my husband in your powerful lines and wished I could see my father there.

Jennifer said...

delightful read!

paris parfait said...

What a wonderful ode to the bed and the central role it plays in your family life!

deirdre said...

I love the idea of sleeping pictures. I feel such tenderness while watching a loved one sleep.

bb said...

such a delicious, dreamy post. thanks for this insight into your family life - always great to get to know you better!

Delaleuverses said...

This was so inspiring to read, I wanted to know more about your home sweet home, the space that provides solace while you write. It felt like a sweet short memoir.

Catherine said...

I really enjoyed reading this. Thank you

Kristine said...

Sounds crowded and cozy, crazy and chaotic and yet very comforting as well. I enjoyed reading this. I felt like I was there watching it all unforld before my very eyes...

Dani said...

What a great description of your bed! I could identify with your account because most of my time at home is spent in my bed. It is my base of operations once I come home from work. Thank you for sharing a bit of your life.

Kim G. said...

"In our bed, problems are solved, ideas are hatched, and plans for the future are created, right here, fleshed out night after night in our dreams."

This line reminded me how I used to hear my parents talking in their bed at night. I always used to wonder what they were saying. They were probably doing just what you said, making plans and solving problems. Great post - thanks for sharing it!

AnnieElf said...

This was just so gently wonderful and familiar. I particularly loved little Ella as a frog.

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