Thursday, June 24, 2010

self-portrait with pans

lucky me!


I've been writing for some publications this spring! I'm investing much more time in revision and polishing, and volleying notes with editors. Although I'm happy about these opportunities, I feel frightfully out-of-touch with you, beautiful readers.

So. I'm writing. If you know my full name, go ahead and Google it (don't be shy). I'm still not comfortable with my full name being here, on this blog, while I write about kids.

Anyone want to help me set up an author website, with links to my published stories? Like, anyone want to do ALL THE WORK for me and then let me okay the final result? I am SO swamped with work.

Meanwhile, it's a frightfully-hot day. The air conditioner is chugging, and fans are blowing. Girls have spread sewing materials over the entire living room, and Brendan is brainstorming his next sewing project, jealous of tools and feats of engineering-- the sewing machine is officially Madeleine's, though we all use it, just as the toolkit is officially Brendan's. Fear not, though, egalitarian parents everywhere-- Brendan also begs me to attend Knit Night with him, so he can work on his yarn projects. Merry is sewing right now. My favorite three-year-old will arrive in a few minutes. We can all hover near the air conditioner.

I hoped to post a photo of my new old-fashioned peasant blouse, but when I flipped on the laptop camera I screamed and ran at the sight of me: I look just like my mother. Time to go work some hair and makeup magic, now, even if I am entertaining kids all day.

Happy summer. I wish you a cool swim.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

cold and rainy June day

The misty rain comes as a surprise. My messenger bag is still stuffed with swimsuits and sunscreen from last week’s heat wave. I fill it instead with warm slippers and a sweater for the high temperature of 55 degrees, an illustration of June in New England. Perhaps the child and I will build a fire today while I’m babysitting.

Can my children’s school possibly end for the year? For their sakes, the time is ripe for vacation. No longer do they wake eager—they barely wake at all, sleepwalking through the grim mornings. The days stay light until 8:30 or 9:00, and a good night’s sleep seems impossible. Gone are the evenings when Scott and I had a few hours to ourselves. The blond ones grow taller, though not as tall as they would like.

A Wednesday passed yesterday, and I forgot to pick up Merry! I catch myself after thinking it: she is gone, graduated from eighth grade, away on her class trip and then moving to boarding school. She began spending one afternoon a week with us in her fifth grade year, four years ago. How strange, this leaving.

The children are ready for long lazy days with books, sitting in the window, playdates with friends. I will still be providing childcare for my favorite three-year-old, a few days each week, and I’ll be working for a travel agency, organizing trips. Organizing from my home? I can’t say yet. I hope so. Kids are growing more independent, but I can’t leave them for more than a few hours at a stretch, yet. A working summer will feel odd, but it might also have its benefits. Kids will need to leave their reading chairs to come with me to the office, now and then, and kids will not be left alone by a three-year-old in my care. They will need to build with blocks and race marbles and cars.

News: when I started writing, I sketched a story about baking a pie for my friend Hank. Recently I adapted that three-page story into a history of how I learned to cook and how I learned to eat. The story will be coming out in an anthology of spirituality and food writing, coming out in September. It’s been fun to work with several editors, to get the best out of this story.

I’ve also been working on two magazine stories, one on afternoons with Merry, and one on my current roster of work: juggling three paid jobs, two freelance jobs, and my unpaid work. At some point I’ll need to work up an official website with links to my stories. Soon? We’ll see.

Sorry I’ve been a sleepy blogger! I am posting this boring piece, written far too much in the passive voice, because my brother checks my blog approximately every day, and I’d better throw some news out there.

And now it’s time to pack up my messenger bag to go play with the little one on this chilly wet day.