My daughter has achieved the highly destructive combination of being tall enough to reach most things, while still too young to exhibit caution or reason. And thus, things are breaking at rapid rates. Mark and I tell ourselves that our efforts to safeguard our home (constant reassessing and rearranging) will be rewarded by the time Leo hits the same milestones we were unprepared for with Rosemary. Seasoned parents — is this true? Are we correct? If we’re not . . . don’t tell us. There are certain things we work with her on every day, like carrying appropriately sized ceramic cups and bowls from the kitchen to the dining room. We reinforce never, ever climbing onto the windowsills, which she is wont to do. (The number of time-outs encumbered from not following this rule is truly stunning.)
I am constantly reminding myself that objects can break — every object, for that matter — so long as my children are with us. When I risk losing my mind over yet another broken object that some gentile elderly woman kept in perfect shape for decades (Exhibit A, above vintage angel, recently decapitated, since super-glued), I force myself to imagine how I would feel if I were to lose either of my babies. How I would desperately want every single thing to be broken, if only it would mean they were there. This is a miserable thought. The sort that leaves the taste of bile in your mouth and a clutching panic in your veins, if such a feeling can even be described. I know parents whose children have died, in the womb and on earth. Likewise, partners and lovers. Their cross to bear is heavy, so heavy. My crosses are light and my children are here, breathing and begging and beaming and breaking things. It’s unfair. I am a shepherd to two living children. I suppose this post is a reminder to myself, and a nudge for you if you need it, to remember that when compared with one another—those whom we love more than anything else on Earth—there is no object too precious.
Happiest Friday, friends. Wishing you whistling kettles + a moment to gaze into the eyes of your loved ones.
How is your November shaping up? I would love to hear what you’re noticing or cooking or reading or needing.