I love my son. He is a brightness in the grey gloom of depression, a constant whirling dervish of joy in my world. His curiosity seems ceaseless, an unending litany of questions followed by confused facts followed by more questions, interspersed with songs full of muddled lyrics sung heartfelt and slightly off-key. He's a crazy quilt, a bundle of love and maddening little-boyness that warms the chill in my heart like nothing else can...and sometimes is a little smothering, a little overwhelming, a little more than I want or need just at the moment.
Every now and then, I find myself looking for bits of time that are for me.
Bits of time that don't include T, or J, or Bird, or cats, or Mum, or friends. For me.
I usually have them in the car, quick dashes to the grocery store or appointments or some other errands, a few minutes listening to the iPod and mumbling to myself, maybe working out plot points in one more story that I'm halfway through writing and will likely never show anyone because I'm embarrassed by them. But I write them anyway, in other stolen moments.
Minutes here and there. Maybe I managed to get up early, or maybe I am staying up beyond late, after the Evil Genius has finally played himself into exhaustion and sleep. That doesn't happen often any more, because no matter when I turn out his lights and kiss him goodnight, he will not sleep unless the whole house is dark and quiet. It's as if he doesn't want to miss a moment of what anyone else is doing. If I'm up, he's awake, and sometimes he's awake if I'm sleeping. If I could harness that energy, I'd never have another power bill.
Right now, I have a few of those moments. The cats are all curled up elsewhere, Bird is in bed, not quite asleep but not quite awake, T is not home from work yet, J is out bowling, and I am free to write, mumble, or go sit out on the front steps and feel the night around me.
The night around me is warm, a little humid, breezy, and thick with promise. It feels like a storm is brewing not too far away. I can smell it, taste it, feel it in my bones. It's a good feeling. I enjoy having it to myself for a little while, the anticipation and content in the darkness. I smell grass, and damp, and a wildness in the wind. Silent flickers of light flash in the far away sky, backlighting the growing clouds.
A few minutes of peace, a few stolen moments out of my regular life.
Back inside, cats want my lap, Bird wants a late night snack, there is e-mail, there are dishes, trash, laundry, constant pulls on my time and energy. I've had my little bit for now, and life won't wait.
I feel displaced again, like I don't belong here in this life, and yet I am content to be here, now, in this moment. This stolen moment.