Monday, November 20, 2006

Stash and Solitude

Most of my life, I thought of myself as an extreme extrovert. Energy came from being around other people; I didn't need time alone to recharge. I didn't understand friends of mine who would unplug their telephones for days on end. Save for reading, my hobbies were social ones: sports, dancing, graduate school.

Now that I have four children, I realize that I was actually experiencing a fairly significant amount of alone time. By "significant," I of course mean "any." Time spent walking from my car to a destination, time spent getting ready for bed at night, time spent in the bathroom.

Take the other morning. The state of the yarn room upstairs had been preying on my mind. Between my general slovenliness and the depredations of Things 2 and 3, it had become something of a post-hurricane scene. But on this, the glorious morning of alone early waking, the baby did not wake up when my form exited the bed. Very unusual.

I literally snuck upstairs, where only Thing 4 and the cats sleep. The others are all cozy in one room downstairs. Although I had held out with great restraint (hear that, you all who bought up the lovely light green KSH on sale?) , I had made a few purchases on my local yarn store's closing day. I felt increasingly responsible to neaten it up some:

enough Encore to make Lily Chin's reversible Aran Afghan
Light green yarn for a light green Thing 1 cardigan
bright green yarn for something for Thing 1 -- any suggestions?

So there I was, stuffing yarn in cubbyholes like a postal employee, when Thing 1 stumbled in. I told her to sit in the entry, in order to prevent her taking up the unusually small clear space on the floor. As she woke up, she started to talk. She had lots to tell me, the cats' shenanigans to comment on, and just general early-morning chat. On one hand, I treasure alone time with one of my children and enjoy hearing what they're thinking about. On the other hand, I had so been looking forward to having a little bit of time with just my own voices in my head.

No matter. By the time I was done, all of them were awake and talking talking talking, demanding oatmeal, complaining about the manifold unfairnesses in our parenting, and spinning on the now-clear floor. No matter how chaotic this may seem, these are after pictures, with those two rightmost bins empty, and the pictures move from left to right.

There's more than just yarn in here -- there's a (so far) unused Ashford spinning wheel, some quilting and sewing supplies, a redwork quilt in that box, books, and photographs and albums to put them in. But since I want to have memories inside my head as well as pictures to treasure, I'll try to remember that alone time comes in time, but a sleepy child talking to you or a toddler spinning joyfully with pointy sticks are time-limited offers, and act accordingly.

I hope a blessed and grateful Thanksgiving for all who are celebrating.


Anonymous said...

I love that you have a 'yarn room'...a room for your for your yarn to live...that's just great! Oh, and I'm glad you got the green yarn, it's gorgeous.

Lara said...

Awww, so cute!

I think it's fantastic that you have been able to carve out your own space, though. I know with four kids, that's no easy task!

Charity said...

I so hear you! There are times I just try to sneak away to my room for a few minutes, just to have some space and peace (I've always been an introvert, though, so it may be more important to me in general to have "alone time"). It is wonderful, though, these "little kid" years. :0)

turtlegirl76 said...

And here I am on the other side trying to imagine myself without just the voices in my head and the cats to accompany me. Part of me is jealous, the other part is all "neener neener neener!" but that's the evil part of me. We shall not speak of that. ;)

Amy said...

Oh, Stef...that sounds so familiar. Sleepy children+pointy sticks= Mom has to give up and make oatmeal. So familiar, really.
Have a very blessed Thanksgiving.

meredith said...

happy thanksgiving! i always forget it's on a different date down there in the united states of america!
i long for alone time too, and knitting time, but i love to hear the latest animal sound that liam is making (he exhibits no interest in speaking in words -only in animal sounds) or eamon's newest plan for playing lego all day. hard to imagine they'll one day be teenagers and speak only in monosyllables.

Brittany said...

I love my 'me' time. But I'm still dreaming of life with little ones. Especially when I see pics of little ones with pointy sticks.