Over the past few days I have been struggling as our house lurches towards transition. My summer ended and I started teaching my courses again at Ohio State, Shannon has been busy with her job, and Miles has been, well, Miles. He starts back to daycare next Tuesday, which means the summer of Miles and dad has finished. In fact, Shannon has spent the latter half of the last two weeks with him in Cincinnati so that our family can help watch him while my schedule ramps back up. As you might expect I have a lot of mixed emotions about all of this.
All summer long, I would find my mind drifting towards my unfinished dissertation, unfinished gallery applications, unfinished artworks, a house to clean, a marriage to maintain, Et cetera. The dissertation has taken most of my non-Miles time but I have managed to work on art as well. The gallery applications have suffered immeasurably. Shannon and I found little ways to listen to each other and even more ways to fall asleep on the couch five minutes into an episode of 30 Rock. I found myself wishing for the 36 hour day. I loved my time with Miles but I would also be lying if I said there weren’t at least a couple of times where I just wanted a day to work on whatever I wanted to work on.
Now the parental paradox has risen its ugly head. I have the house to myself this morning. What have I accomplished? Very little. My page count on my latest chapter is stuck on 19. Everything I write sounds like garbage. I find myself wondering “how does one deal with insurmountable frustration?” Will cranking the Dead Boys help? Maybe I could search the internet for a few hours and watch comedians on Youtube? I watch the same video of Miles a couple of times in a row. I miss having him here and I miss Shannon’s muffled ‘meeting’ voice in the basement. (The meeting voice is Shannon’s remarkably polite, carefully enunciated diction that remarkably conveys kindness and hard-ass-ness at the same time). Like Cinderella says, in the shittiest way possible, “you don’t know what you got til its gone.”
I don’t know how to even end this post. And I guess that’s the point, right? Embrace the moment and realize that it will pass…even when it feels like it maintains the speed of continental drift.
Gratuitous picture of the day (Ikea version): Miles’ dogs are barking.