A night for everyone, especially Alice who now sleeps with Jack, and me downstairs with Emma after walking around this very lower floor and talking to her, kissing her right cheek, rubbing her right shoulder with my thumb from the arm wrapped around her. No one in this house has slept. But I leap upon this eventual invitation to write. More and more seeing Ms. Emma as a sort of liberator, savior, or even a simple coach or instructor for my writings. Helping me rise earlier and forcing me to produce material. Of course I made coffee, but it’s not helping so much. What does propel this writer is the sight in front of me, the petit professeur trying to sleep. She squirms a bit but without moan or cry, any kind of protest. So at the very least I calculate I have a few minutes. Luckily no work for me today other than prep for the semester, some writing, cleaning and clearing of desk, but that’s all. On no one’s clock but my own, and hers of course. And I know, she could be much more challenging as a newborn, 4 weeks old today—
I walk over to check on her, and eyes open, looking at everything around her especially the light hopping into her senses from the kitchen. See? Just like that the moment to write, that free collection time can evaporate. Still, though, no crying. Odd. What is she thinking? What does she want, if anything? What is her pedagogical intention with this minute? I sit here and do so bemused, abstraction and meditation, her and I as part of some momentum toward.. what. I don’t need to know, right away. Maybe eventually.
Now she becomes more agitated. I pick her up and put her in that shaking seat with the animals and the little pull-down mechanism or string, rope, lever or whatever that activates some bird sounds and short song snippets. She’s made it clear that this morning is a test for the writer, “You better write faster,” she thinks, I know. She grows frustrated, trying to move but can’t as I’m sure she’d like—
Back at keys after a 30 or so minute battle to soothe her, a diaper change where she wet more me than her, we’re back downstairs. And it starts again, this is to make me as a writer, father, writing father, stronger. More disciplined and direct with my efforts, I’m sure. She again in the tremoring chair becomes colorfully irked but I let her frustrate, study from my peanut professor. She calms then cries, reaches for the green circular lever and koala bear then cringes, yells.. what, I think, what is this lecture about? She’s teaching me something, more than what I’ve already cited and acknowledged. Maybe my semester has already started. But as a student, not instructor. I’m no authority here, very much a matriculant in the private seminar of Emma.
And the solvent, food. Upstairs she nurses, forcing Alice out of sleep unfortunately, and now I’m here in total quiet and I feel odd. And THAT, is odd. I’m at odds with the result. Was this in her lesson plan, to leave me flummoxed and scrounging for resolve?