We have a new nanny, Julie Ann, who is 18 years old, and who under other circumstances might become my surrogate little sister. She’s smart – cunning even – and kind and loving. She takes good care of Riley even though she’s no master at being a caregiver. And most importantly, Riley likes her. A lot.
Joy, our housekeeper, is in many ways the crutch that our household leans on. She loves Riley like he’s the little brother she never had, and is responsible, mature, and dependable. This coming October, she’ll be here a year, and we plan to take her out for an extravagant dinner.
Rob is my life partner and soul mate and never fails to keep me on my toes. There is a net that keeps us from falling, no matter how dangerous our leaps and bounds, and admittedly, I often wonder where that net came from and what it’s made of. Is it love, or loyalty, or responsibility, or stubbornness, or fear, or trust, or just what happens when you’ve made up your mind to stay with someone for the rest of your life? My thoughts on the subject are a thick wall of fog, and though I feel the outline of emotions, seldom do I have an idea of what I’m feeling. Now and again, though, a light shines, and a voice tells me that it’s Love. I don’t trust that voice, and I wonder why that is. Is it because I’m indecisive, or hard to please, or in a perpetual state of questioning? Or is it simply because, deep down, I don’t think I deserve/desire/am capable of being in love, or loved, or with Rob?
Lastly on my mind, Riley and writing. Riley is the light of my life (born August 5, 2009), and writing is my first love. I feel as though I cheat on one with the other, like it’s impossible to stay true to my gift as a writer while I’m caught up with the awesomeness of my son. Both endeavors – being a writer and being a mom – take up so much of my time and energy, and together they leave little fuel for the rest of my life. So I’m forcing myself to have more and to be more; to take more time for myself, to be more compassionate with others and with myself, to be more generous and more gracious, and more blatant and loving and charismatic and disciplined and unpretentious and sophisticated and responsible and fun. I’m forcing myself to grow and change and adapt and accept and embrace. And the rest? All the good stuff that I want and deserve? Some of it is here and the rest of it is on its way. Of that, I’m pretty certain.