So last night, Jude, when I was looking for something else on my computer, I ran across an essay from graduate school, and read my former thoughts about how “The correlation between truth and beauty is obvious from these lines, but if the urn is speaking and the speaker replying, then it reaffirms that art and humanity are very separate. While truth and beauty are all that the urn needs to exist, humanity is more complicated, and there is more necessary to the human condition.” Can you believe I ever wrote that? And that I wrote 10 pages of it? Sometimes I worry that my current practice of reading “Pajama Time” at least 3 times aloud every night is chipping away at that old brain that lies buried somewhere beneath all the clutter that rests on the surface now.
I fear that every time I shop for something called butt paste, my brain shrinks a little.
Do you want to hear about the prophecy of dystopian fiction, the beauty of Wordsworth, the tragic life of Keats, Jude? No? Well, you’re going to listen anyway because some days I am dying to talk about it. And truth be told, I am terrified of growing dumb. It’s possible, you know. I’m so scared that years from now, you will grow tall, play too many video games, eat things like chicken nuggets and Doritos, and be like, yeah. my mom. apparently she used to be smart. isn’t that weird?
But really, little Jude, what can I do with you? There are moments when I feel that the universe is, no doubt, laughing at me. Somehow, when I was writing all those literary theory papers in graduate school, I didn’t really see some of these moments as my life plan, my daily work. In the past week alone, I have pried dog food from your clenched jaw, caught you just in time as you attempted a dive from a top step, weeped a little over the loss of an expensive Nikon lens I left too close to your reaching fists, and chased your naked ass all over the living room as you ran from me mid-diaper-change.
Is this boys or is this babies? I have no idea. I just know it’s crazy.
The truth is, I am such a clueless mother on so many levels. It’s one day at a time around here. Each time my brain wanders to your college tuition or your education or even your potty training or pre-school, my mind swells and races until I can’t remember my own name. Or how I got here in this life. I swear that I was just here.
How did I get here?
I have no clue.
Funny thing, Jude. In the months before we discovered your presence, your dad and I thought something really huge was on the horizon, only that really huge thing was the possibility of a big move and some job changes and all sorts of crazy things that seem far from me now. Maybe the universe knows what it’s doing, writing the story for me and not letting me hold the pen. I think it was Wordsworth, after all, who once told me to “Come forth into the light of things, Let Nature be your teacher.”
And, Jude, some days I think you are nature’s way of teaching me that, even on the dim days, there’s a lot of light to be found if I look in the right places.