A Gentle Heart

Today, I feel myself balancing out the high energy of yesterday. From the soaring achieved through artmaking yesterday morning, I went to a different sort of flying, first fixing food to carry to my son’s house, then staying for several hours to help with the little ones.  I do think the heart of the artist was satisfied, and ready to yield itself to these other demands, knowing that balance was being realized.

On arrival, I climbed up with little Julia onto the  high bed of her parents to find a tiny wide awake cherub. He  seemed older  and much more aware of his surroundings – more interested in the ecstatic cooings and bizarre expressions of his grandmother than on my previous  visits. He certainly gazed unblinkingly at my hovering face.  I was entranced by his perfect form – his lively waving arms and legs, and tried for a smile.  But Bryce Leif is still in serious mode when he isn’t hungry, tired, or sleeping. My job, when present, is to share my attention as equally as possible between the two, while their father has a little time to see to other things. Vanja is optimisticly planning to start his doctorate studies while the children’s mother is finishing hers. They are both high school teachers, now. I marvel at their determined juggling – and at their extraordinary parenting skills. I can see that love makes it possible. I marvel at that, as well.

As I sit here letting the words flow forth, not wrestling mentally or physically, I am quietly aware of the soreness of  body – the sweet tiredness that today I interpret as the lingering memories of active love. My knees remember the raising and lowering of the body as it sank to the floor for diaper changes and rose with babe in arms then sank into a recliner with both little ones, rocking one to sleep while reading to the other. My back and arms recall the freguent liftings of the three year old, necessary to prove that love can bear the weight. Perhaps the whole body remembers the caution that must be maintained when an active young child is expressing her love for her baby brother. As she informed me when I suggested the kisses could be somewhat gentler, “My heart isn’t gentle yet; I am still too young.” So, with age comes a gentle heart. Thank you, Julia.

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