Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My Office and Baby Love

I'm working.
A frown furrows my brow as I concentrate. I perch on the very edge of my seat, hunched over my keyboard, leaning towards my computer screen. For moments at a time I am lost in whatever small piece of work I am trying to complete around the multitude of 'MOMMY' chores that fill my day.

About my office:

It is made up of a space measuring about 6' X 6', tucked in a room that once served as a pantry in some former incarnation. On one side it has floor to ceiling shelves and drawers, and they've been here a LONG time. The west wall has a small window that opens and looks out over our Paul's Scarlett Hawthorne tree, and this is the view I savor every time I am working.

The other side of the expansive 6' gets really interesting. A previous owner decided to purchase a mammoth fridge with two doors that open out for the fridge portion, and a freezer drawer on the bottom. Great when you have a family as large as we do. Unfortunately, this behemoth did not fit in it's designated spot in the kitchen, which is the next room over from the pantry, so that enterprising former owner decided to cut a hole in the wall into the pantry and jimmy the back 6" of the fridge into what is now my office.

It's cramped or cosy, depending on the day, and how much sprawl I need to finish whatever project I am working on.

Today it's cramped because my nearly three year old is drawing on my already spacially challenged desk beside me, and my 1-1/2 year old is climbing the spare chair to move the magnetic clips holding the work orders for our business to the back of the fridge. (I can find a way to make anything work it seems.)

I murmer approvingly, if absent-mindedly, each time Liam asks me what I think of his drawing. Behind me magnets fall and Eamonn climbs doggedly down from his chair, retrieves them, climbs back up onto the chair, and replaces the magnets on the obliging back of the fridge. This game is good for keeping him busy for at least ten minutes.

So you can picture me entering A/P and reconciling our business bank acct with Liam about 6" to my left, sharing the desk, and Eamonn no more than a foot behind me playing with the magnets.

I use the top of the copier for holding the invoices I have already entered and billed, the tiny space above my keyboard for those waiting to be entered, and a series of creative wall pockets for those that I most likely won't get to today.

I pause for a moment and daydream about what it will be like in a few short years when they are both in school full time and I will have this space, (or a bigger one) all to myself. I think about the TIME, blocks of UNINTERRUPTED T I M E, to take care of whatever job I need to do without any interrruptions or distractions.

Moments later I am brought out of this reverie by the touch of two soft little toddler hands slowly rolling the back of my shirt up and a babysoft little cheek being pressed gently against the bare skin on my right hip above my pants. A sigh of contentment issues forth. Eamonn has tired of his magnet game, climbed down off of his chair, and climbed up behind me on mine. He is laying sideways on the chair behind me, utterly content with the little bit of hip he has managed to expose.

This is a baby love at it's finest!

Eamonn is my fifth baby and my last. His was the only birth I had where my baby and I were left alone, skin to skin, for the first full hour. It was quite literally Heaven!

As a result of that first full skin contact, (or at least that is what I believe) he continues to be quite attached to being next to my skin. Whether it's my neck, my arm, my legs if I am in shorts, he just loves to be in contact with my skin, wherever he finds it.
Eventually Eamonn turns his head slightly and blows a soft raspberry onto my hip. Giggles errupt. He repeats this two or three times. More giggles. Finally I turn around, scoop him up, and snuggle him into my neck.

I know someday soon I will be alone in my little office, enjoying the quiet and efficiency. But I will always hear the echos of baby love raspberries, remember the soft touch of toddler hands, and the distinctive smell of a new box of crayons. Of course I will enjoy the little bit of elbow room I will gain when they are both in school full time, but I know I will miss these days of the three of us, tucked into this diminished space, cosied up next to each other, loving each other up.

Work will be here always. These absolutely precious moments of baby love are fleeting and glorious. To be treasured.


Millie said...

Julia this is an exquisite piece of writing, you have caught a precious moment of time & weaved the intangible into tangible threads of prose - WOW! You know that Julia-time will come in the future & at lightening speed. Having those 2 little cherubs sharing your more mundane chores is gold, nothing can compare!
Millie ^_^

Anonymous said...

your 6x6 office will seem huge one day...and strangely quiet!
i didn't know you had five children...I thought I was doing good sending you three bug prizes! yikes!

ciao bella
creative carmelina

I will eagerly check my post each day...thanks so much....
and Sarah will be thrilled to have another follower! wow!!!


by the way, I adore your writing style...so easy to read....refreshing! talkative....relaxing! ... intelligent!~

Julia Christie said...

Well...We actually have seven children between us Carmelina... My older two are grown and out of the house, and we have five still at home. Lots and lots of fun around here!


Juliette Crane said...

so so sweet! i can just picture everything in that scene. how remarkable that you get so much beautiful work done :)

happy mother's day to you!

xoxo, juliette

Nicola said...

Wow seven children!! This is a beautiful piece of writing and I can so relate, mind you I only have two to juggle but I know what you mean about savouring these moments but at the same time looking forward to more time to yourself, it's funny really. You really do write beautifully, I could imagine your little man all cuddled up behind you, my 3 year old tends to do things like that and it snaps me out of what I was working on. I hope they never grow out of cuddles. I do like the thought of having more children but hubby isn't that keen, and to be honest the thought of going back to square one daunts me now that the boys are bigger, who knows if we will end up having number 3, but I feel blessed with the two I do have even though they drive me crazy sometimes ;0)

faerwillow said...

~i hear your words...you paint a vivid picture with your words written...delighted that you can savor the stolen moments filled with sweet l♥ve and fun filled raspberries...no matter how busy, how frustrated...those raspberries always bring a smile to someone!! warm wishes and blessings upon you and yours always~

LL said...


Heather said...

Julia, you are such an AMAZING writer...I think one of my favorite things in life is holding my Saylor's little toddler hands...they are the softest sweetest little hands... you are so right, treasure these moments...thanks for the reminder!!! have a great day...and that's a great picture at the top of your post!!! Heather

lissa said...

I'm sure you'll treasure these sweet moments, they go very fast, so I've heard, I'm a mother so I don't know, it must be chaos during dinner time

Maggie May said...

so softly gorgeous...full of love.

BECKY said...

Beautiful, Julia! And since you do have two older children, you know how quickly time gets away from us. My "baby" is graduating from college this week...the 21st of May! Where did those years go? *sigh*

Sarah said...

Hello. Thank you for coming over to my blog and following me.I have spent some time reading your blog and it really appeals to me.I love your style of writing and your sketches are super - I particularly like the black and white of the girl.Sarah x

Kristin said...

Hi Friend!
I LOVE your post too - brought a tear to my eye - I too dream of solitude and free time to create, but the thought that those little years will soon be "over" brings me right back. You sum it up so beautifully, Kristin xo

PurestGreen said...

I love your baby love story. There is something so perfect about squishy little toddler hands. I always enjoy your posts, the prevailing gratitude that I always get from your words.

Jenny said...

I love this story. My husband had an office like this in our home when we first got married. We were told it was the Mormon pantry...and it was just about that size. He was very, very cozy in there for a number of years! He got out of it as soon as we moved to a bigger house!

Jg. for FatScribe said...

wonderful post. always a fan of "the office" description, especially full of babies and baby love! you are most certainly living the life in full. ;)

Elizabeth said...

What a gorgeous picture, accompanying a beautifully written piece. Every moment spent with our little ones is so precious. x

Rebecca Anthony said...

I think it's such a gift to be able to write the way you do. You are literally capturing these precious moments in a way that is so descriptive and full of love. You must keep a hard copy log of your posts in case something ever happens to blogger so these memories are never lost. SO Beautiful, thanks for sharing!