The effect that crawling has had on my brain / by Christina Rosalie

The boy, he gets into mischief ALL THE TIME. Because our house is small, single storied, and mostly free of hazards, we give Bean more or less free reign of the place, as we go about daily activities. And he loves this. Going from room to room, investigating.

He crawls FAST now. FASTER when he knows we're coming for him when he is say, elbows deep in the cat food bowl, or happily pulling CDs of the entertainment center and throwing them with glorifying crashes onto the floor.

Mostly, it's both awesome and amusing to watch him discover his world. Incredible to observe the finely tuned sequence of brain development that led him first to do exquisite "supermans," then rock back and forth, now crawl. And though he's only been crawling with agility for a week or so, he is already driven to try pulling himself up into the vertical. Kneeling, balancing, and occasionally falling.

I'm filled with wonder watching his brain absorb all the information he gathers about his environment as he explores it: push and pull, gravity, depth, cause and effect, orientation. And I am happy to be able to be here to witness it each day.

But there are times when I miss the full days of teaching other people's children. The business of accomplishing things start to finish. My days are so fragmented now. Things are left started everywhere. Half folded heaps of laundry, a half-edited section of writing for my weekly workshop, a collage partly painted.

I can't help but feel resentment sometimes then, at the way things work out. That DH job affords him six hours of "alone" time, no matter how stressful the market is. Of course we're both compressed at the end of the work day, and of course the "work" isn't done. But for me the compression often doesn't have a release. The day doesn't end until Bean goes to sleep, far longer than even my longest days teaching.

Invariably, exhaustion catches up with him RIGHT when dinner is done. And then I try to remember that being in the moment is what I'm here for. Even when the days fragments gather under my skin like so many shards of glass, as Bean's body curls up against mine, I let his whispered breathing and the sweet scent of his hair settle down around me. I try to allow this to be enough.