For ten years I've been at home with someone. Someone small. First just Briton, then both, then just Evie. Last year it was just Briton again and, while I've loved it, loved being a stay at home mom, loved the chaos and the mess and the pounding feet as they race through the house, I was ready for this too. A chance to work on writing. All day. To do something for me.
So I sit down at the desk after the kids have climbed on the bus and Will has driven away in the car. I have my list of things that need to get done before the bus comes by again, I work, I drink tea (lots of tea, because otherwise it would be lots of coffee and then I'm too jittery to get anything done.) I'm learning to stay put, to not be distracted by dishes or laundry or projects that need doing. Or at least to fit them into my time without letting them take over.
Somewhere around lunch, the dog starts staring at me. Nudging closer until her chin is on my lap. Before that she generally disappears upstairs for her post-good-night's-sleep nap. And after she'll have a before-the-kids-come-home snooze. But at lunchtime she wants to run.
We walk, along the road or down the hill. Yesterday we found a mushroom that looked like a brain clinging to the side of a tree. When I remember - which isn't very often yet, I'm still getting used to this routine - I bring a bag and collect sticks and bark for the kindling box. I walk, she runs, I pick my way over the rocks, she swims. And then we climb the hill again to our afternoons. Me to work, her to sleep. (Rough life, being our dog) Until it's time for the bus, for running feet and homework and snacks and mom time once again.