Today we began the process of making room for baby. We try to live a small life. But things accumulate and grow and spill and clutter. And we live in a tiny apartment with just two small closets that are already filled to capacity. The human we bring into this world in January might be little but, already, he takes up space. In my swelling tummy. In our hearts. And let’s face it, he will need a certain amount of square footage in a home in which every available inch is already taken.
So, it’s not enough to rearrange what we have. We have to shift and sort and assess what is truly necessary.
And we have to remove what isn’t.
As it turns out, we have more books than are necessary. I know. I gasped a little at the thought too.
But sorting through shelves and shelves of books, I found some beautiful things. A book my beloved piano teacher had loaned me that I never returned, labelled with her name, in the same beautiful script she used to date the pages of my sheet music. A little red bookmark my grandmother, a voracious reader, gave to me. Books signed by two of the first authors I ever met, writers who changed my life in different but incredible ways (Beth Kephart, Ann M. Martin.) And dozens of bookmarks, left behind, tucked in all the many pages I had read over the years (one ‘bookmark’ was actually a photograph of me as a little girl, a small sample in the photo above.)
I admit, I still kept a lot of books but I, begrudgingly, parted with a great deal too.
These days, it has been difficult for me to grasp the passage of time. How fast life grows inside me, how quickly it can be ripped away. I have questioned how to spend these moments. I have wondered why the words of stories will not come and write themselves, when I so desperately need them, now that I have the hours.
As each day edges towards the one in which this child is born, for the first time, I can not see beyond that sunrise. Years of an overactive imagination, all the desire to be given the gift of a child, have not provided even the smallest possible picture of what that time, after, will look like. I know it will fall into place and race forward as this life does. And yet, right now, it’s like staring into still waters, seeing only a murky version of who I am, knowing it will be disturbed, dreaming of the interruption, yet, not having the smallest idea of what it will look like or feel like when the moment comes.
So, we make room. And, yes, I mourned a little bit over the removal of bound pages, the permanence of words. But I did not, could not, part with a stack of old bookmarks, holding my place all these years.