A New Book

I've just started "Having It and Eating It: a Novel" by Sabine Durrant. I'm still waffling on whether it's got me or not, but this passage from pages 19-20 surely did. (Italics hers.)
"I missed [my job] like hell.

"But I had the children. And really I couldn't complain. Oh I know there were days when I was subsumed by the task of it, by the things none of the manuals tell you: the mess and the noise and the chaos and the clobber and the palaver, and the squeezing of the person you used to be into this dull, one-tracked, loaded-down creature with opinions on the introduction of solids and an encyclopedic knowledge of diaper absorbency; the sense in those early years at any rate, of being swallowed whole. But things would change. The children would get bigger. They'd go to school. I'd read a grown up book again. .... There were moments even then 'trapped at home with the children,' when I would feel my soul soar with the freedom of it all. And it might just be hearing the theme tune to the two o'clock broadcast [of a favorite show] that would do it. Or it might be the sense, waiting at the station on platform 2 for a train to take me to the seaside or the swimming pool or a distant park, when everyone else was on platform 1, briefcases at their ankles, irritated fingers tapping watches, pinched impatient faces scanning the empty tracks behind, that I was going against the tide, that I was my own boss, the big cheese in a corporation of one -- and two halves. Or it may simply have been that I felt in touch with my own life, with the diurnal nothings of it, aware of every change in the weather, each kaleidoscope shift in the day's light. You may have no time to yourself when you have small children, but you also have all the time in the world."
I rode my bicycle, the girls in the carriage behind me, to our Thursday morning playgroup this morning and absolutely felt my soul soar with the freedom of this life. The weather was beautiful, the girls were being kind to each other (at least on the way there), and it took me maybe even three times the time to get to the park as it would have in a car, every minute of which I felt how truly I am here in the world and free in my choices. It was lovely.

And now, after not nearly a long enough nap, Kay wakes, cranky, and the also-truth of my servanthood is reasserted. For now, it is enough to know these two truths exist together to prompt my gratitude.

ps. If anyone can tell me why I'm losing the comfy double-spacing of my first paragraph, reverting to this squashed claustrophobic single spacing for the remainder of my posts lately -- and how to avoid it -- you'll be my hero.

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