Mother’s hands are rarely idle. Hands that spend hours cleaning, sorting, folding, tidying, shopping, making appointments, making play dates, wiping spills, cooking, organizing, driving to and fro, and baking strange shaped cakes are rarely idle. Hands that soothe a scrape, wipe away a tear, tease out a tangle, turn the pages of a favorite bedtime book simply don’t have time to be idle. Hands that cradle newborns and pinch cheeks and ruffle hair and catch vomit and wipe dirty faces and dirty bums….well. Well, indeed.
But there is a space in there, somewhere between the mundane of the everyday, and the blinkered intensity of the creative moment, where even busy hands start to fidget. Start to tap a tattoo on the tabletop, start to drum a little rebellion, start to crave a little bit more than a fantastic meal, a tidy house, a vaccinated kid. A space where busy hands actually become idle hands.
And thus another blog is born.
I have spent the better part of the last decade trying to perfect the art of housewifery. Because that’s what women of my generation do. We try to be the perfect..(fill in the blank). Often we have to sell a slice of our soul do to so, not realizing how big that slice actually is until much farther down the road. And so I can bake a cake in the shape of a Lego brick, stitch a Halloween costume, and make a tasty vegetarian meal. I can do 2 loads of laundry, get dinner started, feed the kids, make lunches and vacuum the floors by 9 am on a Saturday. I have unspoiled food in the fridge, clean clothes in the dresser and kids at various activities throughout the week that I actually remember to pick up. And yet.
And yet, my hands are idle. Not from lack of work. Not from lack of ‘things to do’. There are always things to do. But those things seem to always be for someone else. A moment of selfishness? It sure sounds like it, doesn’t it? But for a long time, that spark of something, that urge to create, has been hyper focused on someone else. The dial has always been switched to, the box ticked for ‘other’. And so, I have decided to be just a little selfish for a bit. To make use of these idle hands to create something, not for anyone else, but maybe just for me. I have a sneaking suspicion that in the end, there will be things made for that blasted ‘other’, but that may not matter in the long run. I think what will matter is making sure the hands aren’t so idle, but busy.
Not with busy work, but with joy.