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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Gemini, Writer, Mom

The Life of a Gemini Writer mom…

As a writer, and a Gemini, I live two lives. One is the moment-life, the day-to-day living of everything from brushing my teeth to teaching my students to hugging my daughter to having dinner with my husband. The other is my observing and recording-life, hovering above my teeth brushing, daughter hugging, and my dinner eating. As if being a writer and Gemini is not enough, I am a mother. It is that role that allows me, miraculously, to live both lives, often, at the same time.

***
Chels and I are sitting in our dining room, which, like the rest of the house, has a large piece of plastic and some plywood up, separating us from the addition we are building. The front door is open, with the screen closed and the birds twitter and a gentle breeze rolls in. I am to Chels's left. She has her laptop open and so do I. She says, "Oh, Momma, get it, please." She (with a little help from me) plugs in the wire and then presses the start up button. It's an old Dell that runs only by the chord and nothing else. She watches the Windows icon flash and we turn to each other and high five. Some days this damned computer doesn't work. "Mom, do you go to the star?" She asks and I say, "Yes, babe." she clicks on the star and her favorites pop up. "Actually," she says. "I want to do my email. SO I guide her through. AS I type, she "composes" and email by herself. Glances every few seconds at me. Her little nimble slender fingers fly and type.

Her face is concentrated, and because she has a little sniffle, her mouth, with her full pouty lips, hangs open slightly.

"What's that word, Mamma?" She asks and points
"Hgggyybbgyyghggjkklfjgijdoirf" I say.
She laughs.
I laugh.
She slaps my arm lightly, like “You funny jokester!”
We are silent again. The only noise is the gentle click and tap of our respective computers.
Then she says, without looking at me, still staring at the screen, her nose a little wrinkled:

"How do you get this back here?" She points to the curser, as if she wants to press return. So I show her and she does it again on her own when she reaches the end of the line of text.
This delights her, “I did it!” We slap each other five and then go back to our “work”.

We are quiet, typing for a bit and then she makes a funny noise and continues to type, saying, "I did a whistle!"

I say, "Good job" even though it is clear she has not whistled. Parenting 101!

"I screwed it all up." She proclaims suddenly. I look over and she has highlighted every thing. I laugh and show her how to delete. She looks at me and says, “thanks, babe.” See, they really do copy everything you say.

And now she invents a game, "You hide." She orders and I cover my eyes (I don't know how. It must be a mommy-reflex, but some how I know what to do when she spontaneously invents a game.) while she presses each number and says them. "Now you do your numbers and I'll hide" "I try to count, as she has ordered and type this at the same time.

"Now, the computer has to close his eyes." She says, like it's normal. So some how the computer hides his eyes and we play that game.

***
This is how I spend most mornings; trying to be in the moment and captrure it all at the same time...the life of a writer. Trying to know how to join her games, trying to know the best way to help her learn and understand…the life of a mom. Trying to do it all. At the same time….Gemini, writer, mom.

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