I take a break from reading, On The Road, and look up from the pages. I, too, once wanted a life where I can just pack up a bag and jump on the road without a plan. Now, my life cannot go a day without planning. My thumb between the pages, contemplating whether to go back to reading or to go to sleep, my eyes land on Lucas’s wooden cube learning center. The one where each side presents a different puzzle, instrument, or beaded wire roller coaster. It’s probably due to our fireplace, but the colors painted on this box never looked so vibrant. So rich and saturated. And so my eyes wander to the rest of my living room to notice the light from the fire bouncing off of all his toys like sparkling jewels. In the beginning, I dreaded filling our house with such colors. But now, the toys seem to blend into the room. Embedded within the sofa cushions, peeking from under the credenza. Piled high in a child’s treasure box.
Then I search the room to find the state of our house. There’s clutter of various sorts- a pile of unopened mail, unfinished projects- half painted miniature sculptures, misplaced items- spatulas and tupperware lids on the living room floor, cat hairballs in every corner, and dirty dishes and milk bottles in the sink. I realize it takes a lot of energy for me to focus on just one thing. I’m on my way to pick up a lone sock, when I’ve already swooped up my toddler’s shoes and jacket, an empty water bottle and a crayon. Sometimes, I catch myself not knowing which to put away first because it needs to be in the order of conserving time and energy. My thoughts are always jumping around- I’m reading a recipe of toddler enriching foods and meanwhile I think about the pesky crumbs on my kitchen counter.
Every day I think about the new books collecting dust on the bookshelf. The laundry that needs folding. The design projects that are past due. Cutting my long toenails and shaving my hairy legs. The rug that needs vacuuming. On top of that, how to plan the next day to stimulate an almost two year old who’s getting smarter everyday. And that’s barely scratching the surface of my brain. Beneath the surface, the ocean is a dark and cold place. It’s easier to just close my eyes. To find sleep.
But I cannot deny that there is more color in my life. Lots and lots of bright bursting color in the form of music and madness, laughter and toys. It’s definitely overwhelming our other things. Covering and burying our adult things. But sooner than later, at the rate he’s growing, those toys will be put away forever. And then, what about the colors?