I am sitting in a Barnes & Noble in Cleveland, Ohio. Snow is lightly – very lightly – falling. The world outside is busy; it is a Monday morning, a workday.
I sit with my headphones tucked into my ear, the gentle songs of Beethoven drifting into my head. Piano sonatas; grace floats by.
The B&N soundtrack sneaks its way between the plastic earbuds and the flesh of my ears, and I hear snippets of “Ooh Baby, Baby”. I’m back in 1980; Linda Ronstadt and Terri Hodges and me and the piano, feeling the power of major seventh chords and two-part harmony. Singing in the high school talent show, playing the piano.
I feel sort of suspended in time, here. Disconnected. The world is working around me, and I dangle here in motherhood, “with” my second oldest daughter. Supervising from afar. Just here, as mothers are wont to be; out of sight, but close enough for rescue if needed. She is across the street, spending the morning in a working interview with the family-business team that has offered her a summer internship. I am parked at the bookstore, on call. She doesn’t know I am here, across the street, but I am. More for me than for her, I suppose. I am here.
These moments are very real. I am present in them. But it all feels somewhat ethereal. I am waiting for something. There is much to be done, but I am waiting.
I am that, today. Feeling fragile, dangling in between the mother I have always been, the mother I am yet to be. Tentatively testing the waters, gauging the temperatures, trying to comprehend exactly what is expected of me in these days. Waiting for something I cannot describe. Ready to look up and say, “Ah – there you are!”
I trust I will recognize it when I see it.