We will be restoring normality as soon as we are sure what is normal anyway.
I find myself sitting amongst nine children. Two 1-year-olds, three 3-year-olds, a five year old, a nine year old, an eleven year old and a twelve year old. Sure that chaos will ensue, yet surprised that somehow there is peace in the house at this moment, I proceed with caution as to not disrupt the calm that’s settled upon all of us. The littlest six gathered around and on me, I read book after book that they excitedly stacked up for me upon my announcement that it was time for stories. The older children are entertaining themselves … reading, playing quiet games. There are so many things I could be doing, so much housework and other work beckoning me away from my role as Mama, Auntie and Storyteller. Somehow the serene energy keeps me still, reading and reading, enjoying the happy faces and toddler snuggles as the words dance off the page, entrancing my audience. A Zen panda, an inchworm, a wild child, cinder-eyed cats, an explorer, root children and other new friends join us as we are transported to new worlds as the pages turn. Then, as if dry leaves scattered by an Autumn breeze, the kids are up and about some playing with cars and trucks, some asking to make salt dough, some seeking a snack or drink of water. Little feet rattle the floorboards and not-so-little voices my eardrums until the breeze dies down and the kids settle into new activities. Chaos once again reigns. Life is back to normal.