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A Shift in Focus

A definite shift is occurring in my little part of the world. An internal turning, as only must happen when one is seven months pregnant. I’m alone in the house right now, for the first time in many days. It’s funny how used to not being alone, a person can become. Vera was on spring break from school last week and then the followed the pleasant chaos of Easter weekend, and finally it’s a quiet Tuesday morning at home again. Laundry spinning in the dryer, the tick of the coffee machine, KCRW on the radio.

It was honestly kind of startling to slide down from the publication of my book, and back into my life. For weeks all I thought about was the book, coming out, being out, and everything that came back in from it all. And then it suddenly began to taper off and I literally had to shake my head, clear my vision, and take a look at my life again. Ever since, my days have become quieter, the work more consistent and the flow of my thoughts slowly beginning to sift into a different place. I told Greg the other day that I’m just planning to forgive myself the whole summer. Meaning, I know that I’m not going to get anything done.

Or rather, what I will be accomplishing instead will be the introduction of a new person to the world for those first several, warm and lazy months. It’s much easier if I just let go of all expectations now, I think. I have two more months of working hard, having time to myself and my writing, and then I’m just going to let go, knowing that this slow, sweet time will never again occur in my life.

I look at Vera now that she is almost three and cannot believe how fast and slow the time has gone. In the blink of an eye she has transitioned from a helpless infant, into the fiery and opinionated young thing that swirls through my life on an hourly basis. I can’t imagine life without her, and know that everything about the way she has changed my life is about to happen all over again with someone new. This morning in bed, when I thought she’d fallen back asleep with us, I murmured something to Greg about my hips hurting, and Vera wrapped her arms around me and said dreamily, “I’ll take care of you, Momma.”

And I just swooned.

The thing is that I’ve been swooning over my little family a lot lately. Maybe it’s just pregnancy hormones, but I suddenly can’t think of anything I’m more in love with than my husband and daughter and the little life we have together. There have been so many days in the last few years when my attention and energy, particularly my hopes and desires, have dwelled upon more on material things — paying down credit cards, making rent, the elusive owning of a home, publishing a book, getting a job, etc — but lately I’ve gone over this waterfall into not really caring so much about any of that, and rather simply feeling helplessly grateful for all that I have that is, in fact, quite immaterial.

I took the above picture on Easter afternoon, my head and heart so full that I could do nothing but sit on the sand, and watch my husband and daughter before me, while I felt the kicks of a new life within me.

All the heartbreakingly sweet Easter weekend photos here…



  1. And just like that, I SWOON!

    Comment by Tre Miller Rodriguez on April 10, 2012 at 11:08 am

  2. It’s not just the hormones. I have been swooning over my party of three, too. I think it’s the glory of spring!

    Comment by Rita Arens on April 10, 2012 at 12:14 pm

  3. Ditto on the SWOON! Easter brunch looked amazeballs!

    Comment by Ron Stempkowski on April 10, 2012 at 12:35 pm

  4. Aw, I swoon for you Tre.

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on April 10, 2012 at 1:42 pm

  5. Ooh, I like that this is going around, Rita!

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on April 10, 2012 at 1:43 pm

  6. Brunch was pretty awesome, Ron. Wish you’d been here.

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on April 10, 2012 at 1:43 pm

  7. I SECOND Tre’s comment. COMPLETE-ly!!! So happy for you, Claire…:)

    Comment by Francesca on April 11, 2012 at 10:35 am

  8. wonderful thoughts – thank you for sharing!

    Comment by antonia on April 11, 2012 at 1:18 pm

  9. wow—oh claire!!!!! fantastic pics. i just love easter and all the trimmings and yours is just breathtaking. vera’s outfits hanging in her room……..the food and perfect la.feel……………….the colors and the softness of it all. ………..uncle ron and baby………………………. whew. just a rich rich life. bravo and big kisses!

    Comment by loud ron on April 15, 2012 at 3:01 pm

  10. Hahaha….love to you Loud Ron! xo

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on April 16, 2012 at 12:43 pm

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