A Room Of One's Own* (Some Restrictions Apply)
I gave up my study when Gareth was born, and I moved all my books and filing cabinets and writing apparatus into a much smaller room. Which was fine, which had been the plan ever since Dan and I bought the house. And the bigger room had filled up with clutter so completely that the amount of functional work space was not that great.
Four years later, I'm finally getting settled in the smaller room. Why? Because Conrad's crib is now in it. As long as nobody was contesting my claim on that territory, I could live with it being so packed full of books and papers I didn't have time to cull that it was impossible actually to work there. I could live with having to flee the house for a cafe to do whatever writing got done.
But now that the room is in danger of becoming the baby's room, I'm putting it in order. Once he consistently sleeps through the night, we'll be moving him in with Gareth, and that study will be mine again. Mine! Bwhahaha!
My best idea so far in this project has been to get rid of the desk altogether. I work in my lap, and have for years. I've been culling books, papers, objects, all ruthlessly.
Conrad is tall enough now to reach over the headboard of his crib to pull books off my bookshelves. And why not? He watches his mommy pulling books off those shelves every day. When he wakes crying in the night, I come in and find that he's surrounded himself with yet another range of books I didn't know he could get at--Gower's Confessio Amantis
seems to be a recurring favorite, who knows why. The other night he was really inconsolable. What did I find in his crib but a biography of Sylvia Plath. "Well, no wonder," I said. "If I were reading that at three in the morning, I'd be inconsolable, too."
He'll be waking soon, needing something or other. Here I am in the living room, working in my lap, waiting for someone else to need me in a room that is sort of my own.