There were months when several days in a row were spent inside that studio, alone and quiet. Not in any Travis Bickle/Clint Eastwood’s character in Gran Torino sort of way. Just living the way many actors live when they are without a gig, or an audition or a significant other. On more than one occasion while living in LA, I thought, “you know, if I were ever convicted of a white collar crime and sent to one of those minimum security prisons, I could totally survive.” I was kidding, of course, but there was certainly truth in the fact that I had no inherent issue with solitude and that I could be quite content with my own company when that was all there was. And yet, there definitely were bouts of loneliness and moments of questioning…the kind that often accompany extended introspection. But this was of my choosing, I’d remind myself, and silently congratulate myself just a little for managing to (mostly) live life on my own terms.
Having a two year old, and being a Mom who is home with him, means that there are always two little feet following on your heals to accompany you to the kitchen, or to the backyard, or to the bathroom. There are two sticky hands that tug on your dress for attention, grab your cheeks to pull you in for a kiss and swat away your efforts to wipe a dirty mouth with a washcloth. There are two big brown eyes watching your every move for social clues and assurances, and two arms that wrap themselves so easily around you in an expression of unconditional love. With the exception of the one hour on Saturday mornings when Ravi and Daddy go to their music class together, there is no other time during the week that I know I’ll be alone. Yes, it’s true, I will drive to meetings or auditions without the little guy ensconced in the car seat -- but in terms of a consistent, planned break from having to talk, or entertain, or listen? That golden hour is all there is, baby.
I know the amount of time Ravi and I spend together may not be for everyone. But oh my god, do I love it! I will tell him at least once a day, “you are the funniest person I’ve ever met,” and really, really mean it. Ravi loves morning time with his Dad, and he has friends – real friends, independent of his family, people he talks about and looks forward to hanging with who are aged 3 through 75. But still, it’s Mommy…Virtually. All. The. Time. For all you full-time caregivers out there, I know you can relate to the fantasies of a private pee-pee, or a lazy mid-day lunch that flows into an extended Happy Hour, or a full nights sleep without the threat of somebody wanting to come into your bed because they don’t want to sleep alone. There's no private time...kinda like Maximum Security Prison! But those things will come soon enough, and in the meanwhile, I’ll have those memories of solitude to look back on fondly. I’ll also congratulate myself just a little for managing to (mostly) live my life on my own terms, and say thank you, thank you, thank you for the abundance that surrounds me. Happy Mother’s Day to all you Mommies. Straight ahead.