Ava and the episode of the snowman

For a while now I have thought about starting this blog. Last week I finally subscribed to wordpress, and have spent the time between now and then thinking about all the things I wanted to write about. I have written these entries mentally over and over.

Today seemed like a good time to begin. So this blog then is going to be about beginnings, amongst other things.

Since having Ava I’ve thought a lot about writing, and in particular how the idea of being a writer used to be a way for me to define myself, in relation to the world around me. It has been a long time since I thought of myself as a writer, or of anything so solid and definite, but now I have a new sense of myself as ‘mother’.

Everyday I watch Ava grow and develop, and when I think how quickly these past 9 weeks have passed I want to make sure I don’t miss out on writing it all down – not just the ways Ava grows but the way I change as I get used to being a mother.

So one beginning has sparked others. Add to that – I genuinely miss writing.  For a long time it was the only way I consciously defined myself. And then the terrible year spent in London, doing an awful MA in ‘Creative and Life Writing’, made me feel that I had to get as far away from this definition as possible.

Having Ava has changed everything for me, on every single level. I don’t want to let this kind of  experience go unnoticed and unchartered. I don’t want to write this blog as a ‘writer’, either. I want to be here without too many expectations – without the need to write perfectly crafted sentences that roll into one another in seductive lines, leading nowhere.

What I want to write about is Ava, and how Ava has changed and will change the way I live. I want to write about Ava, but I also want to write about this new world I’m suddenly in.

Last week, during the thickest hours of snow fall, Howard made a snowman for Ava. It had chantennay carrots for eyes and a nose. We took Ava outside and she studied ‘Jonathan’ and the falling snow. I watched her watching, and I thought of what it must be like to see snow without knowing the word snow, or without knowing what weather is or what winter is. I wondered if she’d have the memory of her first snowman lodged so deeply inside her brain that in thirty years she’ll have some kind of Proustian recollection of this small moment in time and feel happy and nostalgic, without knowing why.

Like the episode of the madeleine in ‘In Search of Lost Time’, I felt happy standing there with my new daughter, remembering my own past, my own snowmen, whilst imagining the many ways I get to play a part in creating her past. Two Russian dolls in the snow – My memories will one day be hers.


About Kendal

I'm Kendal Mosley-Chalk. I live in York with my husband and four children.
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