Outline by Rachel Cusk


It is what you perhaps would call the storyline – he smiled – and so, he said, for all the virtues of my third wife, I discovered that life with no story was not, in the end, a life that I could live.

There is no off button this week. Tonight three-fifths of us got home latish to find two-thirds of us working on math homework. Dinner: macaroni and cheese. And it took me three tries to spell that right.

But we are finding sweet moments among the debris of modern life. After reading to B and kissing him goodnight tonight, I returned equipped with glass of wine and my own book. I found him reading. This is newish. He’s been ABLE to read for ages, but when I find him CHOOSING to read I still get that thrill.

“How about an extra snuggle?” I asked.

“Oohhhhh…” he said.

“Hey, we can read together,” I said.

“Ooooooo!” he said.

And we did.

“Mommy? ‘Tis better to be safe? Look, look, right here, T-I-S, tis. Tis?” he said

“Tis is short for ‘it is’. It is better to be safe.”


“But not always!” I amended. “It’s not always better to be safe.”

Because what if B grew up with that as his motto, his definition of the good life, his creed? What kind of mom would I be to yoke him with THAT? Though I don’t think there’s much danger of that particular child playing it safe his whole life. The oldest, yes, doubtless, but B, while he still creeps into our bed halfway through each night, is attracted to certain kinds of risk. He especially likes fire and axes.

I should really be going to bed.

But I want to finish this book and I want to watch old TV sitcoms. Just one. I can stop at one, I swear.

And I want to enjoy the cat at the end of the bed. These cats are outside cats who are occasionally invited inside, and, through stellar timing, Smokey has scored a nap on the bed.

And I want a cup of tea.

And I want an hour or two more in this day. It was a good day, busy but good.

Just one more hour?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s