Sunday, August 29, 2010


dear miles.

you are two months old this week. the day crept up on me, a little. while we still have things in the fridge that are older than you, it seems impossible that two short months ago, you didn't really exist. you were some weird alien i was kind of tired of carrying around in my abdomen.

you are letting loose with more smiles and coos every day. that's why they call this part the beginning of the "reward period," i guess. three a.m. is still hard, but when you wake up for the day at seven with a face--my god, that face--a face that's balm for a sore heart, that's magic.

you're not sleeping so well in the morning, by the way. from about three thirty until seven, you're up a lot. frequently. like, i'm starting to look kind of old. and you're not napping quite as much as i'd like during the day. i've probably read too many books; some say i should schedule you, some not. some say you should be sleeping 15-16 hours instead of the 13-14 you're getting. some say i should let you sleep during the day; some say i should rouse you after 90 minutes. i just heard friends mention their laid back newborn, and i thought: you are pretty laid back. actually, you almost never fuss seriously since i started putting you down earlier. maybe i should be treating you like the laid back guy you are, and quit it with the books and the strategies. two months, honestly. i can turn anything into a double-dare challenge.

listen, you. i'm bowled over with love for you, sometimes. and sometimes, i'm just quietly competent, and loving it, and loving you. this is a good job. momming. i can't promise i'll always love it, but right now, it beats the pants off a lot of other jobs. i like you, kid. i like being yours.

sweethead. your head is my drug of choice, by the way. you're a necco wafer. you're a cloud of silk. you're an orange leather handbag. you're the shade of a good tree. you should see you sleeping, kid. you're a sweet apricot angel. with you by my side, i can definitely make it till october.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


happy birthday to me.

just write something, already. jeez. you'd think it was a dissertation.

sometimes i feel like there's nothing to write down except all of it--like the borges map of the world as big as the world, that that's the only map of this that will make sense. maybe i need bullet points. maybe that would relieve the onus.

item: the boy laughed for the first time tonight, not counting the gurgles-while-smiling and the one time you laughed in your sleep. the monkey and i jumped out of our pants in glee. he smiles at us, especially him, all the time now. he is a smile factory. he smiles like he is adding to the GDP with every grin, and for all i know, he is. he does have some powerful mojo, after all.

the anxiety is less. i still have to remind myself to relax, but ease is returning. i enjoy him. i enjoy this. i enjoy the motherhood, even the staying home part, most of it. those of us who do not excel at living in the present moment, who--mindfulness training aside--are prone to obsessively mine the past or rehearse the future, i would like to suggest babies to this group as a placing influence. i hold him, and he's tiny (but so much bigger!), and i enjoy it, and i'm right there.

sometimes i want very badly to spend a whole day doing whatever, outside the apartment, with no concern for what will explode and leak out of my boobs. it's going to be awhile before that happens.

i navigated a professional conference, wrote and presented a well received paper. this bodes well. maybe this baby is a kick in the pants, and i'll write like i mean it. (no promises, blog.)

my college roommate was here for a long weekend (it's been so long that i can't remember her code name). having K come was the best idea ever. i don't think i would have allowed anyone else to; i still feel weird shame about the mess and how boring my days must be to other people. i should have known that not only would she grin and bear it, but that she would really not care; of all my friends, she's the one who would read on the couch and eat take out all day and count herself happy. she gets it. and she gets me. i had entertainment and fellowship for five days, which sort of turned the light on everything. i need to get out more, and it will feel good. people will feel good. and she came right as things started to feel possible. i can go to lunch with him, or to a shopping mall, and nothing bad will happen.

i don't know what i thought would happen. uncontrollable screaming? public shaming? that i might lose my marbles and weep if my baby had a meltdown? august is much more capable than july.

and it's my birthday. not much is happening, and in truth, this is the first year in a long time that i would actually have liked some to-do. i would like to be celebrated for the immense undertaking that's shelving the rest of my life right now (email from the madrina today: "thank you for having progeny. don't even think about writing your dissertation."). i know that is actually happening--i get lots of good words from folks. it just turned out that the monkey didn't remember to ask for the night off, and my parents left on vacation today, and the best one sent a loving and generous gift over email but didn't have time to call. not that i've done a good job of calling anybody lately. a lot of things escape me. this is still true: a day is 1.5 tasks, max. i wish i could just clean everything already. it's a terrible irony to be particularly unable to clean your home while you spend an unprecedented amount of time stuck in it.

but! did i mention the smiling? and the feel of the small back under my palm. he's my baby. most everything feels right with the world.

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