Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Read this lovely brokenhearted reflection about being a new parent.

It's weird. I am very happy. Right now, I am blissfully happily married, breathless with happiness about my work, happy as a mom, happy with where I live, pretty happy.

And I know a lot of brand new parents, and I often have a chance to talk about what Ian's infancy was like.

During Ian's infancy, I was not happy. Not happily married. Not happy where I lived. Having zero fun, which was hardly surprising, but thinking that might be a permanent state of affairs. And - this made me feel most hopeless - having lost any scrap of joy in my work. Exhausted, about to capsize on a wave of bad chemicals, desparately in love with my kid. Just overcome. You know, the usual.

And I wonder why I can't sugarcoat that. Not even a little. I cannot bring myself to tell little white lies about that first year; I'm not even tempted. Am I just mean? Selfish? It's not to make myself look good - in these stories, I am not a hero, and not a helpless victim either.

Do I just love a good story that much?

Friday, July 18, 2008

And all I can say is: Exactly.

I complain a lot, on both my blogs, especially about being a parent. I tell stories about horrifying behavior (like the underpant drill team incident) and moan about having to adjust my internal pace to that of the Dead Worm Patrol. Whine whine whine.

Antonia thinks she does too. One never minds when Antonia complains on her blog Whoopee, since it's always snortingly funny and creative, and accompanied by photos of her daughter in huge costume hornrim glasses or Billybob teeth.

But some people must mind, because Antionia has written a response to a reader whom she has frightened - "Poor em.s read my post about Blogher that bemoans how boring and tedious it is to be a parent. Em.s is 14 weeks pregnant, out of the first trimester and ready to get excited about the most wonderful journey life has to offer, and I come along and tell her it's going to be AWFUL." So she says this:
...Because I have Esme, I can roll down grassy banks in parks without feeling silly. Because I have Esme, I can walk through London making monster noises. (One day last month I inadvertently made a monster noise at respected no-neck media personality Sandi Toksvig, and you can't put a price on that.) Because I have Esme, strangers smile and start conversations with us, strangers who would normally walk by with grumpy faces.

I can't put into words how good the good times are - I can't do them justice - and I don't feel the need to write about them here. I just enjoy them. [...]
And all I can say is:

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

greetings from the cincinnati zoo

the sort of bird that rides on rhinos

the sort of bird that looks like a drag queen

the sort of lion that looks like a display at FAO Schwartz
(alternately, Aslan's standin)

what we've been doing

enjoying treats

hangin' in the great outdoors