Meet the Crazies

I’d like to think that I come off as a pretty normal, with-it, together type of person. This is something that’s important to me; it’s how I think of myself.

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In short, I hope that I seem like a warm, likable and very normal person from the outside. Those who know me well, of course, know the truth. (read more…)

The Eventual Family

cm057ph-marc-chagall_lovers-above-townA few weeks ago my husband and I took our first family vacation with our daughter Audrey, who had just turned 8 months old, in the Florida Keys. As I crawled into bed the first night, exhausted from an outing earlier that day, I thought, “We are finally beginning to feel like a family.” At 8 months into my daughter’s life this struck me as a very peculiar and uneasy thought.  

The birth of a child is accompanied by so much hope and anticipation that I think we sometimes lose sight of the fact that parenthood is born in the same moment. When my daughter entered the world, my husband and I were immediately thrust into new roles of mommy and daddy. In my head, these roles would effortlessly fit and feel natural because we had planned and wanted this to happen for so long. We wouldn’t be perfect at it, and it would be hard at times, but I was so sure our instincts would kick in and in an instant feel like a bonded unity. But that’s not what happened. (read more…)

A Hairy Situation

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My partner met my parents for the first time this November. The weekend of good-natured getting-to-know you conversations culminated with a night of take-out Chinese food dinner and scouring stacks of my baby photos. As we wrapped up, my dad asked: “You ready?” I nodded.

“Hey,” I said to my partner. “I’ll be back in 15 minutes. I have to go help my dad shave his back.” My partner’s eyes widened. My dad and I headed for the bathroom. (read more…)

Sorry, Baby, I Missed the Memo!

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One by one, my friends are becoming parents. There is a certain logic to this: we are in our early/mid 30’s, and it follows a few years of annually attending more weddings than I can count on one hand. But there is also something quite shocking to me about how universal it seems, like they are all reacting to cues given from off-stage that I cannot hear.

How are they all so coordinated, did I miss the memo? Maybe there was a letter that I should have received on my 30th birthday telling me that I should be preparing for parenthood with a sequence of events: wedding, home, stopping birth control, followed by labor and then 2am feedings. I imagine this memo must have hit a practical tone, with enough inspiration that everyone reading it saw a realistic, but exciting possibility and was eager to start down this prescribed path.

(read more…)

What are you afraid of?

Giant red eel-like sea serpent on antiquarian maritime map, extendedThe wildest thing I ever did to impress someone was jump out of an airplane.

It was terrifying. I am not, by nature, an adventurous person. But I was dating someone (who I later married) who got deep pleasure and satisfaction from giving himself a rush of adrenaline, and skydiving was a hobby of his — along with watching scary movies, snowboarding in parks and backcountry, and other things designed to induce the sensation of jolting your heart into your stomach.

I’ve spent over ten years not understanding this rather significant part of my husband’s personality. To me, the activities he finds exciting and thrilling are all things to be avoided: they scare, upset, and disturb. But a recent episode of Hidden Brain about the science of fear finally explained some of the reasoning behind it. (read more…)