Monday, January 24, 2011


Someone at work has told me a couple of times that people who work part-time do not make work a priority. I think about this often. The remark seems pretty biting, unfounded, upsetting and discouraging.

But recently, I have been thinking deeper.

My aunt and my grandmother died, both within this month. When I heard the news that they were gone, the first thing that came to my mind was not, how much money they had, how much prestige they had, or even how much time they gave to their communities. The first thing that came to my mind on both occasions was: Wow, they raised such amazing people.

My aunt was a fiery woman who knew she always wanted to have 10 kids even though she grew up an only child. She taught me first-hand about "colorful" language, and was shocked to realize that my naive 13-year-old self did not know what the word "gay" meant.

My grandmother commanded the room in an opposite manner: through silence. Yet she was no push-over either, and somehow always seemed to let her opinions be known. She once cut off her grown daughter who had poured herself a second glass of wine.

I thought of them tonight as I was singing lullaby number 15 to G, after I had read her 10 books and given her one back rub (“wit' cream, mama”). It’s hard to imagine either one of them doing that with one of the 16 kids between them. But that certainly didn't affect the people they produced.

They were both mothers first. And although I can’t really say what they were like as mothers, I can look at the people they made and have a pretty good idea that they were pretty great mothers, even if they may have been a little different from me.

I guess I hope at the end of my life, that I won’t be judged by the money I made, the articles I got published or the races I ran, I guess I hope that I will be judged by my greatest product, my greatest gift to the world, my best and hardest work and yes, my priority, my kids. I think and hope that G will best represent me.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Baby Deadline

I have this feeling that I recognize from when I was pregnant with G. As the countdown begins to baby two, I have that feeling that I am about to enter a void, a place where I have no life, no opportunities, little income and limited mobility. To counter that feeling, I am trying to find new projects and opportunities to fit in before I enter that baby space. But I am quickly realizing that my baby deadline is getting close.

Today T and I stopped by Starbucks on our way home from the doc's and sat there for a bit before rushing home to G. I watched another mom with her little girl and envied her a bit cause she was there with her cute little lady who was wearing an awesome embroidered long pink coat and saying funny and astute things like, "Why do I have to be quiet in Starbucks?" The mom looked tired and unamused. It was the end of the day. She had been running around all day with her grl. She was waiting for her husband to come home to have someone to talk to and someone to take on the responsibility of parent. She probably looked a lot like me at the end of my G days.

A mama friend of mine and I spoke today about feeling stuck: unable to move forward in our careers, but also unwilling to risk moving forward for fear that it would compromise the flexibility and comfort of our jobs that make it easy for us to be mamas first.

Why do we have to have more now? What is more? Do we know that "more" is better?

G and I have been a little off these days, between her whines and my hormones. Her "I want dada,"s make me crazy. I wonder if she senses that I am going to have another baby priority soon? I feel like she is moving away from me a bit. Man, that seems like such a dumb thing to say. But maybe we are both bracing ourselves for what is to come. Thinking back, the worst times in my relationship with my Mom came before big, life changes like college and marriage. Maybe that's how moms and daughters do it, even if the daughter can't even say "life change" yet, let alone understand it.

But tomorrow is a new day! It's wide open for G and me and we are going to make the most of it. We are going to seize the day! live in the moment! and not care about baby deadlines, hormones, whines, or the impending void. We are just going to play, and drink hot chocolate and not worry about any of that.