Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Today would be okay.

The latent Irish writer in me would be okay having a baby today.

Fourteen years ago, a college friend and I randomly found ourselves in Dublin for Bloomsday. Well, we were aiming for Dublin; we just didn't know it was Bloomsday. We spent a couple days drinking whiskey, visiting church crypts, having picnics in cemeteries in the rain, and sleeping on park benches. (We had hostel beds; I am honestly not sure why there are so many pictures of me sleeping on park benches from that trip...) Waiting for our ferry at DĂșn Laoghaire, we ran into a cute straight-edge punk boy I took a creative writing class with my freshman year at Santa Cruz and stayed up all night talking, because, well, that's the sort of thing that happens when you're 20 and randomly wandering around Europe.

It makes me sad to think about this now; this friend still lives incredibly close, but really, it might as well be on a different planet. Its easy to blame parenthood for driving friends in different directions - her oldest child is now six, and she has at least two more. I know that I will change when the froglet is born; my priorities will shift, I might lose interest in the things I used to find important. But. But I think - I hope - I have a strong enough sense of self to not lose who I am just because I am a parent. My values have been set in place for quite a while now, my politics, what I consider right and wrong, what I consider the kind way to treat my friends. I don't foresee any of these things changing. And if they do, please feel free to call me on it.


  1. We've been friends 30-ish years now, and close as sisters, or casual friends on and off through that time. I think I can say with confidence that the froglet may change you, but you won't change how you approach being a friend. You will most likely be online less. Good Luck - Randi

  2. I was trying to figure out how to phrase my response. Then I scrolled down and saw Randi's response. What she says, I say, except the part about knowing you for 30 some years.....Hugs, Mardie

  3. It's incredibly life-changing to have kids, but it won't change you fundamentally. It knocks you off your stride in so many ways, but it's more enriching than anything else I've done. And if it's a cesarean - that's just a moment in time, and this too shall pass. I remember how much thinking and anticipating I did about the birth, but that was over so fast and then I was in the long, slow process of taking care of an infant, with all the frustration, uncertainty, exhaustion, pain of breastfeeding... It felt like it was going to be a long 18 years - it took a while for the joy to kick in, for me. But it does. (And Operating Instructions is the best book ever on new motherhood.)