Read the rest of my blog on Writing and other things I don't want to discuss with my children at ow.ly/XLVk6
Visit Next Avenue for a piece I really wanted to write but feel a lot of guilt over, as though I'm spilling family secrets.
I’m not sure how old my son was, it’s been two decades now, but we were at the pediatrician’s for a well-baby check with our oldest - then, our only. My husband met us there. At this point of relative calm in our life, although we didn’t see it for that then, he made it to every appointment related to the little tyke; light years different than our busier future. (I remember one school spring carnival during my middle son’s fifth grade year. My husband met up with me in the gym and joined my conversation with a young woman. After she left, he asked who she was. Our son’s teacher.)
But back to the pediatrician with our, let’s say 18-month-old. After the usual height and weight measuring my husband turned to the doctor and said, “He has a set of plastic blocks with Sesame Street characters on one side and numbers on the other.” My husband then launched into a fairly elaborate story about games they’d play with the blocks where my husband would ask for a character and my son would hand the correct block to him. My husband was sure our son recognized the numbers, too. During this now-lengthy description of my son’s capabilities the pediatrician listened carefully and nodded. When my husband finished the doctor paused a long moment and said, “Well, he doesn’t have a lot else on his mind right now. It’s not like he’s trying to keep track of pin numbers, right?”
When I was in college no one loved Wisconsin Badger Football more than me. I had no understanding of what occurred on the field, but that was okay, because I never watched the field. I polkaed in the stands, bashed beach balls over my head and took entire quarters to wander a section over and see who I knew.
An excerpt from Available to Chat
“Look, my Mom talked to me exactly three times about sex and marriage. The first time, I was in fourth grade and Nina Murman told me that boys put their penises in girls’ vaginas. I’m not sure she used the correct anatomical terms. Anyway, I didn’t believe her, so I went home and asked my Mom how babies were made. She handed me a book and I read the first two pages, which were so spectacularly dull I knew immediately Nina must be right.
“The second conversation was at the end of the four-hour drive to college my freshman year. We had just pulled up to my residence hall. I was going to point out a parking spot, when my Mom, sitting in the backseat, said, ‘Olivia, whatever you do, don’t get pregnant.’ That was talk number two.
About marriage, she said, ‘It’s nice to get a three piece ensemble for the dance. Hiring a DJ looks tacky.’”
“Did your family have religious parameters?”
“No, it was the eighties. There was no such thing as Sex in the City, yet.”
Visit the New York Times Motherlode section to read my post about reconciling motherhood and writing a sizzling novel.
Worry less and embrace joy more
Compose fewer to-do lists but more novels
Call my parents more. Facebook chat my sons less
Be more open to possibilities and to the 7-minute workout
Stay home less but read more
Authentically appreciate the moments and my family
And sincerely wish everyone a Happy 2016!
Available to Chat