acknowledgment

artist unknown
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16

Nemesia turned 16 last week. It’s a turning point. A defining age.

At sixteen, I had sex for the first time. Strangely, my child is now that same age.

I remember that time of my life as being the most vivid. The most intense. And, perhaps, the most honest.

With the weight and wisdom of age, I feel that I’ve become duller. That my world is duller.

Matteau Ring Maillot // Rosie McGuinness
illustrations by Kelly Anna

At sixteen, I remember feeling the full weight of the world and all of humanity’s shortcomings bearing down on me. But, I also remember joy and pleasure more fully. Some things were still so new. I was still new. I was learning so much—about the world, relationships, love, romance, pain, and heartache.

As a parent, I can look back and remember that time. And I can look at my child—someone I once shared my body with, someone I have known all their life and witnessed nearly every day since—and wonder how they’re experiencing it. And as much as I want to help and guide them through this time, to be there for them, I know that they are coming into their own. And, that because of that our relationship is changing.

I am so curious to watch Nemesia’s life unfold. To get to know them more.

Mothers of daughters are daughters of mothers and have remained so, in circles joined to circles, since time began. They are bound by a shared destiny.

Signe Hammer

the sisterhood

Great Gerwig’s Little Women

I’ve come to realize that growing up, I read and enjoyed a lot of books about sisters. From Little Women to Into the Woods, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants to The Mists of Avalon, The Red Tent to anything by Jane Austen. And, I think, in many ways, it helped inspire and teach me what to aspire to in my relationship not only with my sisters but other women.

And, it’s not because she’s my daughter that I think passing on this information—the experience of and relationship of sisters—is important but because trying to understand and appreciate how interpersonal relationships work is important; and, hopefully, knowing will broaden your world a little and, maybe, even help.

I wonder and worry whether Nemesia has read anything about sisters. And what kind of sister she wants to be and whether any characters inspired her.

mother

Mother and Child // Christian Krohg

I hate that I have to work. (Which is not to say that I hate work. Or that I hate my work.) I hate that it’s not a choice.

I hate that I cannot choose to be wholly with my children. That even when I am with them I may be thinking or worrying about work. (Or, more often than not, exhausted and ill-tempered because I had to stay up late the night before (or, nearly every night) working because the time when everyone else has gone to bed is the only time I am able to work.)

And, I know that I am lucky. In so very many ways. But, I just want to be with my children and relish in this short time we have together. They’re both growing up so fast. This past year—Inara’s first—has been such a blur. I wish I could do it all over again. (But, honestly, I don’t know how I would.)

spring is like a perhaps hand

1. Unknown 2. Unknown

III

Spring is like a perhaps hand
(which comes carefully
out of Nowhere)arranging
a window,into which people look(while
people stare
arranging and changing placing
carefully there a strange
thing and a known thing here)and

changing everything carefully

spring is like a perhaps
Hand in a window 
(carefully to
and fro moving New and
Old things,while
people stare carefully 
moving a perhaps 
fraction of flower here placing
an inch of air there)and

without breaking anything.

—e.e. cummings

small things

artist unknown

Today, like so many days, was a long day.

It began with me waking up late, again, and slowly, again, getting ready. Joseph had been scheduled for minor surgery for his broken clavicle—due to his severe mountain biking accident in which he also broke two ribs and punctured a lung—early that morning and I needed to pick him up from the hospital and drive him home. (Callaway had been the one to leave the house at 5:30 this morning to take Joseph there.)

I left later than I had anticipated but earlier, I learned, then I had needed to so I drive to a Starbucks for some coffee and breakfast. It was in a part of town I had never been before and the design of the building, which is shared with several boutiques, reminded me of ‘downtown’ Rancho Santa Fe in San Diego. (It was odd to come across and experience.) When I drove to the window to pay for my drink I was delighted to learn that the person ahead of me had paid for my drink so I, happily, paid for the person behind’s order too. (Paying it forward is one of my favorite social interactions and this literal gesture is such an easy way to acknowledge and connect with those around us.) From there, I headed to the hospital.

a little

illustration by Enric Huguet

Sometimes, as a mother of a baby during a pandemic, I feel so very alone. And then I, sometimes, remember my baby and I are in this together. When I can remember the latter—and truly be in that moment of clarity—I understand our relationship and our roles a bit better. I feel a little more aware of how awesome and unique our relationship is (and, yet, so universal). I feel a little less tired and a little more energized. A little less lonely. A little less overwhelmed and depressed. 💗