That’s my baby sister, Hilary – we are going to attend the blessing of her daughter, Hannah, this weekend. A friend told me something recently that I was astonished I didn’t already know: Hannah means Grace in Hebrew. How extraordinary that we were drawn to the same idea in naming our daughters. It is so powerful to me that my sister and I both have daughters. It has been such a joy to watch her come into her own as a mother; she’s (obviously) such a natural and her little girl is just delicious. My children are both wildly in love with Hannah (see below). This weekend will be terrific fun. I’m also very impressed by Hilary’s delivery of Hannah in a birthing center in Delaware, and her return home with an hours-old newborn. I really do think it says something about our mother that both her daughters chose to have drug-free childbirths. It tells me a lot about the role model she was; clearly we both picked up great confidence in our own strength, physical and otherwise. I am deeply indebted to this example, and think on a daily basis about how to replicate it for my own daughter. I want to raise a girl who feels powerful, brave, comfortable with her place in the world. I want Gracie to be unwilling to settle for grey but to seek out a life of color, challenge, excitement, contribution.

Instantaneous blossoming

“We have some happy days and some unhappy days, some great loves and barren spaces. We have this life, this instantaneous blossoming. Will I ever learn not to choose among its moments, will I ever learn to walk both its hollow and hilly lands?”
– Ellen Gilchrist, Starcarbon

A rainy Saturday … Matt is playing in the men’s doubles in between the showers and I’m here with G&W. Wondering if anyone thinks the picture at right looks like either of them?
Grey’s Anatomy season premiere was even more self-consciously “deep” than usual. But did get me thinking about McDreamy’s comments re: those few moments where in a single instant your whole life changes. Interesting to ponder.
Mostly today I’ve been thinking about the fine line between pleasantly multifaceted and flat-out schizophrenic. Wondering if I’ve crossed it of late. Two examples:
This morning I was in the car a bunch by myself. My music assortment was: 1. Kiss 108 top 40 … love this stuff. Should I be concerned that my four year old says, routinely, “how come everytime you come around my London, London Bridge wanna go down?” 2. Early Madonna – really nothing better than Like a Prayer (more on what that reminds me of in another column – for Proust if may have been the madeleine, for me it’s songs) 3. Faith Hill (I would go so far as to call her my lesbian crush) 4. Britney Spears’ greatest hits (yes, this is an actual CD, and sort of tragic because it reminds one of how head-spinningly fast her descent into mediocrity happened) 5. a Target brand CD of 70s singer-songwriters 6. kd lang (adore her cover of Joni Mitchell’s Case of You) … no two ways about it, driving a Subaru wagon with two carseats while rocking out to Fergie is a little schizo.
Yesterday afternoon, sitting in the sun with Anna and Margo, I dug through my bag trying to find something. This whole big-and-unstructured bag thing is definitively bad for me. In addition to my standard Treo/phone/wallet/lip balm luggage, there was a pink grosgrain bow of Gracie’s, an Economist, a tear sheet from Vogue with some shoes I like, and a corkscrew.

Damn – some kind of mojo I’ve got going this week. I had breakfast this morning with someone to talk about private schools and he tried to recruit me to work for his company. Monday I met with a headhunter and she tried to recruit me both for the job and then to join her search firm. Not sure what’s going on here, and it’s ironic because I’m exhausted and feel and look like crap. It’s going to take a really fabulous offer to get me away from BCG though – working in my Juicys on the third floor of my house is pretty great.
Not a lot else to say today. Here’s an oldie but goodie of Gracie, the picture that spawned GBP, Gracie Big Pants. It makes me so nostalgic! Read an interesting piece by Lauren Slater yesterday; I do like her a lot, though sometimes she’s overly cynical. I can relate to the whole mother-as-part-of-rather-than-whole-identity schtick, though. As much as I still feel like I am ME first, and a mother second, you just can’t escape the emotions of it (nor anticipate them beforehand). I’ll close with this from her article: “…two mothers, knowing without words how hard and fierce and fabulous mothering can be, understanding the inherent losses of it …” ahhhhh … the leaves turn, the children grow up, and we soldier on. I think my midlife crisis at 32 is in full bloom.

And finally a plug for my favorite website, tabblo – check out some current family pictures.

Catherine Newman, my idol. Her past two columns have been so right-on I feel like I’m talking to myself (or to Jess) when I read them.
Read this week’s here and last week’s here.
Seriously, if I could sum up right now, it’s all about the happy-sad season and wrestling with restlessness. This time of year, with its re-beginnings, enforced structure, newly urgent rhythms, and the simultaneously lovely and bittersweet onset of fall really gets to me. I adore the fall; the leaves, the crispness, sweaters, etc, but I hate the very visceral sense of time passing. And the death of summer. Gracie will be four next month. I try to remember back to four years ago, to those dark days that Matt and I slogged through together, and it’s hard. Elizabeth asked me yesterday when the clocks turned back and I told her how I could always remember exactly when because they turned back the very day I brought my newborn daughter home from the hospital. And I’d like to offer that that scenario isn’t very helpful for warding off the old PPD. Suddenly you have a little creature screaming all day, sucking on your body, you have to take sitz baths, and it’s dark at 4:30. Nice!
Well, this is my morning with Whit, so off I go. Lucky little guy is going shoe shopping today – for him, not me. We need to find some kicks for his big appearance in Gloria and Jim’s wedding in a mere 5 weeks!