A few thoughts (and a book) for the New Year

Woman reading a novel in watercolor on paper painting by Winslow Homer
The New Novel, Winslow Homer 1877 Watercolor on Paper

Last night I stayed up late reading Gabrielle Zevin’s Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow. I had to request it twice from the library before I actually started it, and when I finally did, had to give it a few goes – mainly, getting past the first chapter – before I was running off into the world and finding myself reluctant to leave, even though it was nearing 3AM.

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The Bear and I

Two months after my friend gave birth to her second child, we met up for lunch at a cafe, on a tree-lined street in Redfern. Normally extremely punctual, she arrived a few minutes late, but this was by design. As she approached the cafe, she saw that her baby was beginning to doze, so she took an extra loop around the block to ensure he made it to the land of Nod. A small investment for what she hoped would be a cry-free lunch.

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Mr. Baby

Parenthood and sleep deprivation
Mr. Baby at 3 weeks.

We have yet to regularly call him by his name. We went with Arthur, with James and Ho as middle names. He can go by Arthur, Artie, James, Jimmy, Artie Jimbo as a friend suggested, or as his maternal grandpa (whom he looks like) sometimes refers to himself, “Ho”. Whichever suits his fancy in the future. But right now, around these parts, he’s “the Baby.” He is who he is. But we’re still trying to figure him out.

We knew life with a newborn would be hard, but of course we didn’t really sit down and consider just how effing hard.  I don’t think anyone can accurately imagine the actual pain of interminable sleep deprivation. All I can say is I understand how sleep torture can be effective. There have been dark days when all I wanted was for someone to come and punch my lights out. Continue reading “Mr. Baby”