Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Do You Remember?

While filling up Max's water bottle this morning (because Heaven forbid we go without a water bottle these days), I asked him if we wanted ice in it this time, as he told me yesterday that he would like that. He said yes, and then asked me, "How do you remember so much?"

Oh, my child, how do I not remember is the real question.

I am a master at swimming in the details. I am to do lists on paper and in the task bar of my online calendar, organized by date or the general "some day." I am iPhone reminders. I am emails to myself with subject lines like "dry cleaning" and "tissues" and "glucose tabs" and "bus note." I am writing on my hand when it's ultra important and likely to be forgotten. I am remembering the thing many haven't even thought about yet.

It's not about being a mom, or even an adult, it's simply who I am. And while I admit that at times, the details threaten to drown me, most of the time, they keep me happy, safely floating along the surface.

"I remember," I told him, "because you said it'll make you super duper happy to have totally freezing water after recess, and I want to help make you super duper happy if I can. I can't get you everything you might ask for in life, but I can get you some ice cubes." And he smiled and thanked me, and asked for sliced cups of peaches for snack some time, and so I went to the store and got those too.

Ice cubes, and sliced peaches, and kipah clips, and a dessert for a party, and a present for the baby shower, and signing up for fall conferences, and the work project you didn't even ask me for yet, and staying up til you get home, just to spend a few moments together. These are the things I remember.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Open the Tab

I don't even keep the blogger.com tab open anymore. A couple of years ago, it was open all the time. Gmail, Feedly, Facebook, Twitter, Google Calendar, Blogger. Always there, prompting me to write, to look at the stats, to save a draft, to jog my mind. I closed it at some point, probably in a moment of overwhelm, and now, I have to push myself to open it again.

I've been busy actually doing things. In the last few weeks of summer, while the house was in its last stages of renovation and the kids got back to school, I squeezed in so much. Hannah and I went to an Idina Menzel concert, and I videotaped her huge smile as the crowd sang "No Day But Today." Marc and I saw a new musical, "Waitress," with music by Sara Bareilles, and I loved it and think it'll be a hit. On Marc's birthday, we attended a documentary called "Raise the Roof" on re-building a Polish wooden synagogue for a museum. I attended a Brandeis alumni event featuring Anita Hill, interviewing Letty Cottin Pobregin, on faith, race and feminism. I'd been so not-busy not-doing things like this for most of the summer, and this feels more like me again. It's good.

And I have been writing. I wrote something for Marc, that maybe he'll be able to use for an upcoming class he's teaching. I got my answers from last year's 10Q project, and have started writing them for this year (and I found the exercise very insightful and highly recommend it). Writing at work too, though for such a select and small group that it's a shame, because the writing is good. I still think in terms of blog posts; Marissa Mayer's two week maternity leave, Anne-Marie Slaughter's husband on what it means to be the lead parent, why this juggle still frustrates me when the school bus is late. 

Do you want to hear about these things? Does my voice add something meaningful to the discourse? I'm not sure. Maybe it's just hard for me to do less, when I did so much in 2013-14 to make Busy Since Birth an established thing, and now I don't write much. I'm not very good with the middle, I'm an all-or-nothing person. Maybe I need to get comfortable with middle. 

So today, I finally opened the tab again. I know it'll feel good to hit publish. Here's to the middle.