Cutting Back the Overgrowth
Somehow, the world seems to have chugged along without incident in the year and a half since I last updated this blog. This isn’t the first blog I’ve let go to seed–the world is also managing in the absence of my pseudonymous commentary on the Pittsburgh Steelers–and I suspect that the internet is littered with abandoned blogs, relics of a time when their authors tended them carefully, the dates on their last posts marking a moment just before some momentous change in their authors’ lives. For me, that momentous change was the birth of a daughter, Maria Antonia, in March of last year. The sixteen months since then have been a time of enormous growth, joy, fear, grief, exhaustion, hunger, anguish, joy, growth, and joy. It’s a cliché, but it’s true: nothing prepares you for parenthood and the intensity of the feelings it brings. Add to it the death by cancer of our beloved dog Archie, whom we acquired the summer we married ten years ago, and the news that my book of poems won a prize and will be published, and you have an eventful year.
Maria is a charmer and a cut-up. Last night, in an attempt to forestall bedtime, as I held her in my arms and rocked her, she: identified several of my body parts; put her finger in my nose; begged repeatedly for kisses from her both of parents; discussed at length the occupants of the room, including her parents, her stuffed fox Puppy, and our dog Willow; tossed Puppy to the floor and then exclaimed “Oh no Puppy!”; and raised her hands above her head said “Hooray, Daddy!” Sonia and I struggled, often unsuccessfully, not to laugh. But eventually she slept, and then we did, because 5:30 comes early, and Maria wakes then and asks to be lifted and read to and fed a banana. And then there is work and writing and nap time and cooking and cleaning and calling the mortgage company and balancing the budget and adding air to your tires. And there is not blogging–not much, anyway.