A few days before Frida was born I dragged my very pregnant body to hear Anne Lamott speak and she referenced the quote above. Now, after six weeks spent doing the same four things over and over again in a newborn haze, I realize that it applies as much to parenting as it does to writing.
There are so many metaphors for motherhood and yet so few good ones. Of course, this pushes me to grasp for any analogy that seems to fit during these early days of keeping a helpless yet sentient blob alive and well. Last night Jacob and I were watching Grey Gardens
for the countless time when I realized that having a baby is a lot like what I once understood toxoplasmosis to be: a brain infection that renders the patient completely in love with and at the service of her feline companions. This concept was promptly shattered after some light googling, but maybe I’m the rat
in this situation, rendered docile and starry-eyed by the cat in question.
Here I am writing about the baby when I’m supposed to be sleeping. I am scrolling through photos of the baby on my phone as if she is not napping next to me. I may as well be wearing the shirt of the band to see the band, except in this flawed equation I’d also be changing the band’s diapers and nursing them every two hours.
After enduring my sleep-deprivation fueled observations, Jacob noted that I was essentially calling our child a parasite, which isn’t exactly true (especially if she was the member of an up-and-coming low-fi ensemble). Maybe the baby is more like the bioluminescent bacteria that attach themselves to anglerfish
in the dark, deep ocean.
I can only see as far as my glowing lure allows, but we’re making the trip together.
Like I said, I there’s no good metaphor for this, but I keep trying.