Today, I celebrated my 31st birthday. It was filled with sunshine and family and dancing and napping and champagne and beignets and laughter.
The stuff of a good good good day.
A year ago, I entered my 30s. In my first year as a thirty something, I made three quilts (1, 2, 3) and witnessed the birth of three beautiful lives (1, 2, 3); my “goals” for this decade promptly checked off my list, and then some. I ran a half marathon. I saved a life. I let life go. A decade ago, I would have been self conscious about dancing around in my bathing suit – but 30 has done strange and wonderful things. Birth, death, perspective, perseverance, endurance, resilience. All at the heart of the start of this decade. And so in my bathing suit I dance, celebrating a body and life of 31 years. I can’t wait to see what else is in store.
My suit is by the amazing MiracleSuit. The Basic Pant and the Solid Mojito Top in Black, Size 10. Keep an eye out as I’ll be featuring a number of their styles, talking body confidence and swimwear and self-esteem and girl power and WOMEN ROCK in the coming weeks, and you’ll have a chance to win a suit of your own. I will never wear another brand ever ever. And I have so many thoughts and feelings on the topic of women’s swimwear, so stay tuned!
“This is a rainbow thunderstorm. And I’m not scared of a rainbow thunderstorm. I know it’s just pretend, because in real life I am scared of thunderstorms even though you tell me that thunder isn’t scary. But sometimes I’m afraid even of things that shouldn’t be scary. So in my pretend I make them not scary.”
As though I could be more obsessed with Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Bobby Lopez! It turns out that Kristen and I are both products of the Williams College Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies department. And I loved what she had to say about her approach to writing the songs for Frozen in this recent interview on NPR (P.S. Sunny and Kaki’s favorite song is “We Know Better” – it’s well well worth a listen):
If you have the deluxe CD, you will see my very strong strike across the bow at all princess-myth things in the form of a song called “We Know Better,” which was a song that was cut. But it basically was these two princesses bonding over all of the things that the world expects and thinks of them. [The world thinks] that they’re perfect and sweet and sugar and spice and all things nice, and it was the two of them misbehaving and being fully well-rounded children with all the good and bad and imagination and mischief that I really feel that it’s important for our girls to be allowed to be.
It got cut, but you can tell the whole movie is full of this point of view — as much as [screenwriter and co-director] Jennifer Lee and I could put in it, because we’re both Park Slope moms, we both went through the ’90s, we took the women’s-studies courses, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to push my kids on the swing at the playground if I had written a movie where the girl wore the puffy dress and was saved not by anything active she did, but by being beautiful enough to be kissed by a prince.
We’re off on another adventure! We’ll squeeze in April birthday celebrations with my family on The Cape, Easter egg hunts with James’ family in South Carolina, and some two-steppin’ and marriage nuptials in Austin, TX. We’ll return home to a dozen baby chicks, canine ACL surgery, a visit from Sunny’s FGPs and sweet baby Elias, and (we hope) warmer days and abundant blooms. Wishing you sunny days in the interim!
I have no rules. No blogging skills. Just a desire to put my voice out into the world from my particular lived experience. It started as a way to document my daughter’s life – but has evolved into a creative outlet and sounding board for whatever I am thinking about or inspired by. And that’s what keeps me posting everyday.
I want our home to be a safe space. A haven from all the societal pressures and messages about who my daughters are supposed to be. Under my roof, I want them to be free to be. Just be.
My parents did the best they could to disguise the ears that drew such negative attention. My mother cleverly used those circular, fabric headbands that were huge in the early 90s seven-year old subset to hold down the back tips of my ears. I also rocked bangs as thick as a Bible that my mother would wet and then hold down with Scotch tape to dry in an effort to prevent that pesky colic from peeking its way through the strands. There are next to no photos of me as a child with my hair pulled back. I was always jealous of my little sister’s collection of frilly bows and scrunchies that she used to style her hair in ponytails, braids, half up/half downs, and so on.
The bed came over to America in 1860 via boat (obviously) when your great-great-great-great-great grandparents immigrated here from Germany. In fact, your great-great-great-great grandfather was born in that bed. It has been passed down generation after generation, from first born woman in the family to first born woman. I lay there thinking of each of our grandmothers – Munner, Momo, Grammy and now Momar – and the six generations of first born women who shared that very frame.
This morning, we awoke to a blanket of snow over our daffodils and Adirondack chairs.
It would seem we were a bit premature in the hanging of the hammocks this year. We are feeling very fortunate to be heading south on Friday – first to South Carolina then Austin, TX. Egg hunts are preferable sans wintry mix.
A friend passed along a link to this article, “There is No Right Way to Have a Baby.” And it really struck home. I am always walking a fine line when it comes to maternity, childbirth, and parenthood to reflect honestly and genuinely on my own personal experiences and decisions while being respectful and open to the myriad of other choices and lifestyles that are possible. With the exception of those that don’t vaccinate, I am of a very “live and let live” mindset. Education and empowerment are at the heart of what I wish for my fellow women, mothers, parents, humans.
There is no way to do labor “right” or “wrong,” and it’s damaging to perpetuate a one-size-fits-all approach to having babies. Taking pain meds doesn’t make you a weak or fearful person. It doesn’t make you a bad mother. Taking pain meds just makes you a person who would like to experience somewhat less pain. That’s all.