parenthood

If you feel like you’re lost
Think of the backyard you came from
That way you’ll always know
The way back home

There’s a song on Lori McKenna’s new album that I’ve played on repeat for the past week. I have been a fan of Lori McKenna for a long time — one, because she’s an atypical country folk music star (in my opinion). She’s from Massachusetts. And now that I’m a mom, I appreciate her music so much more. I’d love to have a drink with her.

Anyway, “The Way Back Home” is all about your childhood home and how there’s a feeling that’s sparked when you just roll up to your front door. And that line — think of the backyard you came from — is a beautiful image for me.

Because my brother and sister had already moved out of the house for most of my childhood years, I spent a lot of time alone. This meant my home was my stage, my studio, my canvas. And the backyard was the place where I often brought out my First Sony — with the mic or without — and would just play cassette tapes over and over again. The swingset in the yard became my stage and I would sing, choreograph, jump, or just swing endlessly while listening to the Big Chill soundtrack. There are some songs that just immediately bring me back to that place. I remember fall days when we’d rake leaves (I’m sure I didn’t contribute much) — but there would be a giant pile of leaves that my parents would leave right so I could jump off the swings, and into it.

Where W roams — whatever his backyard will be — I hope it can also always leave him with that sense of home and being and wholeness that my backyard left me.

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A couple months ago, I was working from home on a Friday. My mom was here, and I ran down to the mail room to pick up a couple packages. Within ten minutes, W had a hold of one of them and he was mesmerized. A little explorer, looking in and out of the boxes, holding them over his head, putting things in and taking them out.

The box fascination has continued. I try to keep most of his toys in or around boxes for an added layer of curiosity.

Oh, and I love watching him. With a box. In a box. Outside a box. Next to a box.

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S and I grew a lot closer when we had baby W.

Gottman says that the biggest indicator of success when a couple has a new baby in the home is whether or not it’s a shared experience.

Lucky for us, it has always felt, from the day W was born, that we’re in this together. We became teammates and co-parents overnight. At times, it’s so easy and straightforward: I’ll do this, can you do that… a give and take. And there are times when we disagree so strongly on how to parent, or how to do something, that it’s hard to imagine we’ll reach a middle ground. 

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February and March have been big “transition” months for our family… going back to work is the biggest transition, I suppose. We started the nannyshare, took a couple trips, and are adjusting to the new schedule.

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I wrote about courage in November… about how I had been witnessing a lot of it among the people I love and admire. I was wondering what we were all going to do post-election. I was seeing people step up in different ways. I wasn’t sure what my next “courageous venture” might be… I just knew that being a new mom meant I had to be brave every day.

Well, the venture showed up.

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