Everything Happened | vol. 207

Waiting

I am experimenting with putting my usual post-script at the top so you see it. Is this tacky? Sound off in the comments. Jk but I do enjoy reading comments and replies to these emails.

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Last week, I was attempting to work from home, both kids underfoot with a RSV (it’s raging this year), and I started to feel a non-descript crumminess that worried me. I felt lethargic, had no appetite, and every ten minutes or so I’d feel pressure in my pelvis. There is a whole fetus in there, who is likely starting to resent the tight swaddle of muscle it is swiftly outgrowing, but I couldn’t remember if this is what an early contraction felt like. There was a non-descript crumminess that kicked off my labor with Desi, but did it feel like this? I can’t remember anything, especially not things that happened six years ago. Do you think if I remembered what labor felt like that I would do it again on purpose?

People have asked if this pregnancy has gone faster than the others and the answer is yes, absolutely. I went to nearly 41 weeks with my eldest, in August in an apartment without air conditioning. I came home from work and instead of punching my card for my mom shift, I just….idk ate little pinches of cold, pre-shredded cheese over the sink until I had an idea about dinner?? Or maybe Nick and I walked somewhere and got dinner out, why wouldn’t we? Cutie pie child-free urban dwellers that we were. I was not busy then, which was by choice. Now my days evaporate before I can even grab hold of them, make sense of them, like trying to catch a soap bubble.

My brother’s pet hamster, Spookums, prepared for his own death by digging himself a shallow grave in the cedar shavings in his cave, hiding himself from view. If you looked closely, you could differentiate the orange and white fur pressed against the glass from the strata of rank, amber-colored cedar above and below him like a dessert trifle. His death was not a surprise to any of us kids; he had exceeded the typical hamster lifespan by years and looked like Nicodemus from the Secret of NIMH. But I wondered how he knew it was happening. Or if he knew at all.

I am anticipating giving birth and the end of pregnancy and the way you know it is going to end is that….a doctor tells you when it will happen, within a few weeks, based on average human gestation. It still feels impossible to reckon with, that it will really happen, even when you have worried holes in your brain thinking about it for months. I don’t know why in my brain stem it feels more likely that I am going to die rather than continue to live but also have a new, high-needs roommate.

But I still feel like I am preparing for a death. People die in childbirth, maternal mortality is shamefully high in this country, but I do not think I am likely to die in childbirth. Yet I’m still moving my nudes to different folder in my phone than my camera roll. Looking around my filthy minivan and seeing it as it would appear to a family member who has come to help Nick deal with the aftermath of my passing. Double-checking that Nick is named as the beneficiary on my work life insurance policy. Texting something warm and loving to anyone I’m close with so that their last message from me isn’t some bitchy snipe about someone we used to know.

I feel myself burrowing into the piss-acrid cedar shavings, wanting to be removed from public sight until it’s over and I can be the person who will care for all three of my children and live out the rest of my days, which I am hoping will be many. Is it nesting what I’m doing here?

It wasn’t labor last week; probably I was just tired and dehydrated. The fear that it was labor gave me the panicked motivation to see some freelance projects through to the next step and bother to create a memo re: my absence for my day job. Nick installed the infant seat in the car and I sent a manic info dump email to the friends who have agreed to care for our kids while we’re at the hospital. Maybe this sense of near-accomplishment will communicate to my cervix that it’s safe to unclench. I went into labor with Jane hours after Nick emailed the final post-defense edits to his dissertation.

I’ve thought about this baby for a long time; for the first time after my son was born and I knew I could never do it again, then again when my daughter was born and I felt grief that she was the last baby, then the neurotic years I spent fixated on whether more babies would ruin my life, then when I let go of the idea of having more because it was imprudent, chaotic, and because my husband and I didn’t agree on it anyway, and why have more when the two you have are so delicious. And finally the nights after the surprise positive pregnancy test when I lay awake speculating how badly had we fucked up here, exactly. And now, every day as I attempt to accept that what will become one of my main obsessions of life is yet unknown to me, unnamed, waiting to join the nest, any day now…

yr mate,
Evie
###

Everything Happened | vol. 206

So much room for activities

I pulled my kid out of soccer so I could keep going to the gym. There was a gnarled mess of other reasons that all sent me into a whirling gyre of future-panic, my brain’s preferred strain of anxiety, but it was losing access to my twice-weekly boot camp class that pushed me over the edge.

A different type of person might have given it up, just for a season, and here I mean the literal climate phenomenon caused by axial tilt, not the way momfluencers use “season” to mean “phase of life.” But I have given up so much already, to motherhood, sure, and willingly!, but also to this dulled, strangled version of life we’ve been living for the last year and a half.

And it’s not as though I am depriving my kid of his life’s great passion. I mean, he calls it “soccer ball game.”

My irl friends know that part of my parenting brand (ha gag sorry) is not doing activities, extra curriculars, whatever you want to call them. My kids are little. I can get away with this. I guess there was technically the time right after Jane was born that my mother-in-law gifted us tumbling classes for Desi so that he wouldn’t feel shunted aside by the new baby, and he clearly took to the structured play element super well:

A post shared by @eviemetal

Aside from that, it’s been six blissful years of not being on my kids’ schedule, unless you include the doctor appointments (teeth, rest of body), daycare, the early mornings, the interrupted nights…..ha ha ha ha ha.

Then this summer, I started comparing my kid’s life to my own. At age six, I started taking piano lessons in my neighborhood from a woman with penciled-on silent film eyebrows and a cloud of terrifying dachshunds that pursued me, barking, until she swept them with her stockinged feet into the kitchen and shut the door.

I wanted this for my son as well, apparently, so we let him choose guitar or piano and he chose guitar. His lessons would start a few weeks after his sixth birthday. I was excited for him and pleased with myself. Well well well. Aren’t I a mom. Music lessons. Some real childhood shit.

So there’s one activity. Seal broken. Then I started seeing signs around town for youth soccer and felt a bolt of inspiration. My kid was coming home from camp, outdoor day camp in the suffocating mid-Atlantic heat, still zooted to hell, climbing the walls of our house, fighting bedtime. He was a dense, limitless core of energy, like an amulet that good guys are trying to keep from bad guys in a Marvel movie.

Youth soccer felt like a protective spell I could cast over the whole family. I signed him up, sourced free cleats and shin guards from friends, and waited for fall. Again, here I was compromising my own personal ethic of not doing things, but I was so pleased. I knew he’d be good at soccer and he needed the confidence boost since learning to read was torture and he’d had some friend dust-ups at camp. And maybe he would sleep.

Nick, who, for what it’s worth is always more of a participator than I am, was polite in his disapproval. “Seems like so much stuff.”

How….dare…he??

Summer turned to fall and I got the first email from the coach. Practice would be two days a week, then games would start up. Hahaha what the fuck. By now I had been forced back into my physical workplace and Nick was back in the classroom teaching face to face for the first time since spring semester 2020. Desi was in school five days a week again. We were having to get ourselves places, “all of a sudden,” and how do I put this undramatically… it felt like a creeping, shapeless asphyxiation. A gas leak.

Underpinning all of this is the fact that I’m real fuckin’ pregnant, due this fall, carrying out my final weeks as an unsteady and breathless person “only” responsible for two minor children. Since I am not creative enough to imagine all the richness this third child will bring to our lives, I am stuck with seeing their impending presence as a deletion instead. Less time, less energy, less freedom. Less money! Less boot camp at the Y. We’d already bought the guitar. Soccer ball game had to go.

I felt like scum for taking this away from him, this thing we’d hardly given him at all. I’d hyped him up for it all summer so he would feel invested. But as quickly as I made the decision to bail, I felt the narcotic flood of relief that is cancelling plans. “Cancelling plans is like heroin,” John Mulaney says. And getting out of kid responsibilities is the purest shit you can find. He has never once asked about soccer not happening. It was really just my thing all along.

We were a zero activities family. Now we’re a one activity family. Five people and their raucous inner lives all under one roof? Plus a cat who kills baby mice right in front of us to our horror? It’s actually a lot of activities.

Maybe this winter we’ll get a beater second car and Desi will get his shot at soccer in the spring. I can scoop up some camp chairs and we can do the whole sidelines thing with my new friend on my tit and everything.

Last week, Desi wrote a song with his guitar teacher, Mr. Bill, called “Cool Snacks and Cool Sounds.” I asked him to play it for me and he said no. But offered me this crumb: “it’s a rock and roll song.”

yr mate,
Evie
###

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Everything Happened | vol. 205

Three weeks without kids


That I am wearing an underwire bra and sitting in an office, a real office, is actually very ordinary. I have spent years sitting in offices like these, pistoning my knees up and down, trying to look busy, growing imperceptibly older. There is a bathroom adjacent to my office and the toilet in the accessible stall has been on an angry, continuous flush since yesterday. The office admin put in a maintenance request but she has lost favor with the maintenance guys due to: they do not like her. So the toilet continues to scream in agony. My officemates are tortured by the sound. I think numbly about the rainless places in the world, women carrying water on their heads for hours. I think about my mother and her four siblings sharing one tub of bathwater, alternating each week who gets the first bath, the cleanest bath. I think about thousands of miles of lead plumbing delivering poisoned water to children.

These thoughts crawl with calm urgency like a chyron, replaced by new thoughts and purged from my head. But the sound of the toilet doesn’t really bother me. If I were at home, a plumbing problem would be my responsibility. The fact that it isn’t my responsibility feels almost good, like hearing a child scream on an airplane but it’s not your child.

I go to work, and it’s fine. But then the next day I wake up and remember I have to get dressed and do it again, and it seems impossible and huge, like when you wake up the first morning at home with your new baby and realize you have to keep getting up and caring for this baby, what, forever? Ha ha ha ha no way oh shit I’m fucked.

The first week I was away from my kids this summer was to visit friends in Ohio. I got struck with that mid-July horror where you decide summer is FUNCTIONALLY OVER and you start to panic about executing your precious little plans. I barely had time to enjoy the anticipation of my trip before I was already on the plane to go meet the babies my friends had had since I’d been there last.

The relationship I have to my friends’ kids, whose ages range from just born to eight years old, is unlike any other in my life, especially the ones who don’t live near me. In the way that I often feel that my friends are an extension of myself, I catch myself feeling that I possess their children, the way I feel that I possess my own. (I don’t possess either.) I want to scoop them up and chew on their ears. I want to drum on their little butts. To not do this requires extraordinary impulse control, a marshmallow test I cannot believe I am passing. I am a crazed fan who knows everything about them and they barely remember me. Their parents gently remind them.

I would shoot Ronald Reagan to impress them. Of course I would.

I’m gone for six days and it’s too long. I am having the best time but I spend the week there with that queasy feeling like when you’ve been dumped or someone dies and you are able to get distracted from it for tens of minutes before you remember something is missing. Maybe the queasiness is also because at that point in my pregnancy, halfway through, I was still feeling sick if I turned my head too quickly or caught a rogue wave of fast food smells off the street.

I fly home into Baltimore and take Amtrak to DC where my family will be meeting me. I feel like an electric fence, jolting powerfully from anything that brushes against me. I feel proud of the train for being so old yet still moving so fast. I check my checking account balance on my phone and feel proud of it for being so small yet daring to exist, like the kid on the soccer team who is technically too young to play but their mom needed them to be on the same team as their older sibling. Look at them go. They’re trying so hard. The other kids are so big.

I can’t decide if this is pregnancy hormones frying my circuits or I missed a dose of my meds or I just really miss my kids. Emerging from Union Station into the street is like walking into a hot, upholstered mouth but I immediately spot our van and Nick behind the wheel somehow. I am reminded of the time I flew to meet Nick in Portugal and he overslept and I didn’t have a phone so I just waited at Arrivals with my book and eventually, of course, he appeared. Nick is usually where you need him to be.

Our kids are huge, the kind of accelerated growth that happens when you dare to look away from them for longer than a day. Their voices from the backseat are almost indistinguishable to me, sometimes high-pitched, sometimes gravely, always pleading, shrieking, never chill. I would drum on their butts if I could, but they are strapped in like roller coaster riders, so I do the next best thing: I reach back squeeze their soft play-dough-temperature calves until they ask me to stop.

I made them come to DC because the next morning my friend in DC is hosting a birthday party for her son which will involve a man showing up with Sterilite bins containing various exotic reptiles, and I do not intend to miss this. We stay in our other friend’s house for the night, empty because of pre-existing vacation plans. I offer to watch a horror movie with Nick after the kids are down, probably because I feel that things are unbalanced after my week of freedom and his week of solo parenting. Of course, I fall asleep before this can ever happen, which Nick unfortunately knows to expect.

I go on to spend two more weeks separated from my kids, the first for a heavenly kid-free trip to New Mexico with Nick, and the second for a less heavenly week alone in the house while Nick takes the kids to Ohio to visit his terminally ill father. I think I am going to get a bunch of house projects done with my time, but of course, I mostly sleep and it rains every day.

They say that if your kids don’t annoy the shit out of you that you don’t spend enough time with them, and I also believe in the inverse of that, sorta: that if you don’t have the inner flint and steel to muster a spark of joy from parenting that you are probably not spending enough time away from them. Obviously the last eighteen months have fucked the logistics of accomplishing the latter but I’m pretty sure I overdid it. Girlbossed too close to the sun, as they say on TikTok.

At Katie’s house, I get to hold a yellow boa constrictor named Flash on my shoulders, Britney-style, and try not to think about how it feels like if a semi-erect dick was cool to the touch. Some of the adults there are turning down the opportunity to wear the snake and I’m surprised because the last year and a half has been so boring that if Bill, the guy with all the reptiles in Sterilites, asked to put his own dick on my shoulder, I might say yes just to shake things up.

The maintenance staff has finally fixed the toilet at work, or at least, they have disconnected the water and put up a sign begging us not to use it. The minor indignities of butts-in-seats office culture build up all week like a snowfall, but I am struggling to be too mad about it. In a few months, I will go on leave and enjoy complete disengagement from all this silliness and because of that it fails to pierce the surface now. And after that, I guess, I will figure out what the rest of my life looks like. Three kids, sure, but also closing the tab in my mind that has been open for seven or eight years: the tab of access to maternity or family leave being tied to my tenure with any certain employer.

The last time I didn’t have to think about that, I was in my twenties and I wasn’t anyone’s mom. Nick and I had never made a major purchase together. And even when I wasn’t anticipating motherhood, I was supporting Nick through grad school and afraid to take any risks with my ability to provide income. It’s not that I expect to be draped in financial ease—we still have loans and debts and will have, lol, three children to support—but the idea of that one ribbon of freedom is a cause for celebration. I do not know what it will feel like. I basically cannot imagine. I guess I could ask a dude.


Jillian Anthony’s go-to boundary: “I didn’t ask.” (Subscribe to Cruel Summer Book Club here)

Cruel Summer Book Club
This is my go-to boundary
Read more

Emily Gould on the state of the literary Jonathans.
Leon Neyfakh’s Grub Street Diet made me miss living in New York, a place I have never lived.
Everything Claire Carusillo has been writing for new Gawker has been great, but this recent one hits so many of my interests: Mormonism, wasting money on dubiously effective personal care gizmos, preoccupation with dying.

yr mate,
Evie
###


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Everything Happened | vol. 204

I'm Aware I'm a Wolf


I am so tired of talking and thinking about the pandemic, not even the walloping death and misery of it, but the way our routines have shifted and snapped because of it, and yet it feels like it will be a long time before any conversations exist fully separate from it. It’s the smoke on your clothes after a night out. It’s just there.

Desi and I had a joint dentist appointment the other morning and when it was my turn in the chair, the hygienist asked me what grade he was going to enter in the fall. “Wow, so you did kindergarten at home, what was that like?” Her eyeballs popped out at me from behind her face shield.

Desi was there sitting by my shins, swinging his legs, watching whatever YouTube trash she had put on the monitor to occupy him. He was not paying attention to us or maybe he was. Stifling my usual compulsion to entertain, I took a beat and said, just, “You know what? He did great.”

”Good!” she said, and got right back to scraping tartar.

That was…so easy, I thought. Maybe all I’ve ever had to do to get out of tedious conversations is suppress my insatiable appetite as a laugh vampire!!!!!

(She says as she writes her newsletter for attention.)

What was my point. Right. I am watching TV again! This is as pandemic-influenced as everything else, I’m afraid.

I don’t know if it was oversaturation of the home environment or just depression more generally, but after a lifelong love affair with TV, I had a temporary break-up with the medium. During most of the pandemic, I could not bring myself to fire up the tube after the kids were in bed. I would try, watch the first three minutes or so of a few different shows, then give up and do crossword puzzles on my phone in bed until I couldn’t keep my eyes open.

While my child-free or normally hypersocial friends seemed to be ingesting more TV than ever, I was consuming none. Parents of small children have vanishing windows of the day to watch adult media in the first place, and I just couldn’t scrape together the concentration required. When I was sick and fatigued during the beginning of this pregnancy, I was going to bed so early that TV wasn’t even an option.

At night I would go to bed, and Nick would have his laptop out and some kind of streaming content going on the big screen as I kissed him good night, and it was like he had some niche lifestyle I didn’t understand. Like he was from a different culture.

How strange. But now I’m back!! Feels great.

I have been watching crime shows since I was a kid making money ironing my dad’s work shirts in the summer (a nickel a shirt…..LOL mom you robber baron) watching Murder, She Wrote and Magnum, P.I. Some of my coziest memories are of falling asleep on the couch with my mom and waking up as the closing credits of Law & Order started clanging away.

When SVU came out, I remember my dad being too squeamish to sit through the gruesome sex crime stuff and my mom and I chuckling at his softness as the most prurient shit I’ve ever heard in my life was calmly discussed by two detectives on screen.

If you believe in police abolition and prison abolition, as I do, how do you contend with longstanding affection for copaganda television? Great question, don’t know, will get back to you….

I was radicalized by Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson and since then, have not tolerated crime TV the same way I did as a kid. Sometimes it hits the way it used to, sometimes it disgusts me. I’m not saying it’s moral to continue pursuing crime TV for entertainment purposes; it probably isn’t. But I am saying that sometimes when a crime show takes place separate from the American justice system, for example in Europe, I allow myself the bullshit belief that I am slightly less complicit. Like Joan Didion said, “we tell ourselves stories in order to enjoy the streaming content we want to enjoy.”

Anyway, I started realizing that all these shows I’ve been mainlining (Capitani, The Black Spot, The Forest) are starting to run together. And why is there a wolf? So I present to you:

TOWARD A UNIFIED THEORY OF LOUP DES BOIS SHOWS

THE SETTING
We are IN THE WOODS. Or rather, we are in a village somewhere in western Europe and we are nestled in the woods. There are devastating dark bottlebrush conifers snagged with white mist caught by God’s-eye drone shots as we follow a character by car down a winding wooded road. If I had Sondheim literacy, I would probably be able to make enjoyable Into the Woods references throughout this newsletter but unfortunately, I was raised by a different varietal of nerd!

The village is adorable but stifling. Everyone has known each other since école maternelle and everyone’s children went to école maternelle together. All adults have straightforward, Richard Scarry-type jobs that allow for plenty of interaction with fellow townspeople. A police officer. A teacher. A public official. A baker. A pharmacist. A doctor. Everyone lives in a tastefully appointed cottage-y housing no matter their job or marital status. (Unless you are a known drunk or outcast, then you probably live in squalor. But everyone still knows you from école maternelle.)

There is something extra isolated and unusual about the town. A quirk of geography that makes it especially remote. The wi-fi doesn’t work. The bus to the next big town only runs a few times a week. Maybe the town was the site of a gruesome murder years ago that launched it from comfortably unknown to notorious and with a backwards reputation. This only serves to bind the townspeople closer together. The outsiders don’t get it! This crime either went unsolved, haunting everyone, or it was solved incorrectly.

And, for freshman English reasons, there is a wolf. In the woods. Maybe wolves plural. That’s why these are called loup des bois shows (according to me) (Ebert 2021). Can a loup des bois show not have a wolf in it? Technically yes, as long as it’s still Europe and we’re still in the forest. But don’t worry. You might start a series and wonder, hm, no wolves. But there’s probably gonna be a wolf at some point! You’ll get your wolf.

THE PEOPLE
NEW IN TOWN. This person is usually single, and it’s usually a man. They’re new, they got called in to help with whatever crime has happened. Or maybe they just moved there for a fresh start! Maybe they had a wife and she died. It’s also possible that they grew up in the village, left for decades, and have now returned. They do things a little differently! They are rubbing everyone the wrong way. Townspeople not sure whether to trust! This person is probably a cop which means that after decades away, they are now going around accusing people from their past of unsavory things. And that’s just not how it’s done around here! Not when you’ve known someone since école maternelle.

LADY COP. She’s a cop. She’s a woman. She probably has children. It’s hard to be a mom. She has a blind spot for her fellow townsfolk because violent crime is so unusual here and, again, she went to école maternelle with these people!!

NICE HUSBAND
Clean cut, charming husband of lady cop. Unfortunately, it is not possible for a woman cop in a loup des bois show to have a good husband. He is either doing fraud or being a sex pest. If he’s a sex pest, it’s probably teenagers. He’s either being a creep online or having encounters RIGHT UNDER THE NOSE OF HIS COP WIFE. As though anything gets missed in this village! What a fool he is making of her. He probably didn’t do the big crime but for a few episodes you wonder.

BAD HUSBAND
Rough-necked alcoholic dad. Negligent parent. Is taken in for questioning at least once. He’s so easy to frame! Probably didn’t do the big crime, but you do wonder!!

THE PARIAH. Off-grid weirdo with a criminal past and a substance problem. Things have always been hard for this guy, even way back in école maternelle. He probably has guns and animals strung up around his shack. Again, he probably didn’t do the big crime. He also probably didn’t do the first thing that people thought he did that pushed him into the woods to begin with. IS IT THE VILLAGERS WHO ARE THE REAL LOUPS DES BOIS?!! This guy might be a sex pest but probably not. He just wants people to go away! Is that so hard to understand!

THE TEENS
The teens are in over their head. It’s sex. It’s drugs. It’s Online. The teens have a secret. The teens can’t explain it to you! The bad teens are really good and the good teens know more than they let on. They let it go too far. Their friend is dead. Their classmate is dead. Their sister is dead. How do we reach these teens? Could teens struggle even here in our wooded village?!! Who killed this teen? Can we find this other teen? Someone knows something. Someone help the teens!!!!!

THE ENDING
They solve the new crime, just in time. They probably solve the old crime. Someone is finally going to get out of this village for good. Someone else has decided to stop pretending. Some reputations are rehabbed. Some well-regarded creeps are disgraced. No one can believe it. The teens can believe it. The teens are so unbelievably stoic. Wolves happened.

FIN

yr mate,
Evie
###
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Everything Happened | vol. 203

Going for the gold

I wrote an essay for Romper about my son’s picky eating that came out last week. (Read it here, fwd to a friend to save a life!) For so long, I didn’t use the p-word for fear that speaking it aloud would make it so. Pickiness was beyond venial to me. Might my son become an addict? Sure, maybe! Can’t outfox the genes! Might he vote GOP? Why not. Alex P. Keaton effect. But he was not going to be picky just as he was not going to be the kind of person who leaves a Starbucks empty on the towel shelf at Target.

Ha ha ha.

I am no longer embarrassed that one of my children is picky. I am embarrassed that it took me thirtysome years to have empathy for picky eaters of all ages. I don’t mention it much because I don’t want to give more oxygen to any of these attitudes than is already out there but I used to be a real dick about parenting! Back when I was a perfect parent, which is to say, before I had any children!! I remember when I was 18 working at a full-service car wash, vacuuming crushed Teddy Grahams out people’s disaster breeder minivans and wondering where it all went wrong for them.

I now own a disaster breeder minivan and it is a point of great pride for me. The seats fold all the way down flat! I am Alexander. No worlds left to conquer.

Anyway, I was nervous to put the piece out there because as much as I don’t hesitate to put my kids’ business out there on THIS HERE newsletter platform and on Twitter, which in my sweet simple mind is my personal property, haha, unleashing it into indelible internet memory felt more complicated! In winter 2020, I wrote about my experience hiring a sleep consultant for the same spirited child. I felt weird about that too but we were broke and needed a dishwasher and I was paid nearly the exact amount at which our Bosch compact dishwasher retails, the only dishwasher that would fit within our narrow midcentury kitchen cabinetry. We love her. I hope Desi understands someday!

My other hesitation is that I know there is a prevailing cultural belief that it is on parents as individuals (let’s be real, moms) to take on labor to optimize our children (read Edan Lepucki on this plz). I can’t express to you the tremendous high I felt when I finally unfollowed the extremely benign “kidseatincolor” account last year. I guess I assumed that people who are still following a bunch of kid nutrition accounts trying to Charlie-Day-red-string-meme together a better eating life for their kid would be mad. How dare I opt out???

The person that I am imagining here, the hater, is clearly just a mirage of my former self. The feedback I got was just lovely and I appreciate it so much. Thank you for reading and sharing.
***
Five summers ago, I was watching the Rio games from a hotel room. Just absolutely zooted on the freedom and glamour of being in….Toronto, Ontario. Lol ok probably it was the bitter room coffee I was downing and that I had recently weaned my baby, and that baby was a whole international border away from me and I had slept that morning until I naturally opened my eyes.

The first six months of Desi’s life were easily the hardest thing I’ve ever done and on the other side of that experience, I was cranked on my own power. I would think things like, “I have a baby and a Master’s degree and you can’t tell me what to do” in work meetings where people were very much in a position to tell me what to do. Then I would go home early for no reason. You couldn’t tell me shit. It was weird! I still don’t care about work (oops) but I very much feel my limitations all the time. For a few months in 2016, everything felt possible and nothing at all mattered.

Anyway, I was in this head space when I was watching the Rio games in a robe and decided it was not impossible for me, then 30, to become an Olympian. If I picked a sport that was new or unpopular among my countrypersons maybe, I could commit to intensive training and qualify for the 2020 USA Women’s….I don’t know, Archery Team. Shooting of some type? I wouldn’t medal, please be serious. But I would be there! I can’t overstate how serious I was about this for about 90 minutes.

I will not be representing Team USA in Tokyo this year, which you might have seen coming! I remembered my brief but intense Olympic dream this morning as I was driving home from the gym, feeling more strong and athletic than I have in years despite being all veiny and pregnant. “Making it to the gym frequently and getting enough sleep is my Olympics” is a thought I had earnestly from my disaster breeder minivan.

I have recently come under the delusion that I am going to “get something done” before I 3D print this next baby and then surrender the following year to survival. Josie Duffy Rice introduced me to the Most Dangerous Writing App on Twitter, an app that deletes your progress if you do not make a keystroke for 5 seconds. Maybe a draft of something will have to come from these short bursts of adrenaline and terror if it is to ever happen. You know, like an Olympian.

yr mate,
Evie
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