This has been a big week for me and for my family. But before I begin my list of five, let me just say that I am grateful to all of you who enjoy this blog and the podcast, and when you write to me about things you enjoyed, things you didn’t, send me information you think I need, or introduce me to a new reader or listener – it makes me happy and fulfilled. This was always meant to be a conversation between us, even when I record my podcast without a guest. Today however I have a guest I am uncommonly excited to chat with.
Here are my 5 things that made my life better this week.
1) Baby Simon. My son and his wife welcomed a son Monday night. A new whole person! His name is Simon. He is 20 inches long. He is darling. It is a thing so different from what I expected to see my first baby, my Exhibit A™ holding his baby. Zounds! It is strange and wonderful and a total surprise (though I had 40 weeks to prepare for this vision).
2) Baby Simon is staying in the hospital this week to ensure his lungs are working at full capacity. We have all been pretty stressed about it, but I need to say how fully I’ve seen my son grow into his role as father: loving, worried, getting all the information he could from the doctors, and being there for his wife and us all. My daughter in law has a child from an earlier marriage, so she already had motherhood down, but my Exhibit has overnight become a different man. I regret that it was the worst fears that changed him, but I believe the joy he’ll have when they can take the baby home will outweigh the fears they have now. (And though he is an extremely talented writer/director/performer, if he wants to go to medical school, I wouldn’t be disappointed.)
3) My family has come together in a new way too. My other exhibits have been fully engaged and helpful, my brothers and their wives have called their doctor friends to get more information to reassure us. I am so grateful to them.
4) My daughter in law has been a rock. Though Simon rearranged his mother’s abdomen, she has been a great sport and a great mother to her 3 day old son. (Simon was born on May 6, along with Archie Mountbatten-Windsor and Amy Schumer’s son.)
5) The book I’ve read this week in between everything else, Maybe You Should Talk To Someone, is like talking with a smart, compassionate friend. It’s been helpful to me. I recommend it highly, especially to anyone who wonders if she or he is stuck in patterns that are not helpful in the long run. And I am thrilled to welcome Lori Gottlieb, its author to our show today.
Lori’s five things:
1) Emotional generosity
2) Broken-in sneakers
3) Meandering conversations
4) A specific cartoon in the New Yorker (listen to the podcast)
5) Unexpected hugs from my teenager