Laura I regularly speak with people who have zero children, or one child, or two children. And they tell me they might consider or would like to have three children.
I was going to do one of those year in review things where I wrote about all the good things of And then I remembered: It is a daunting experience.
Elizabeth is a good person. She has a huge heart. She likes Death Cab and Spinal Tap and comic books and reading. But she is 14, and in some ways that explains everything. There are times I feel closer to her than ever … and times I feel so much further away.
One gorgeous day in autumn, I was sitting on the porch, working, and she came outside and sat next to me, and it became clear after a few choice words about tattoos and nose rings and such that she had come out for the sole purpose of starting a fight. There have been other things, trying things, unforeseen things, a punishing year, and one day I came up with this idea.
We tend to grow obsessed with, well, stuff.
What kind of stuff? OK, my mother through the years has had been possessed by countless activities including but not limited to: She recently had coloring pencils shipped from Sweden or Switzerland or some such place.
You can find her work on Facebook. This is just how the family mind works, I guess. I have known all my life about my weakness for growing obsessed by things. I like television too much. I know the only way to avoid free-falling into that television hole is to never start watching in the first place.
I have now seen every show, all seven seasons, 92 episodes. In other words, I have spent roughly four of the last 21 days doing nothing but watching Mad Men. I would rather obsess about something else. Another somehow got to see the show back before it became a national phenomenon and this has turned her into something of a superhero.
But of course, Elizabeth is more consumed by the show than most. All of this reminded me, strangely enough, of the Cleveland Browns. They were my first obsession. You might think this was because I wanted to become a sportswriter, but no,I had no idea about sportswriting, no ambitions to be a writer.
I was happiest dreaming up imaginary plays that might work, strategies that might pay off, preview stories that might come true. Now, of course, I see it: The rest of life was kind of scary.
My parents were scary. All the other kids seemed to me to know something I did not know. They knew who they were. They knew how they fit in. They knew what they wanted to do with their lives. Of course, they did not really know any of that, but they sure seemed to know, and here I was, too small for one sport, too uncoordinated for another, too stupid or lazy or both to excel, too homely to ask out the cheerleader, too nearsighted to give up the glasses, too shy to be the class clown, too unimaginative to play Dungeon and Dragons, too uncool to be first, too uncommitted to think about it all very much.
Ah, but the Cleveland Browns.As a girl whose dad took her to Phantom when she was 13 because it was her favorite thing in the world even though she’d never seen it, I can promise you, Elizabeth WILL remember this night with you.
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