Friday, March 25, 2005

Waiting for Birdy

You know when you're coloring Easter eggs and a (permanent) rainbow of toxic chemicals is slowly soaking through the layer of newspaper that you've piled onto the kitchen counters, and your 2-year old keeps darting past your watchful gaze to dunk her (sensitive, allergic) mitts in various containers of dye and your 5-year old is fixated on painting the already-colored eggs with the glow-in-the dark paint that came with the kit, even though the eggs are still wet, and then drags you, every 2 minutes, with Tie-Dye Girl clinging to you like an aggressive fern, into the bathroom where you must all stand in the dark to view the Glory that is glow-in-the-dark eggs--LIGHT! DARK! LIGHT! DARK!--and the the Girl steps in the cat's water bowl (DARK!) and you realize that most of the glow-in-the-dark paint is actually on the Boy's head (LIGHT!) and just when you start to think your brain is going to actually and truly melt and ooze out of your ear (DARK!), something amazing happens, the universe and reality shift, and you realize--

My God. Look at these children, these beautiful, glowing children.

I am the luckiest bitch on this earth.

That--that moment--is the book "Waiting for Birdy". A thousand times over, and placed on paper by someone who has the ability to put it all--this whole insane beautiful neurotic hopeful glorious gross incredible life--into words better than I ever could. The thing is, I'm pretty sure I would love this book even if my kids weren't about the same age as Ben and Birdy, or even if I didn't have kids at all. And this collection of essays written during (and primarily about) the author's second pregnancy are about so much more than that. Like all the other "mommy blogs" that I love, the essays (most of which are re-edited versions from the Ben & Birdy column in my blogroll) are by a mother and so strongly involve that identity but also go beyond it, out into the stratosphere of being a woman and a writer and a partner and God love you, Catherine, a hypochondriac who might just be able to give me a run for my money. But who also gets that she's the luckiest bitch on this earth. Truly.

Catherine Newman, I am so buying you a drink one of these days. A PINK drink! The rest of you--buy this book. Seriously. I mean it. Or I'm not sharing the glow-in-the-dark paint with you. And oh, you don't want to miss out on that.