Today is May 1st. The first day of a new month. The second month of my Here Year. I'm excited to announce that this month I will be examining Presence through the lens of Parenthood. It seems more than fitting to do this since Mother's Day is on the horizon, since May 8 was meant to be my first due date, since my next Happier Hour literary salon will feature a beautiful new book about birth stories. I debated something. Whether my lens should be Motherhood or Parenthood and, clearly, I chose the latter. This project, I believe, applies just as well to men as it does to women; we all struggle, albeit in different ways perhaps, in our attempts to be present in our lives, to be here for ourselves and those we love. That said, much of my writing and thinking this month will center on the only experience I can speak personally about, that of being a mom.
What I know with every bit of my being: Parenthood is the hardest, and most important, thing I've done so far in my life. Each morning, I look at my three girls, my three Rowlets, and along with the abiding exhaustion (familiar?), I feel this profound urge to get it right, to raise them well. In many many ways, having kids has made me more attuned to the world, awake to its inchoate magic and fragility. In other ways, troubling ways, becoming a stretched-thin Mother Slash has made me more scatterbrained and absent than ever. I look forward to exploring this paradox in the weeks to come.
Not long ago, I had the privilege of writing a piece for my friend Rachel Cedar's wonderful 28 Days of Play blog series and I think it was that assignment that really got me thinking about the Presence and Parenthood. A few weeks ago, a book I contributed to along with 9 other writing moms I admire was published by Brain, Child Magazine. Clearly, Parenthood is a topic of great meaning to me and I welcome this more formal opportunity to continue thinking about it.
I'm not sure exactly what this month will bring, what lessons I will learn and thoughts I will have, but my plan simply is to be here - on the blog - and, more importantly, here in my life.
Stay tuned. And reach out to me please if you have any thoughts on parenthood and presence. My hope is that this experiment becomes quite collaborative in nature and I would love to feature some of you, your thinking and writing, here.