Sunday, July 01, 2007

A Placeholder

For the longer post I want to write. Thank you so much for your well wishes, about everything. I have felt so cheered by your comments, here and at wondertime.

Monday's column is here.

Somewhat predictably, my end-of-an-era sentimentality turned out to be a teeny bit premature, since the children seem to be migrating back to their queen bed. Which is fine with me. It's just the kind of thing I like to be wrong about.

I hope you're all enjoying the summer so far. xo


  1. Catherine--

    I listened to you reading that and loved it.

    I was both teary during the "endings" part then laughing out loud during the line: "Let's make them sleep together all their life and marry each other..." What a wonderful to begin this sleepy Sunday morning.

    Thanks for that.

  2. My mother-in-law wouldn't let my husband have caffeine growing up, because it would "stunt his growth" (and as he's now 6'5" I guess it worked!) Sometimes I joke that we should give our daughter caffeine so she'll stay little forever. Maybe it will work for Ben and Birdie, too.

  3. Anonymous1:36 PM

    Catherine- I just finished reading Waiting for Birdy...I've wanted it for a year, had it for months, and finally picked it up to read yesterday. I was afraid it wouldn't live up to the expectations I had for it and, of course, I was wrong. I felt (had I been gifted with amazing writing ability) that I wrote it myself.

    I just found out that (hopefully? maybe? the lines on the stick were pale...) that #3 may be joining us in 8 months or so. Reading Birdy made me remember all of the craziness and love that comes in those first few months of babyhood, thank you so much.

    a stalking (I've read every column, followed you from babycentre and never once wrote anything to you) fan in Nova Scotia, Canada

  4. Catherine,
    I just caught up on the last two Wondertime posts. They were both great as usual.

    My favourite line was, "Let's let my sentimentality retard their normal growth and development." That sounds just like something I would think.

    Hope your summer is going well too. We are just starting all our summer fun and today is Canada Day so we are off to a lovely BBQ.

  5. Beautiful. And this portion: "It's how it always is with endings — you don't always realize you were enjoying the last of something until afterwards: when you fold up a too-small onesie to give away (When was the very last time she wore it?); when you toss out the empty box of nursing pads and realize that there was one last feeding, one last time that pair of eyes gazed up at you like your face was the very sun shining upon all of creation's milky joy."
    Was entirely perfect. Folding up those onsies is killer. *sigh*

  6. Anonymous10:34 PM

    Dear Catherine,

    It may not make any difference. My two eldest, who are nearly the same ages as Ben and Birdy (7 and 3/4 and 4 and 1/4) also have bunk beds, and many's the time we've seen them tangled together in the one twin bed! In fact, a surreptitiously snapped photo of that scene graces their dad's screen saver. I've bought plenty of linens over the years, but never provided anything as luxurious as a queen bed, too!

  7. I'd listen to you read if there was a way for me to read along, too. I'm a visual person, and I just end up giving up on the listening part.

    And . . .

    You talk sometimes about your children's sweet breath. Not just this last post, but throughout the years. I think about this sometimes, you know, as I'm actually and literally trying to breathe out of the side of my mouth in order to *avoid* my son's breath :-) You're such a good mom.

  8. Because I can never post at Wondertime, I'll say it here:

    Oh. oh. oh.

    This is just perfection.

    Thank you.

  9. Oh my, I just dropped off 7 huge bags of baby clothes that my son wore and outgrew, off to goodwill to dress someone else's baby. It took me ages to sort them, because I kept saying, OMG, can you believe he was ever this tiny? I kept my favorites, though - a sentimental wreck can't be expected to give up all her stash like that...

  10. Anonymous1:31 AM

    Just thought I'd tell you I read your piece about the hotel getaways last week and I loved it. My girls LOVE hotels, so they would be thrilled about staying in a room for that long. You always talk about your lack of patience and "in the moment"ness, but I'd say you and Michael seem to have a lot more of it I do. I think after about four hours, I'd be looking for ways to get out of the room. The article was completely inspiring. Thanks for sharing that fun with us.

  11. Loved the newest Wondertime. I can never remember my password over there, so I'm commenting here. (They should make commenting a bit less of a Process over there!)

    We're in the market for bunks too, so we'll see how it works. Also, my girls are so very stubborn. I mean, I like that in a girl, but jeez, I wish they'd cut me some slack like once a month or so. Anyway, beautifully written, as always!

  12. I was just reading about stubbornness and Star Wars. Your children KILL me. I want to squeeze them too hard, maybe chomp their cheeks if they're not too old for that. And Ben's reaction to the toy animals makes MY eyes water, it's so sweet.

  13. Our almost-six-year-old daughter has kissed the Star Wars Blarney stone as well, much to her dad's delight. We have a lot of make believe around here about "life savers" and "pomegranates" (grenades).

    Thanks for another great column.

  14. "No, it's mac in cheese."

    Is there something wrong with me that I think Birdy is actually completely right? I mean the Mac is in the cheese, its not actually Mac and Cheese, they aren't next to each other on the plate, its macaroni in a cheese sauce, really.

    Oh and I have the same inappropriate response to The Pepper's stubborness. It makes me want to kiss him.

    The word verification word I have to type is like 10 characters long.

  15. Anonymous10:48 PM

    There is so much to say that I just can't. My heart is aching right now for all of the same reasons, and your post was almost too much for me.

    I actually sobbed, though, at your post here when you said it might not really be the end. I secretly love the regressions they sometimes have - when they realize that independance and growing up is happening too fast and they come running back to me in their pajamas with the legs that are too short because I refuse to get rid of them because they look so darned cute with the ducks on their little tushies. (Sometimes only a run on sentence will do).

  16. Catherine,
    I secretly delight in your doldrums. It's as if another mother walked into the room and validated me. "Of course it's okay to cry over baby barf stained tiny tees." Thank you for being the voice of my conscience on the outside. I love the humor, tone and talent of your writing. Thanks for sharing it with us.
    Happy Summer!

  17. Anonymous8:58 PM

    I can't post at wondertime so I have to do it here.

    I had to read the line about the last time "that face gazed up at you as if you were the source of milky joy" about a dozen times, because of the tears that kept filling my eyes before I got the the end of it.


  18. Just a quick hello to say I hope you had a wonderful Fourth of July, I watched the Boston Pops - which I do every year.

    Hope you had fun!

  19. Anonymous10:40 PM

    Catherine: after following you from BabyCenter I just discovered your readings at WonderTime. How wonderful. Hearing your voice brings a whole new meaning to your writing. Thank you so much for continuing to share your life and thoughts. It is so comforting to hear you give words and voice to every Mom's feelings. When I read your stories I always feel like you would totally "get" where I (we) are. 40 something stay at home Mom of two. (Yikes, the Daddy has passed into the 50's!) JAC (aka Jeffrey Anthony Carl) is creative, introspective and worries too much, he is like his parents. Ben is loud, busy, ready to party, if there is fun to be had, he wants his fair share. Yes, the endings are here, too. Some how we survived Kindergarten and JAC's teacher said, there is no doubt, our odd, quirky boy who loves penguins is a writer. I am proud, yet I see him inching away from me and toward the world out there and independence. As we sit and sort the toys to give away , you know, the no longer played with Little People, Teletubbies and Sesame Street toys and such, to make room for the mountain of 4th birthday toys coming next month I realize that Ben is really going to be potty trained before he is 4. Soon the only traces of babiness at my house will be a couple of Diego straw cups and a potty seat. JAC will be in first grade and Ben has this last year of pre school and I wonder what it will mean for me. I wonder if the PTA will pull me away from my volunteer work at the local chapter of National Association of Mothers' Center's or will my heart still feel the need to lend an ear to other new Mom's and keep the Center members informed through emails and the website I manage. And as the changes come I try to remind myself that the secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.
    Hope you have a perfect summer.

  20. Anonymous8:36 AM

    Hi Catherine,

    I am re-reading Waiting for Birdy as I am now pregnant with my 2nd. I read it when I was preggo with my first, and loved it, it made me laugh. Now that I already have a wonderful son, your book makes me laugh and cry, for all the reasons you describe in the book. Thanks for telling it like it is your hilarious and honest style! I appreciate your worrying because I am a worrier too, and I'm also a working mom. I wanted to let you know how much you are appreciated. Take care, and good luck!


  21. Anonymous4:54 PM

    In case no one else says it... you can listen while you read if you open 2 windows! :) That is the way I do it...

    Love your words as always!