American Baby just wanted a few tips on going out and about with babies, but I froze. I’d opened the cover of my book, Stop Second-Guessing Yourself — Baby’s First Year, and spotted the Library of Congress gobbley-gook on page one which begins:
Singer, Jen, 1967 –
And there it is, once again. An everyday moment, this time providing a quote for a magazine article, that shuts me down. Suddenly, I remembered signing the contract for that book three years ago, when I was finishing up chemotherapy and heading toward five weeks of radiation. I signed it, not sure if the 1967- would be filled in shortly.
Blah, blah, blah, move on already! Right? I’m here, and I’m three years into remission. Suck it up, Singer, Jen.
Yet I think I’ve sucked it up quite well, considering, thank you very much. Anyone who, like me, has faced death at 40 (or 30 or 50 or 60 or 10) knows what I am talking about.
There’s a parallel world that runs right along with the normal world — the normal world where people assume they’re going to live well into their retirement years — where the rest of us live. It’s a place where people not even old enough to join the AARP check the obituaries to see what killed the neighbors and when. It’s where seemingly ordinary moms are grateful for the end of another school year, not because of the relative ease of summer schedules, but because it puts them that much closer to seeing our kids grow up. It’s where Singer, Jen, 1967- stops me cold.
Tomorrow is my 44th birthday, and not my 29th, as a friend kidded this week. I’ll take every year I can get, and I am grateful for each and every one, for every book I write, for every blog I post, for every soccer game I coach, for every dinner I eat with my family, for every birthday. Because ordinary moments aren’t ordinary anymore, no matter how hard I try to make them so.
I continued flipping through my book, and found the page with the tips on going out with a baby in tow. I typed up the tips and sent them to American Baby. Then I put the book back on the shelf, and started writing a new one.