The New York Times’ terrific Motherlode blog recently put out a call. They were seeking new parenting-related sites for their updated blogroll. I, of course, being the self-deluded narcissist that I am, recommended my own. I know. Embarrassing. And yes, I am aware–if faintly–that this isn’t a true parenting blog. Or anything at all. At one point it was supposed to deal with gardening…which is sort of parenting, right? Anyway. God knows what it is. But I’m fond of it, mostly. And from what little I’ve seen, there’s a lot of crap out there in the blogosphere. What competition did I have, right?
Ah, the arrogance of non-youth.
Today Motherlode announced its first new contributor and blogroll member: Lisa B. Adams. The writer is a mom of three who’s recently been diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. She blogs, in her own words, about “death, life, family, sadness, joy and sorrow.” And what it’s like to know that you have no hope of surviving to see your kids grown. I’ve only read a few posts (including this one, which describes Adams talking to her 13-year-old daughter about the stage 4 diagnosis) but I’m already awestruck. And humbled. And tear-streaked.
And a lot less arrogant.
I–like most parents–live in terror of dying while my kid is young. I’m kind of obsessed with it. I worry regularly about how best to avoid it. My fear drives me to have my cholesterol checked, my boobs squeezed between plates of plexiglass, and my feeble attempts at exercise to become more frequent.
I’ve even considered making videos for MJ that she can watch in the case of my untimely demise. Instructional videos, mostly, like “How to Talk to Jerky Boys” and “Shaving Your Armpits–If You Choose To.” But also more sentimental ones, where I just tell her I love her over and over and over again, “like the moon and the stars and the planets and the trumpets and the novas and the supernovas.” Just like I tell her now, every day. As many times as she can stomach it.
And then I realize that I don’t have the stomach for it. That I’d just cry and stammer and blubber through the whole thing. That my videos would devolve into “Shaving Your Armpits–SOB!” and “Talking to Jerky–SOB!” That, for now, at least, I’m better off telling MJ how much I love her in person. Maybe on the way to the pony rides. All the while going on the (maybe crazy) assumption that I’ll be around for her whole, long, spectacular ride to adulthood.
If not? I pray I have the grace to handle it the way Adams does. But I seriously doubt I would.