Thursday, January 7, 2010


In a prior post, I did say that I thought I would write about my own "new mom" experiences, which occurred quite a few years ago. And I was thinking, since it was so many years ago, perhaps some background information would be helpful to the readers who don't know me personally. (Yes, there are actually a few of these.)

Born in the 50s, I grew up in the 60s. The Beatles, long straight hair, hip-hugger pants, "45"s on record players, Twiggy, anything British...see the recent movie "Pirate Radio" and that will give you a good idea of what coming of age in the 1960s was like.

I was the oldest of six kids in an Irish Catholic family on the East Coast. When opportunity knocked on my door at age 25 in the form of a free plane ticket to California (Beach Boys, endless sun, surfing, San Francisco, gay pride, cults, Berkeley), I grabbed it and hung on tight. Who cared that it was for a temporary three month position? I was going to California! Land of the weird and the crazy, land of where-anyone-would-be-able-to-fit-in-someplace. My parents were a little concerned, but I was an adult and they couldn't stop me from going. So, I went.

Once in the California Bay Area, I tried international folk dancing, where I met my future husband, Jim. "Tried" is probably not the right word; " passionate about dancing" might be a more apt description. I danced, we danced, six nights out of seven, with many other folk dance friends who had a similar passion for dancing. We lived in a funky tiny wooden cottage built in the early 1900s on the peninsula. We rode our bicycles...everywhere. We did a lot of hiking, we planted a vegetable garden in the front yard, we composted decades before it became politically correct, we refrained from watering the lawn to save water in a drought-ridden state (although we did water the garden). We grew artichokes in the front yard; a miniature rose bush with tiny pastel pink roses covered one side of our cottage, and tendrils occasionally poked through the roof and into the living room. Eventually, I quit the corporate world that had provided the plane ticket and took a job working for a not-for-profit health service at close to minimum wage. I was very happy and it was one of the best times of my life.

Several years into this life, a child would be born, late one February night, on Groundhog Day, in the 1980s, in a year that it rained every single day in the month of February. And my life would be changed forever.

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