Hello! I just got back from a week in a cabin in Northern Michigan—actually, I kept calling it a cabin but it was really just a condo decorated very rusticly and located in a woodsy setting—with a small portion of my family. My parents got lots of grandkid time, my kid got lots of grandparent time, and I got lots of "sleeping til 10am because someone else is looking after the baby" time, so basically it was a win-win for all.
When I first started writing this—four days ago, when I was still at the cabin-slash-rusticly-decorated-condo—I was typing it on an iPad keyboard with spotty wifi, which made me want to poke both my eyes out with a sharp twig (score one for the woodsy setting!), but since having a baby I seem only to be able to write things in the ten-minute increments when he's asleep and I've already procrastinated in every other way possible (hey, those pumpkin recipes aren't going to PIN THEMSELVES), so I had to put it in a drafts folder, along with all the other posts I've started and never finished in the last three months.
But now here I am at home again, using the hour Sean takes the baby in the morning before he leaves for work—an hour I normally use to sleep, by the way, which should illustrate the urgency of the situation—to check in and say hello. So hello! Here I am, alive and well and already covered in a thin veneer of spitup. Hopefully your day is beginning just a little more glamorously.
First up, I wanted to thank you for all the kind and lovely comments on my last post and for understanding that I don't want to write a whole lot about Hugo on my blog. I mean, it's not as though I'm going to, like, cut him out of my life or anything—baby? what baby? I don't have a baby!—because that would be a little fake and weird, but I think most of the more personal writing I do about him will be in a good old-fashioned paper journal, which his peers will not be able to find in 2025, but which he, of course, will be able to read any time he likes. This may well leave me with a dearth of stories for my blog, I guess, since I've never really aspired to do much more than just write about my life, and hello, he is now the biggest part of it, but that's something I'm just going to have to figure out, and hopefully you'll be patient with me while I do. I think there is probably a way to write about motherhood, if the urge strikes, without writing too much about my kid himself—that's to say, to make it more about me than him—but also maybe just to keep writing about other things that don't have a whole lot to do with him, in a way that doesn't make me feel like I'm censoring myself or leaving inauthentic gaps in what has so far been a fun little record of my life.
(This, of course, assumes that I will ever write anything ever again—writing, in general, has sort of fallen to the bottom of the priority list since I've had a small child to keep alive, along with dusting and any makeup application that takes more than five minutes—but presumably there will come a point where I'm able to make a little more time for it again. Before Hugo goes to kindergarten, I mean. Okay, before Hugo goes to college.)
Wow, that was a whole lot of navel-gazing for a Tuesday morning. Did you want to hear about my Michigan trip quickly? We saw a nice big chunk of the state, I think—including Detroit, Ypsilanti, Dexter, Ann Arbor, Petoskey, Harbor Springs, everything between Ann Arbor and Harbor Springs, and a nice swathe of the UP (shout out if any of this means anything to you!)—and we visited all my parents' old stomping grounds from the 70s, including the two apartments they lived in together, the apartment my dad lived in when he first arrived in the states, both of their offices in downtown Detroit, and various assorted locales that feature heavily in family lore. (If you saw an enthusiastic group of people taking pictures of a shuttered Dairy Queen on Packard last week, that was us.)
We also spent a lot of time sitting in front of fireplaces, encouraging the baby in his continued efforts at tummy time, admiring the fall foliage, drinking hot beverages, and pottering around inside antique shops. We saw the sunset over Mackinac Bridge, the ivy-covered buildings of U of M, three of the five Great Lakes, and the inside of many Meijer supermarkets, but it wasn't until I happened across this sign on a vending machine at the northernmost tip of the state that I realized how far from home I actually was.
Hey, I'm not making fun—where I'm from, we call soda "fizzy," or at least we do in my family. But I felt pleasingly validated to see a real Midwestern colloquialism in the wild, the way I imagine tourists in London must do when they hear the tube driver warning them to mind the gap. Isn't it funny, the things we want to see when we travel, the things that matter the most? Damn, I'd like to expound on that but it's my turn to take the baby back. See you in December, I guess. Of 2017.