Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Monday, October 11, 2004

The Essence of TC

I am about to write an inordinate number of sentences that begin with the letter I. This makes me uncomfortable.

I am a mother and a wife. The former is something that comes to me quite naturally. The latter is not.

My children, Em and N, are 7 and 3, respectively. But I've been a mother at heart for all of my life. If I think about it hard enough, I could probably list kids who were special to me, or in whose life I played a special role, going back to when I was as young as 6. Animals know this about me, too; even before I moved in with Baroy, his cat Mickey had taken to coming to me and nudging my legs when he needed anything like food or water or a litter box change. Baroy became the guy he went to to get petted; I was the one he went to to get parented. Buttons, our cat now, is no different. None of this bothers me, really. I love being a mother.

On the other hand, I can count on one finger the number of long-term relationships in which I've remained monogamous. So I had some trepidation about becoming a wife. The good news is that my relationship with Baroy is the single monogamous one. And I really haven't been seriously tempted. That, I think, is good news. Or a sign of depression. But I'll assume the former.

I am a writer. This is also something I've been my whole life. The fact that I've been relatively successful at it still surprises me, though. The fact that I make a living from it is downright shocking. I should remember that more often, when I bemoan the whole having-to-make-a-living thing. I have been given not only talent, but luck. I do not have to spend my life doing something I despise or that I'm not particularly good at. There are many people who do. I need to remember that.

I am an avid reader, but I rarely read simply for fun. It's been a long time since I've been able to enjoy a book just for its entertainment value. I need to be moved and challenged and stimulated by a book or it's not worth my time. I find myself disappointed more often than not these days with the books I read.

I have developed a deep and abiding love for what I like to call 'old-lady crafts.' Cross-stitching, hardanger embroidery and, especially, tatting are my passions. Tatting is a really old form of lacemaking that involves nothing more than a shuttle and one special type of knot made over a base thread. It can't explain why exactly, but it speaks to me and calms me and makes me feel connected to the world and to the past. There are times I think it's done more for me than any medication possibly could.

What else do you need to know about me? I'm short. I wear glasses. I don't dream in pictures, but rather in narratives--a concept that a lot of people find hard to understand, with good reason. I can't comprehend abstract art or orchestral music. I need words like most people need oxygen.

More? I grew up in the borough of Queens in New York City. I'm Jewish, but not practicing. My father is bipolar. He has four children from two marriages, neither of which lasted. I am his oldest. He escaped from Nazi Germany when he was six months old--well, as much as a six-month-old can escape. Not all of our family was quite so lucky. My mother is a really good person married to another really good person. She grew up in New Jersey; no escaping necessary--at least not from Nazis. Both of my grandfathers died long before I was born, and both of my grandmothers lived until I was an adult. I grew up around a lot of women, and very few men. I was only the second person in my family to graduate from a four-year college.

Because it's impossible to figure out from the above paragraph, I should just say that I am the oldest of five children: I have a sister, a stepsister, a half sister and a half brother. I have some incredible friends, both from my past and from my present. I am truly blessed in that way, because I am also the kind of person who moves on too easily when the going gets rough. I could easily have wound up pretty isolated and sad.

I make the world's greatest matzoh ball soup, I'm getting better and better at growing stuff in my garden, I struggle with anxiety and panic and obsessive-compulsive disorder, I have a severe phone phobia. Still, I find myself feeling happy again lately, and that's a good thing.

I am relatively tiny, and I am a nut. But not a coconut. Still, for many reasons, the name fits.

free hit counter