Yesterday morning, sitting at my daughter’s kitchen table, listening to the cat sing the songs of his people and the dogs wrestle on the couch, ear cocked for noise from her toddler, eyes bleary from lack of decent sleep and too much needlework, I had an epiphany: it was the first of the month. The first words out of my mouth were unprintable as I realized I blog the first Saturday of each month and I had no idea what day it was. Good news, yesterday was Friday.
I had some ideas that I wanted to do a winter themed blog, or a holiday blog. But since my daughter went into labor on Tuesday morning my life has consisted of childbirth, baby, toddler, and parenting. With a big side dish of sewing because it’s a good thing to do when I am stressed, if my eyes hold out and I don’t get carpal tunnel.
My daughter does not give birth easily. This round was 32.5 hours, not counting the several days of strong, but intermittent, contractions (and calls to me) before actual labor started. In between the sewing and supporting my daughter (which mostly consists of making unhelpful comments from my chair in the corner of the room that take her mind off the pain for a bit while her fiancé and friend support her) I read a chapter or two at a time. I am the support staff to the support staff in these situations so it’s hard to get too far into a book because I have to be alert for the midnight Taco Bell run. You think I’m kidding. There are books, though, that play in the background of my brain when I can’t be looking at a page. What follows is a selection of those.
When my grandson was born (56 hours of labor) I re-read Zero Visibility by Georgia Beers. It was my second time reading it, and still I found myself reading it at 3am instead of resting when there was a break in the action (read: they gave her an epidural so she could sleep a bit). In fact, I was lying on the floor of the delivery room “resting”with my eyes glued to my e-reader completely in the world of Emerson and Cassie. These characters regularly compel me to read the book again and again.
Every time I make a sandwich for my grandson, often these past few days, I think about Annie’s daughter, Callie, in Radclyffe’s Crossroads. She needed her sandwiches cut a certain way, much like the toddler I’m feeding. That whole series of books, from Passion’s Bright Fury through Crossroads is a re-read for me.
Too Late… I Love You by Kiki Archer is one of the funniest books I have ever read, featuring some parenting moments that make me scream with laughter.
Another theme in this four day adventure is dogs. My daughter has two exuberant ones- well one exuberant one and her long-suffering, calmer, companion. I am more of a cat lover in real life, but I love dogs in books. Lila Bruce’s Love Bites features a fabulous dog, Moose, with a dry wit and absolute love for his person. I can only imagine what my daughter’s dogs are thinking with only grandma to care for them.
Pregnancy always reminds me of Susan X Meagher’s All That Matters. I’m sure I will find myself reaching for that book again soon. Blair and Kylie’s story never gets old. It’s a gorgeous rendering of the friends to lovers trope, one of my favorites.
Are there books that play in the background of your mind under certain circumstances? Back before I discovered F/F fiction I needed a book to read while nursing my first child. I chose a huge, older hardcover from the library so it would sit flat open. One hand to hold the baby, one hand to turn the page. Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and nursing my son are forever linked in my mind.
And now grandma needs a nap, or three…