Read my latest essay, “Seven and still sucking his thumb,” in the inaugural issue of Motherwell Magazine (www.motherwellmag.com). I’m thrilled to be part of this launch, which features essays by some of my absolute favorite writers. Check it out: you won’t be disappointed! And then follow Motherwell on Facebook to be part of the conversation.
The baby comes out of the womb ready to suck, its tiny, toothless mouth as powerful as a Hoover and, more often than not, clamped onto your nipple. In the early days of new motherhood, I prayed my babies would find something— anything—to suck that wasn’t attached to my body. So when Oliver, my youngest, found his thumb, I collapsed with relief and exhaustion. “Be careful,” my mother-in-law told me, “the thumb is harder to take away than the pacifier.” Whatever, I thought, adding that to the long list of things I would worry about later.
I’m happy to share my latest essay, published in the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine. I wrote it shortly after returning from my twentieth college reunion last June. I had attended earlier reunions, but this one hit me hard, I think because everyone was more vulnerable and real. We were ready to admit what our college years had meant to us and also willing to reveal the ways in which life had surprised us–and maybe even let us down. I wanted to bathe in it forever.
Was I really going to reunion? I was busy, my schedule impossible. And reunions were lame, the epitome of all the rah-rah hokum I’d avoided when I was in college. Yet here I was, making the drive up I-91 with two friends, my heart pounding in an unexpectedly familiar way as we got off at exit 13. Back on campus for the first time in years, time telescoped in and out, life at Dartmouth seeming both a minute and a century ago….