It’s All About being an Old Mom

Feeling much better about the book today. It’s always up and down with me. But I do think I’ll be able to shoot this off to my editor before the holidays are upon us.

In other non-book-writing news, we find out the sex of the baby on Thursday! We are sooooo excited. It’s amazing how pregnancy, fertility, are THE defining issues of my 30s, many of my friends are either having their first kids, or are stressing about IVFs and hormone treatments right now. All of us career gals who have decided that the mid-30s are the perfect time to procreate.

I had a miscarraige last year, and it was truly one of the saddest times of my entire life. I didn’t think I could ever be that sad. The only thing that helped was just to take three months and cry. I also listened to a lot of Arcade Fire’s Funeral, I read in the New Yorker that they made the album after everyone in the band had experienced a death in the family, including several miscarraiges, and listening to their music was part of the grieving process for me. I really think being able to articulate that kind of emotion in art was so healing, I just felt that listening to that record, that they knew EXACTLY what I was going through. It made it OK to just spend hours in the car, listening to the music, driving and crying.

Anyway, I also read this book Sarah Dunn’s Big Love (which is really great–you all should buy it and read it), and in it, the character (who is in her mid-30s and unmarried) says “I hate when people tell me, you don’t want to be an old mom! There’s nothing more I want to be than to be an old mom!” Yeah, old moms rule!

It was just reported in the news that if you have your kids before you are 25, there’s a better chance of them living until they are 100. I mean, who wants to live until you’re a 100?? For fifty years of that, you are OLD.

I can’t imagine having a kid when I was 25, or 27 or even 29. Mike and I met when I was 25, and I didn’t get published until I was 25. My first book sold when I was 27. I can’t imagine doing all that with a baby. Also, absolutely no one we knew in New York had children or got married at that age. It just seemed absolutely ridiculous. We got married when I was 31, and decided to start “trying” when I was 33.

Of course, when we finally got pregnant (I’ll be 35 when the baby is born) the doctor showed us this chart of the possibilities of birth defects and your chances go WAAAY down once you hit your 30s. I talked to my friends and we all were saying, “If we KNEW when we were in our 20s that this is what would happen in our 30s, maybe we would have gotten married earlier and had kids.”

But now I think it was just a knee-jerk reaction. I’m glad we waited. We’re so much more mature now. Mike and I used to fight a lot. We grew up together. And we had a LOT of fun in New York together.

I remember one night, we came back from some swaaanky party and dinner at Gramercy Tavern, where the guests had included Bill Clinton and um, Michael Bolton, and we were just so high from having this awesome New York night, when it felt like we were in the white-hot center of the world, and everyone was so glamorous and charming, and we just danced out of the cab and ran up to our apartment building, and we looked at each other and said, “God, we have a great life.”

And you know, there was no room for a baby back then. We lived in a 600 sq foot apartment in a brownstone, and we went out a lot. I actually got so tired of having such a frenetic social life that I was looking forward to a slower-paced life in Los Angeles.

So, even though we are beyond thrilled about the coming of the babe, I’m also glad we lived it up when we were younger, spent ALL our money on fancy restaurants, designer clothes and five-star vacations and had no thought to the future whatsoever.

One of my favorite parts of Joan Didion’s The Book of Magical Thinking, is how she wrote that she and her husband would always face a financial crisis by flying to Hawaii and checking into a suite at the Four Seasons. Love that!

I’ve been reading a lot of memoirs lately–I read Ruth Reichl’s Tender at the Bone and Comfort me with Apples, both were excellent, and I can’t wait to try some of the recipes. And the other one was Lance Armstrong’s It’s Not About the Bike, which we had bought for my dad when he got cancer. (My dad found it really inspiring. He always quotes from “The Book of Lance” now.) I was really surprised how good It’s Not About the Bike was. Really well-written and the story is beyond compelling. (I thought it would be some cheesy sports-tear-jerker.) Lance was just on The Daily Show last night and he was hilarious.

Some of my readers have written in saying that they love my books because they don’t talk down to teens, or condescend to kids. I’m pleased, because in my mind, I don’t really write “for” teens, I just write the stories I want to write, and it just so happens they fall in the teen market, and I feel like a teenager a lot of the time. So I really feel like I am writing for my peers. Like Harry Potter, which does not seem like a kid’s book at all. It’s just a book.

I hate reading books that are so obviously “written” for kids. Blech. You can always tell, and it’s soooo annoying. I won’t name books but you know what I’m talking about.


PS- After Britney’s hilarious misuse of air quotes in her Dateline interview, I’m worried I’ve misued scare quotes in the last sentence. Hmmm. Brit, I feel your pain!