In celebration of National Adoption Month,
Love You More (every e-book version)
is just $1.99.
Visit Amazon or any e-book store.
Below, an excerpt:
(And yes, I really did obsess over the
sexual politics of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.)
In a moment of decisiveness, we decided to return to Illinois, several years after leaving it.
We moved back to the town where we both had grown up, close to where much of our family lives. David got a job in software. We bought a house, outfitted its garage with snow shovels, a lawnmower and two cars. Within weeks, I learned that I was pregnant.
Suddenly, my husband was the one with the full-time job.
I spent my days padding around the house in my socks, doing laundry, paging through cookbooks and reading volume after volume of pregnancy and parenting books. As our baby grew inside me, I pined for New York. I missed my friends. I missed my job. I missed real bagels, restaurants that stayed open past nine, and the noise and color of neighborhood festivals and street fairs. I missed walking to church on Sunday mornings over uneven slate sidewalks and missed our old parish’s West-Indian congregation. I missed taking a taxi to the airport and making the long journey to the other side of the world to stop in on Emperor Tự Đức or eat soft-shelled crabs in a shack on the South China Sea.
I even missed the car alarms that woke me many times on Sterling Place. Sometimes I would walk around my quiet house, singing out the long symphony of buzzers and tones that used to irritate me.
At night, listening out my open window, all I could hear were crickets.
The conversations my husband and I had begun to engage in had plummeted from heady discussions about Waiting for Godot (“Why do you think only Vladimir remembers things from one day to the next?”) to the banal (“Should we go with the PPO, EPO, or HMO this year?”). I’d gone from a life where I might find myself drinking a bowl of chocolate and nonchalantly glancing over at Uma Thurman sitting a few tables over in a Greenwich Village coffee shop to standing in a long line to apply for membership at Costco.
As tender as were my feelings toward my babies, I started to feel that I was changing from someone special into a lackluster suburban mom with a long “To Do” list and dark circles under her eyes.
It wasn’t that I didn’t connect with motherhood.
I had always wanted to be a mother. I remembered the yearning I’d had, back in Brooklyn, for those children who were to come. I loved so much about the quiet early years of my children’s lives. Reading books. Letting them make detours on our walks so that they could break off a flower from a lilac bush or stop and watch a train go by.
“You’ve got to be a parent someday. If for no other reason, it’s worth it for the bugs,” I said to a young friend recently. The bugs. Crouching on the sidewalk with your toddler to watch regiments of ants marching single file, transporting their obscenely outsized cargo. Learning about praying mantises, marveling at the aquarium of walking sticks at a nature center, counting the legs of a spider. I drank it all in.
But I wondered whether I would like the person I was turning out to be. What was happening to my brain?
After watching the movie for about the tenth time with my son, I found myself obsessing over Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. (Or “Chee Chee Bon Bon,” as he called it).
What could it mean, I’d wonder, as he danced around the room singing “When you’re near us, it's so delicious. Honest Truly, you're the answer to our wishes”? Truly Scrumptious? Who has a name like that? What would my critical theory professor from graduate school make of it?
I mused over the sexual politics of “You’re My Little Chu-chi Face.”
I sardonically wondered whether Truly indeed was just a “doll on a music box”?
Why wasn’t anyone writing academic papers about this film?
I would do it myself, I thought, if I weren’t so busy winding up the baby swing and raking through the Lego bin trying to find Darth Vader’s light saber or that red headlight my son was missing.
Love You More is just $1.99 this month.
by Jennifer Grant
I'm a writer (two works of nonfiction are out; two more will be published in 2014.)