Thursday, May 05, 2016
* * *
So, two years ago, Kerry Clare's mothering anthology, The M Word, was published.
Kerry asked contributors to write updates to their M Word essays. My essay, "Primipara," was about my decision to only have one child.
"Primipara" was my first published essay. Though I was really very glad that Kerry asked me to write something, the actual writing-something process was excruciating. I was worried about what I had to say and how I was saying it. The essay seemed so long compared to a poem or even a suite of poems. And I distrusted double spacing: it looked flabby and weird.
But I persevered and got through both Kerry's and Goose Lane's edits. And then we launched it at McNally's, with Kerry Clare and Kerry Ryan and a visual artist/mother and jam-filled imperial cookies in the shape of a baby's head. (WE ATE BABY HEADS!)
Though I'm more comfortable with the essay form now, I wasn't sure what I wanted to write about this time. My daughter is almost ten but her status and is still an only child. What had changed was that we added another dependant to our household, which was a big step for us, being leery of dependents generally.
So: this essay is about kittens and daughters and love and claws. And I wrote it in an afternoon when I was avoiding another essay.