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Because I Have to

One of my biggest regrets was that my dad didn’t hold Saoirse the day she was born.  I’ve told you this before, I think? Dad was there, all right, in my recovery room as soon as we were allowed visitors after her birth. He was bundled up in his winter coat with a scarf wrapped around his neck because the chemo made him so, so cold, but I didn’t let him hold her. He’d been at the hospital for twenty-four hours, waiting for me to have the baby who wasn’t in a hurry to come out, even though he was in pain and should’ve been at home, in bed, sleeping. I don’t remember if he was the first one to enter the hospital room after she was born, but he’s the first one I remember seeing. I made a point to remember that moment, remember his face, the way he carried his body, because I guess I knew I’d never see him greet another one of my babies. But I didn’t let him hold her. The nurses had scared…

Five Years

You know what I miss about my dad? Here’s a short list: He loved Japanese food. He loved Vietnamese food. He loved a good steak and potatoes. Um. He loved food. He’d randomly speak Japanese. He’d seen more of the US and Asia than I ever will. He read so quickly that he’d no sooner open a book than finish it. He loved ABBA. And Celine Dion. And Crystal Gayle. And the Vogues. So much to make fun of, and we did. (Except for the Vogues. They were allowed.) Wait, there’s more: He cried when he saw Les Mis on Broadway. He insisted that well water was better tasting than anything that could come out of public taps. He made our lunches during our school years and packed notes into them with puzzles and riddles and messages with an eyeball and a heart and a letter U to tell us he loved us. He offered to “drive down there” when I drove home from college in tears after a boyfriend broke my heart. He hated the Beatles. Thought they were a bunch of noise. He always wanted to…

No Need for a Baby Book Anymore, Anyway. She’s Five

My friend Molly mentioned to me in a text today something about keeping a baby book, whereupon I blushed, swallowed hard, and was really, really glad she couldn’t see my expression. Baby book? Do a lot of you guys keep baby books for your children? No, wait. Don’t tell me if you do. You know the guilt a lot of women get when they spend too much time on Pinterest (“Oh no, I don’t keep color-coordinated drawer dividers for my daughter’s hand-stamped polka-dotted monogrammed socks! I have FAILED as a HUMAN!”)? That’s how I feel when people mention baby books. Why do you think I started a blog? It’s all of the memories with none of the guilt. Our Saoirse turned five this weekend. I look at Cian, propped up beside me now, cooing away each time we make eye contact (which is a lot. He’s cuter than most puppies), and remember very clearly when she was that small, smiling and cooing, breaking out into a four-limbed stationary dance whenever we talked to her. She was the center of our…