Friday, May 2, 2014

A lousy simile

What, Alison Piepmeier writes a blog?  I thought she only wrote outraged columns and op-eds!

Yes, yes, I haven't been blogging much.  But a lousy simile on a Friday evening really isn't good material for The City Paper, so here I am, on Every little thing.

Clever photography, right?
The simile:  parenthood these days feels very much like biking on what Maybelle calls "our new bike": the tandem bike she and I started riding in October.

There are days when the bike is easy to ride.  Birds are chirping, the sky is blue, there are egrets in the swamp we pass, and Maybelle and I sing versions of the song she altered:

Oh, yeah
We are going on our bike.
Good job.

(This is sung to the tune of The Beatles' "The End."  Maybelle really did start singing this with no prompting one morning when we were riding the bike.)

Days when I feel competent as a parent, comfortable because everything is okay (I felt that maybe I needed to make the simile obvious).

And then there are days when I can hardly balance, when the pedaling is exhausting.  Days when every movement made by Maybelle feels like the bike is swinging recklessly and I have to work hard to keep it from lunging from side to side.  Days when I feel like I've been biking forever, and I realize we're not even half the way home.  When the wind is blowing.  When I worry that it might start raining at any moment.

Days when I grieve not driving.  When it just feels like too much--"it" being making a plan for the weekend, doing my job, finding things that lift me, figuring out what I need, asking for what I need, then asking again and again and again.  Taking care of Maybelle while not crumbling.

Today was the latter.

So now I'm making myself brown sugar muffins.
We were safely stopped.  There
was no traffic.  No need to worry.


  1. Brown sugar muffins sound right for a lousy day.

  2. Muffins. Yes.

  3. Way to ride, Alison and Maybelle. Way to take care of yourselves, which is, remember, your most important job. Like Maybelle says: Good job! Thanks for writing about it.

    Once when I was driving home with Sara & Ben, about 18 years ago, comfortably motoring with no worry about a bike turning over, Sara started chanting one of those poems she used to intone from the back seat in those days. No tune, just a chant.

    Failures! Failures!
    Come Come Come
    By the light of the moon
    And the twinkle of the sun.

  4. Oh lord. I know both those types of days. May there be more of the former in your future than the latter.