Last night, I heard Aaron mumbling in the bath tub, “Jonathan Franzen. Hmmph.” And then, “Well, I guess there was a time when . . .”
Yes, there was a time more than ten years ago when Aaron brooded, quoted Edward Abbey, and extended his arms wide to show me how far he was from the rest of the world. Wearing overalls and ribbons with rubber ducks in my hair, I knew this was the no-turning-back crush of a lifetime. He was so formidable—so attractive!–with his shaved head, his holey tennis shoes, and his refusal to smile or make eye contact. Quite miraculously, the crush turned into love, and last night when Aaron said, “Jonathan Franzen?!? Really?” and could have said, “But he snubbed Oprah!,” I thought that perhaps we have crushes on people whom we’re sure we don’t understand and we fall in love with those whom we’re sure we do. Anyway, I finished the article and was disappointed to learn that Franzen is very urbane and drinks Martinis and knows species of birds, but he did finish “Farther Away”, brilliantly, with this:
“No matter how carefully we defend our selves, all it takes is one footprint of another real person to recall us to the endlessly interesting hazards of living relationships . . . As long as we have such complications, how dare we be bored?”
When he finally took off the holey tennis shoes, Aaron started to leave some pretty hefty footprints on my person. Then, we had a baby, and she has uncannily small appendages like feet, and she is so real.
She’s definitely in her “Mom and Dad are the coolest people I know” phase and likes to copy whatever we eat, watch, and do, including this upside-down attempt at stirring the pot.
Aaron likes to dress Clara in brown, Clara likes to take off her mittens, Mama likes to pretend she knows how to use the camera, and the camera likes to flash milliseconds after Clara has stopped looking at it.
Clara received a dog impersonating an Easter bunny yesterday in the mail from her cousin Luke. She had a good time trying to figure out why he had four ears.
Another new baby quirk is her Beethovian need to put her ear on the floor in order to hear better the music, or the sound of her own squaws. I’m not sure what that is on her mouth, but I’m sure it was very good for her.