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Locomotive Appreciation Day

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Little Red Caboose

Photo credit: Stephen Mimms, Fotoblur

I’m just starting to emerge from the haze of a triple whammy: strep throat, sinusitis and an infection in both ears. Let me tell you: there’s nothing like a few days in bed to make a gal feel needed. With me down for the count and my husband working long hours at his commission-only job, our house looked like an episode of “Hoarding: Buried Alive.” Throughout the week I spent flat on my back, I lost track of the number of times my husband came to my bedside and said, “Wow. You really are the locomotive of this household!”

As sexy and glamorous as that metaphor is, there are many days I want a break from shoveling coal. But, as I’ve mentioned before, the job is relentless.

Over the past six months, I’ve thought many times about how much I admire moms who work outside the home. I remember one day, shortly after having made the decision to stay home with my son, when I watched a woman lugging an umbrella stroller off a city bus with a young child in her arms and rain pouring from the sky.

I think of that woman often. Nearly every time I feel like I’m not cut out for the job of stay-at-home mom, I remember the stolid look on her face. I picture her pulling herself out of bed in the darkness of the yet-unbroken day, yawning as she pulls clothes onto her little one. Walking to the bus stop to board the first of several buses she’d ride that day. Going from home to daycare to work and back to daycare before finally arriving home, exhausted and soaking wet.

Every time I see her in my mind, I think to myself how I could not do what she does.

But being sick for a few days gave me a new and unexpected perspective on my job as a stay-at-home mom. Is it possible I’m tougher than I thought I was?

Every morning during the time when I was sick, my husband would bring my son to me in bed and I’d think to myself, I want so badly to call in sick today. But each day, I still had to do my job. Granted, I didn’t do it well during this time, keeping my son in bed with me most of the day. But I found the strength to smile for him, tickle his chubby belly and nurse him frequently to keep him well. And, amazingly, it worked. My son came through unscathed, suffering no more than a stuffy nose.

This job, which I’m so lucky to have right now, is — frankly — really, really hard. It’s mentally exhausting and emotionally challenging. But I’m starting to realize that there may be some people out there who feel they couldn’t do what I do every day — even if I’m not pushing a stroller through the rain.

While I was sick, each time my husband referenced a train to compliment me, I’d respond, “But I just want to be the caboose!” Alas, we ladies rarely get to be that cute little red caboose. Whether we’re pulling along our friends in times of crisis, or our parents, significant others or pets, we seem destined to be caretakers. We put our own needs last and respond to the call of those we love.

Call me a feminist if you like (I was, after all, voted “Most Chauvinistic” in high school), but in addition to Mother’s Day, I think there should be a Women’s Day. Although, that term sounds a little matronly. Ladies’ Day? A bit menstrual. Gals’ Day? Too “Mad Men.” Vagina Day? That one has potential, but may return some undesired results when entered into a search engine.

I guess that leaves only one thing … Happy Locomotive Day, ladies!

It’s a Beautiful Life Sentence

Coffee Break

As I move the knob up to “brew,” I sigh to myself. For some reason, brewing a second batch of coffee for the day feels like some form of failure.

When it occurs to me I’m feeling this way, I have to ask, why? When I was working, I wouldn’t think twice about needing an afternoon caffeine boost. So, why, when I’m brewing the coffee myself instead of purchasing it in a crisp, white paper cup, do I feel like I’ve failed?

Countless times lately, I’ve looked at my new life as a stay-at-home mom (for now, as I’m always compelled to say), and felt more than a little deficient. This is a much bigger transition than I ever thought it would be.

In many ways, all is wonderful. My baby is happy, healthy — positively cherubic. His rosy cheeks widen every time he looks at me, and my heart melts every time I look at him. I love — love — being able to be with him every day.

But many Friday afternoons, I find myself drained and I breathe that pre-weekend sigh of relief. Then I remember: there are no days off for the stay-at-home mom.

This is a job I treasure — granted, it’s also the hardest job I’ve ever had. But it’s a job I feel very, very lucky to have. So I had to probe a little deeper to find out why I frequently feel like I’m not the employee of the year.

Why was I always so much quicker to forgive myself when I worked for someone else than I am now, when I essentially work for myself?

(Maybe it’s because my boss is actually a 16-pound comedian who blows raspberries in my face when I bend over to wipe his ass.)

I think it must be because this is the most important job I’ve ever held. No matter how well I’m doing, I never feel like I’m doing well enough. There is always more laundry to be done; the dogs could always use more exercise; the floors of my house could be mopped clean of dog slobber and potato chip crumbs, if I were so inclined. Right now I’m using the precious time while my son is asleep to explore my feelings through my tip-tapping fingers instead of taking the shower I (badly) need.

The fact is, the job of a mom — whether staying at home or working outside the home — is never done. I look at my own mom and realize that, while she retired from her career last year, she’ll never be completely off work. She’ll never stop worrying about my sister and me; she’ll never stop calling us on holidays or making sure we’re as happy and healthy as we can be. I’ll bet each August and every June, when my sister and I celebrate our birthdays, she’s not thinking about birthday cake or candles. I’ll bet she still thinks about the day we were born.

I know I’ll do this each October 6 for the rest of my life.

Yes, there are days when this job feels more like a life sentence. Because that’s in fact what it is. A beautiful, heart-wrenching life sentence that started the day my son was born, and will probably (hopefully) not end until the day I die.

And there are days when I need a second batch of coffee just to get through the afternoon.

So be it.

(Is it too early for a glass of wine?)

A Life More Ordinary

FAME
Three times in the past three days, I’ve been mistaken for someone else. At first, I concluded I must have a doppelganger preceding me everywhere I go — walking my neighborhood with two dogs that look like mine, frequenting my favorite coffee shop, browsing titles at the library.

But then, another thought occurred to me: perhaps I’m not as unique as I think I am.

We all want to think we’re extraordinary, don’t we? There are so many vehicles available to fan the flames of that idea: Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Pinterest … so many ways to say, “Look at me! Look where I am! See how witty I am?”

Growing up, I was small. Short, skinny, bespectacled and knobby-kneed, I didn’t exactly command attention when entering a room. I was notable mostly for how thick my glasses were, but enjoyed a brief period of fame by hypnotizing my fellow classmates. I recall spending an entire sleepover in the school gym getting my friends to mumble incoherently (although, realistically, they were probably faking it) and feeling like a powerful sorcerer.

I was neither popular nor unpopular; neither a mean girl nor a Key Club altruist. But I always envisioned a time when I’d be a famous artist, or a bestselling author. My drawings of trees and appaloosa horses would command thousands at auction. I’d travel the globe doing book signings. I’d sing and dance through the hallways of a New York performing arts high school with a troupe of my fellow students following behind in perfect dance-step.

For years — and my heart beats with mortification as I admit this — my ATM pin was 3-2-6-3.

F. A. M. E.

I can’t — and don’t — blame my kid for the fact that I never did those things. It’s not like I became a teen mom and all my hopes and dreams went out the window. I had plenty of time to do extraordinary things before Hudson came along.

Getting married, buying a house and being a mom to two dogs and a baby — those are about the most ordinary and clichéd things a person can do. And yet, I feel I’m finally doing something special.

Part of growing up and becoming a parent is making peace with a life more ordinary than the one you may have envisioned for yourself. I’m not saying any of us should settle, or that we shouldn’t still strive for the extraordinary. But when you’re a parent, you often find yourself taking the road more traveled.

When I was pregnant, I came across a poem that resonated with me in an incredibly powerful way. Part of me felt uncomfortable with the notion expressed in the poem, as I don’t believe it’s healthy to live my dreams through my son. And, I don’t plan to give up on my plans for my life — that just isn’t the example I want to set for my child.

But my son came along at a time that wasn’t the most convenient for my husband and me. Throughout my pregnancy, I felt apprehensive about the heavy responsibilities of parenthood. I wondered how being a mom would change me, and if that change would be for the worse.

And sometimes, I wondered if my time to lead an extraordinary life was over.

I say, no. My love for my son is extraordinary. My responsibility is extraordinary. The work I have yet to do to be the best mom, wife and friend I can be is extraordinary.

My life is ordinary. My child is — well, he’s mine. One shining, extraordinary accomplishment in life.

To My Child

You are the trip I did not take;
You are the pearls I could not buy;
You are my blue Italian lake;
You are my piece of foreign sky.

You are my Honolulu moon;
You are the book I did not write:
You are my heart’s unuttered tune:
You are a candle in my night.

You are the flower beneath the snow
In my dark sky a bit of blue;
Answering disappointment’s blow
With “I am happy! I have you!”

― Anne Campbell

He’s Back

To help limit Frankie’s movement, my husband and I have been taking Frankie to the bathroom in the unfenced front yard instead of making him go down several stairs to the back. The past two days have been pretty trouble-free: put on the leash, open the glass door, ease him down three steps, let him do his business and then shepherd him back inside.

Today, it went more like this:

  • Take leash off hook.
  • Make frantic attempt to contain Frankie, who, upon seeing leash, does bucking bronco routine around kitchen.
  • Grab collar of other dog, since both dogs have now decided it’s time to play.
  • Wrestle leash over Frankie’s nose and bear hug him to stop the prancing.
  • Burst outside through glass door, opened just in time to prevent major incident.
  • Take all three steps in one leap, while being dragged into front yard.
  • Step in last night’s dog poop.
  • Nearly fall while trying to remove poop from bottom of Ugg boot.
  • Attempt to pick up last night’s poop with flimsy plastic bag while Frankie whips around and starts game of tug, using his own leash as the rope.
  • Remove leash from Frankie’s mouth, only to have him take off across the yard to provide more poop to pick up.
  • Take off Ugg boot and hop to front door to deposit Frankie inside.
  • Hop back down to pick up this morning’s poop.
  • Look through glass door to see Frankie, leash in mouth, making frenzied circuit around house.

Apparently, he’s back.

We’ll have to monitor his movement for a few more days to be sure, but he certainly seems to be back to his mischievous, maddening, exuberant self.

Thanks for your prayers and words of support. I’ve been amazed by how universal it is to love a dog. There’s definitely something about their loyalty, their optimism, their big, human eyes that strikes a chord deep within us all.

A little while later, when I had finally gotten things settled back down after Frankie’s manic spree, I walked back to the nursery and came upon this scene:

Dog guarding baby

A few minutes later, it looked like this:

Dogs with baby

This is my life. And it’s a good one.

What the Frump

I’m engaged in a deep existential struggle: To frump, or not to frump.

I’ve always believed wholeheartedly in the value of keeping up one’s appearance. Many times I’ve sworn to myself I would never turn into one of those moms you see schlepping around the grocery store in threadbare sweat pants and a circa-1985 banana clip. Oh, no. I don’t wear sweat pants. I wear yoga pants.

It wasn’t having a baby that threatened my credo on this matter; it was breastfeeding. When you’re breastfeeding, there’s little reason to get dressed at all. If you decide going topless just isn’t for you, you’d better find a shirt that can be stripped off with a crying baby in your arms and no more than two free fingers. Add in that it should be barf-resistant and breathable enough to keep you from melting while a toasty warm baby is pressed up against you, and your options grow smaller.

And so, despite having a closet full of beautiful dry-clean-only garments, I find myself wearing the same two or three things day in, day out. Then, I got a robe.

I’ve never been too big on robes. Reference the Abilify® antidepressant commercial: a robe that’s supposed to symbolize depression but looks more like cookie monster’s ghost stalks a woman who can’t shake her chronic sadness. Apparently we’re supposed to understand that the formerly unhappy woman has left depression behind. To me, the robe seems more like a date rapist, lurking about and then jumping her from behind when she least expects it.

The funniest part of this commercial is when the lady’s doctor shows a movie of himself explaining the drug’s evil side effects. The robe watches the movie and takes notes — as if he’s plotting his strategy for how to fight back.

"You can't beat me ... muah ha ha ..."

This commercial makes me laugh every time I watch it, and pretty well sums up my usual association with robes. But, my parents gave me a very nice robe for Christmas, a plush and luxurious one that’s about as stylish as a robe can be. So, I gave it a try.

Now, I wear my luxurious depression robe every day. Since I’m all toasty warm in it, there’s really no need to change out of the pajamas underneath the robe. Plus, it meets my other criteria: it can be opened with the flick of a finger and — bonus! — is the exact color of baby spit-up!

The only problem is when my husband sees me in the robe. I usually try to have changed out of the robe and jammies by the end of the day, but sometimes he comes home for lunch and finds me strolling around in it. He’s taken to calling me “Hef-etta” when I wear the robe, as if I’m the female version of Hugh Hefner. I consider that a compliment, as I’d rather be Hugh Hefner than the sad lady from the Abilify commercial.

But does this mean I’ve given up? Have I become the banana-clipped mom? Have I abandoned all standards for myself?

As in most things, I think the answer lies in balance. I embrace my depression robe. When the crying baby alarm clock goes off each morning, the robe is a quick and easy solution that allows me to tend to my son quickly and effortlessly. But each day, I try to put on real clothes at some point before dinnertime. And I may not be doing full hair and makeup each day, but I’ve found it’s good for my self-esteem if I spend just a little time on myself. I think it helps me be more confident, more efficient and a better mom.

Balance. That’s the key. I’ll stick with my robe, but it stops there. If you see me trolling about in a Forever Lazy, I give you permission to kick my ass.

A Difficult Choice

Grinning Baby

My Daily Affirmation

I can’t decide what to have for breakfast.

This may sound like a minor issue, but it feels like a bit of a crisis. This morning I’ve been meandering around the kitchen, washing a few dishes, getting things out and then putting them away. I finally decided I could make some coffee, and then, with that decision made, started wandering aimlessly again.

I’m a little lost.

I’ve made the very tough decision to leave a fulfilling job as a writer and online content manager to stay home with my son (for now). And while I’m incredibly thankful to be able to do this — and wouldn’t give this up for anything right now — this major life change has my head spinning.

I had my first summer job at 13, when I helped out at the preschool where my mom worked. After that, I worked at the neighborhood pool’s concession stand, then got a job at the Gap (a very ’90s thing to do), then took some shifts as a hostess at a restaurant after school. I even worked during the school day, volunteering in the main office (okay, this was mainly to get out of tardiness violations), visiting grade schools with the D.A.R.E. program and changing the world (or so I thought) as a member of student council. During college, I worked at the rec center, waited tables and led campus tours, and came home periodically to pick up waitressing shifts in my hometown.

Whether a part-time gig or a demanding grind, work has always been a big part of my life. It’s been a mental challenge, a creative outlet and a daily social encounter — not to mention a big part of my identity. Going to work was often stressful and exhausting (especially while I was pregnant and sporting a belly the size of a small cruise ship), but it provided me with a sense of camaraderie and companionship I’ve really missed.

After my son arrived, choosing between him and spending nearly two hours in the car was pretty simple. But there are still drawbacks to my choice. Some days I can actually feel knowledge leaving my head, and I worry that I might be a better mom if I went to work and came home to Hudson at night. But at some point every day, I know I’ve made the right choice.

Yesterday, that moment came when I used a makeshift luggage scale to weigh my son. In his first month, his weight gain was exceptional. But it was only half of what I hoped it would be at his two-month appointment. Since I’m breastfeeding, I was devastated at this news, and felt like I was failing at my newest — and most important — job.

So I was a little nervous to find out where he stands at three months old. It’s been 34 days since his last weigh-in, so I was hoping for an increase of around 34 ounces. After rigging up the scale, I thought I was having another case of “the dumbs” and that my math couldn’t possibly be right. But after checking it again, I was sure: my son has gained a whopping 58 ounces since his last appointment.

What an amazing feeling of accomplishment. With nothing but my own body, I’ve been able to provide my son with everything he needs and more. Looking at him only confirms this feeling. He is apple-cheeked and chubby, and every time I look at him — every time — he breaks into a slow grin that lights up his entire face. His impossibly blue eyes grow bright, and he often sings out, “nnnnnggoooo” or lets out a little squeal.

Today, I have to start all over again. The batteries in the baby swing are marching toward their death and the song it plays has taken on a maddening warble that just may make me lose my mind. I’ve yet to get dressed and a dust bunny tumbles across the floor, mocking my lamentable housekeeping abilities. I haven’t even been able to decide whether to fix some oatmeal or get out of my pajamas.

And then the coffeemaker sings its five beeps, telling me it has a steaming cup of black coffee ready for me. That’s a start.

My Marshmallow Days Are Over

Madonna's Buff Bod

This can't be too hard, can it?

It’s been eight weeks since I gave birth to my son. Those eight weeks were preceded by 10 months of pregnancy, during which I ate pounds and pounds of ice cream and considered walking to the cafeteria my daily exercise.

As my delivery date neared, I started working from home exclusively and was so sedentary my sister worried I’d develop blood clots in my legs. My coping strategy for getting through the end of pregnancy involved moving everything I needed — laptop, phone, TV remote, several of my husbands oversized t-shirts, bag of jumbo marshmallows — into bed with me and getting up only to pee.

If you know me, you’re aware I’m not a terribly athletic person. I was in Coke-bottle glasses by age seven. I was the kid who had to be thrown into the pool for morning swim team practice. I was 10 before I mastered a bike. I was a reader, a drawer and a daydreamer. My idea of a fun, competitive activity is lobbing a tennis ball over the net without serving or keeping score.

You get the picture.

My lack of competitive drive causes my husband — a natural athlete and the most competitive person I know — great consternation. Early in our dating years, when we’d visit a sporting goods store, he’d yell out my name and then throw a bouncy ball or Frisbee at me to “test my reflexes.”

I knew what that really meant: he wanted to find out if I carried the necessary amount of athletic genes to produce a champion football player. While I’m certain I never passed these tests, as I surely fumbled every pass thrown at me, my husband decided to marry me anyway — poor vision and “let’s all get along” attitude be damned.

So, now that I’m faced with the challenge of getting back in shape, I’m not exactly brimming with confidence. This just isn’t my area of expertise.

During the past eight weeks, I looked for every any excuse to avoid getting in shape. I was thrilled when I read that I should wait for my doctor to give me the “all-clear” at my six-week checkup before doing any strenuous activity. On the day of my appointment, I was sure my doctor would say, “Absolutely no exercise for you, young lady! You are still far too fragile. Just relax with a bag of marshmallows for a few more weeks.”

That did not happen. Instead, I got a breezy, “Looks good!” and a stack of brochures about contraception. What??!! Does this mean my 10 months and six weeks of special treatment, of having the perfect excuse for total laziness, are over???

After spending the past two weeks in denial, it’s finally time to face facts. Truthfully, I’m tired of wearing the same pair of yoga pants (yoga — ha!). It’s time I got reacquainted with my wardrobe, which I’ve been pointedly ignoring up until now. The only place that’s more of a “factory of sadness” than Cleveland Browns Stadium is my closet.

I’m ready to get in shape. I think.

The last time I felt this motivated, I told my sister (who was working as a personal trainer at the time) to put together a workout plan that would make me “look like Madonna.” After seeing what it would take to look like Madonna, I decided looking like myself wasn’t so bad after all.

But will I ever again look like myself? Veteran moms, please tell me: has my formerly stick-straight shape permanently changed? I’m okay with having a few more curves than I used to, since my former body shape resembled that of a 12-year-old boy. I just want to know what’s ahead.

And, if you have any tips for getting into shape, please feel free to share those too. Especially if they involve lobbing a tennis ball over a net, reading a book or eating marshmallows in bed.

Dear Sweet Baby Boy


Cute Baby Boy

Today, you laughed. You looked into my eyes and tossed your head to the side, letting out the most joyful noise I’ve ever heard. Already, you’ve turned me into a slobbering pile of emotional mush — even more so than during my pregnancy. And then, you laughed. What a beautiful sound!

Every day you smile and smile, as if life is handing you a series of delightful moments, one right after the other. And every day you seem to grow a little more into yourself, becoming a little person. You are such an easy, happy baby.

I take pride in seeing you grow big and healthy, but find myself wanting desperately to slow it all down. You’ve left newborn diapers far behind and are quickly growing out of the impossibly small outfits I first dressed you in, when I hardly knew what to do with you. I want each moment to last twice as long, each night to stay with me for just a bit longer before it’s gone forever.

So many things about motherhood have caught me by surprise: how challenging (and time-consuming!) breastfeeding can be; how defined your personality is already, even at such a young age; how much poop can come out of you at one time (where did that all come from??); how different I feel.

But what surprises me most is how much more I value my life. It’s not that I didn’t care before, just that I suddenly feel so important now that another human being depends on me. It struck me one day when I was driving home from an errand. What would happen to you if something happened to me? I sat a little straighter in my seat, drove a little more carefully. Smiled a private smile as my stomach fluttered.

Being a mom makes me feel unique and irreplaceable.

My heart pounds with the rush of so many complex feelings — gratitude for your existence, amazement at your tiny features, even a strange and fleeting fear that you’ll somehow be taken from me. I am perpetually exhausted, frequently overwhelmed and often intimidated by the job of raising you to be a kind and responsible young man.

And yet.

My love for you astounds me.

Cute Baby

Dear Sweet Autumn Baby

Autumn Wedding Day

Our perfect autumn wedding day in November 2008

Dear Sweet Baby,

After a long, hot summer, the weather has finally started to turn cool. It’s beginning to feel like autumn: the season of your birth.

Your father and I were married in this season, on a gorgeous fall day nearly three years ago. There’s something so peaceful about this time of year, so mature and deliberate. Spring, with its wild abundance and infinite possibility, has always been my favorite season. But autumn seems like such a perfect time for you to come into our lives. It’s certainly become a special time in my life, and becomes more so with every passing day as we draw closer to your arrival.

I’m fully in preparation mode now, doing all I can to feel ready. It never seems like enough. I know there’s nothing I can do completely prepare my heart for the day it grows huge with love for you. Nothing in the human body can expand that quickly without some pain involved — without aching at least a little bit. I already feel my heart swelling and being stripped raw at the same time, just by having you inside me.

People talk so much about crazy pregnancy emotions, but rarely about why expectant women get so soft and vulnerable to everything around them. Perhaps it’s a kind of practice run for how fully and helplessly we love these babies when they finally arrive.

This pregnancy — the process of creating you and growing you into something real — has not been brief or fleeting. It feels like I’ve been pregnant for ages and I still have more than a month to go. I can feel my body readying itself to bring you into the world; now it’s just my heart that needs to get itself into shape. I fear it will truly burst when I finally lay eyes on you.

It’s been more than 10 years since your dad and I first met. We were so young — in years, but even more so in spirit. We took our time growing up: moving to new cities; changing jobs and careers; collecting experiences and friends along the way. It took a long time for us to get here, and a lot of people haven’t always understood why.

But we know.

We know it took every one of those years — every week, every month, every season — to bring us here today. We anticipate your arrival with hearts that have grown broader and stronger with every passing year. And still, we know you will turn us upside down and inside out. That our lives will never be the same again.

Ten years. Ten autumns. And now, the autumn of you. Of new feelings, new experiences — a whole new chapter for us. I wait for you with bated breath, knowing this is only the beginning of the rest of our lives.

118 Months Pregnant

BabyAheadAll of a sudden, I’m a hundred months pregnant, and it happened overnight.

A couple weeks ago, I went to bed 32 weeks pregnant. I woke up the next morning with a belly twice the size it was the night before. Did I unknowingly sleep-eat after midnight and turn this baby into a Gremlin?

Ever since this sudden belly expansion, complaining is my drug of choice. I can’t go more than an hour without it. The other day I was whining to my sister over the phone, and she asked pointedly, “Is there anything that is okay to say to a pregnant woman?” After a long pause, I came up with the answer:

“No.”

Not at this stage, anyway.

Part of me is dying for it to be over. Part of me is terrified for it to end. Most people — seeing how slowly I’m waddling around these days — assume I’m more than ready for it to be over. On many levels, they’re right:

I’m ready to be able to climb into bed without lying on my back and panting, struggling to roll over like an overturned cockroach. I’m ready to stop mopping sweat from my face while all my co-workers complain about how cold the A/C is. I’m ready to hold my baby in my arms instead of balanced on top of my bladder.

But am I ready to have a baby? In addition to the fact that this baby still has some cooking to do, I still feel a long way from prepared to be a mom. And yet, the baby’s arrival suddenly seems imminent.

My feelings of unpreparedness were compounded by a recent doctor’s visit. My husband and I saw a different OB-GYN at my usual practice and, while we liked her a lot, she had a lot of questions. We didn’t have too many answers.

“Have you started interviewing pediatricians?”

“Have you considered taking infant CPR classes?” (My husband made a note on our to-do list: “infancy PR class.”)

“Have you toured the hospital?”

I meekly offered, “We’re taking a childbirth class at the end of this month …”

“Great! Have you pre-registered for the delivery yet?”

Sigh. It’s cram time.

As my college roommates can attest, I was never good at planning ahead for tests and assignments. Any impending exam or art project deadline had me up late the night before, working furiously to load my brain with a semester’s worth of knowledge.

Here I am again, clueless in the eleventh hour.

As always, though, I’m ready and willing to learn. If this were college, I’d be brewing a big pot of coffee and laying out my drawing pencils, finally inspired as I can see in my mind’s eye exactly what I’m going to make.

It’s the most important, exciting, life-changing creation I’ve ever brought to life.

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