I’m at a conference, the conference of the American Literary Translators Association (they call us ALTAoids), to give a presentation on translating comics. This is something I had planned and was excited about way before Nico was born. But then Nico was born, we didn’t sleep, we moved, Nico stared turning over and making eye contact and smiling, I started a doctoral program, Nico ate her first avocado, and it didn’t really dawn on me that I was about to leave for this conference before I was, well, about to leave.
And then it dawned on me how hard it would actually be to leave Nico, if only for four days.
These are not the kinds of things you can expect if you’ve never been a mother before. Especially if you are, like me, a person who never though of herself as particularly maternal and who assumed she would always be one of those black-wearing, cigarette-smoking sort of mothers who told their kids irreverent things like, “There’s no Santa Claus, kid.”
Those of you who know me know that is a somewhat deluded sense of self. I am much nicer than that. And I don’t smoke, really, and only occasionally wear black. I am also a much bigger sucker than I like to admit I am.
And I have been completely heartsick leaving Nico for even three days.
This is why iPhones were invented. I recently upgraded my phone and I realized only after the fact that the sole reason I did was to have a better camera to then take better pictures of Nico. This was not logical. But neither is missing a pudgy, crying, drooling, pooping creature who can’t even talk. A
So in the name of all things illogical and totally un-jaded, here are the pictures I’ve been looking at these past few days. I call them “Nico in action.” And they’ve kept me from missing her somewhat–or maybe they’ve made it worse.