When my first child was born, I was still a young baby of mere months. Raising myself and my
child turned out to be a challenge as well as a gift and a challenge. I nursed myself from a
garden hose and my baby from the water that dribbled from my mouth.My baby and I rocked
each other back and forth by tying ourselves together with sticks and throwing ourselves down a hill.
I would tell her long, beautiful stories about how hard her Russian ancestors worked tilling hay
in Minsk. She would look up at me, wide-eyed, like she was almost asking me to cut the
umbilical chord that still held us together. No I said back, never.
My baby began to develop an attitude. One day I tried to flick dirt on her butt, which she usually finds cute, and she crawled off and hid from me for 25 years. I recently ran into her at the supermarket, and she looked really healthy and good. Like too good. Like very skinny.