Yellow tree.


There are women who think breastfeeding is disgusting. And there are those who go far in the other direction; nursing becomes the core of their identity (see “Mothering” magazine, La Leche League, etc.). A true wishy-washy moderate, you can put me square in the middle of this continuum. I loved nursing (and was amazed by how much I did), but I must confess, part of the reason was that it allowed me to catch up on magazine reading and “Law & Order” reruns. I spent a fair amount of time gazing down at my adorable baby like the ladies in the LLL, but I also read almost all of “American Tabloid” with Kate at my breast, and I’ve sometimes wondered if some part of James Ellroy traveled from my brain into my milk. I guess I’ll know if she starts smoking at 11.

Anyway, every year around this time the shagbark hickory outside Kate’s bedroom window turns a vivid shade of yellow, and we have about a week when the inside of her room is bathed, all day, in magic-hour light. It’s so peaceful, and it always reminds me of the weeks leading up to her first birthday, when I enjoyed one of those brief periods of ease that convince you you have this parenthood thing knocked. I nursed her in the rocking chair in her room, looking out at the yellow tree, singing little mom-and-baby songs, enjoying it all so much.

The other day the tree yellowed up in about 24 hours. I took this lousy picture, which couldn’t even come close to capturing the effect of the light on the sponge-painted sky-blue walls. It’s not magic to you, but it is to me.

So, then: Bloggage!

“Dr. Strangelove” is rotating through the AMC channel of late, and I’ve caught a bit here and there. For years, I rented this movie every year — on New Year’s Eve, not that it’s significant except as a comment on Fort Wayne NY celebrations — and Roger Ebert is right: It just gets better. The NYT had a Sunday story on the upcoming DVD release, with the not-very-surprising news that it’s not so much satire as documentary.

Lance Mannion is hot lately, but thinks no one is reading him. Go prove him wrong. Or just read this one.

Confession: I only watched the first third of Friday’s debate. The rest of my evening was spent catching up with “Family Bonds,” which I haven’t been able to catch until now. I…well, I loved it. How can you not love a show that uses AC/DC’s “TNT” as its opening theme? A reality show about a family of Long Island bail bondsmen? It is to swoon, particularly if, like me, you enjoy eavesdropping on women in nail salons, where the bail-bonding ladies seem to spend every other day. I’m alone in this assessment — the show’s getting killed by critics — but care I do not. Here’s one of the kinder assessments.

I’m finally able to make serious progress in “What’s the Matter With Kansas?” You should, too — it’s fabulous. More on that when I finish it.

Posted at 6:34 pm in Uncategorized |

7 responses to “Yellow tree.”

  1. Dave Reilly said on October 11, 2004 at 7:26 pm

    Very sweet post, Nance. Pretty thought, you, Kate, and the shagbark hickory. (I miss being able to point and say, Look, a shagbark hickory! Haven’t come across any out this way.) And a gorgeous photo!

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  2. Jim Sweeney said on October 12, 2004 at 10:19 am

    Also reading “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” Absolutely fascinating. Should be required reading for all blue collar people who vote Republican.

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  3. humblereader said on October 12, 2004 at 10:52 am

    Regarding Kansas: This American Life’s September 10th Program, Big Tent, gives an interesting slant. Must listening, as always.

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  4. humblereader said on October 12, 2004 at 10:52 am

    Regarding Kansas: This American Life’s September 10th Program, Big Tent, gives an interesting slant. Must listening, as always.

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  5. Mary said on October 12, 2004 at 11:44 am

    I have similar memories of breastfeeding my kids. Law and Order is an addiction the developed during that time for me as well.

    It is weird how people view the whole breastfeeding thing. My sister in law insisted it was unsanitary and that there was no way to know if my baby was getting enough to eat. The fact he made dirty diapers and was steadily growing did not change her mind.

    I do have one very haunting memory of sitting in the rocking chair with my first born, feeding him in the near dark, and hearing on the radio that the first Gulf War had started. I remember crying, thinking of the mothers in sitting in rocking chairs there, nursing babies to sleep, only to be awakened by bombs.

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  6. Nance said on October 12, 2004 at 4:54 pm

    Yeah, there’s something about nursing that turns you into a Mother to All Mankind — never mind the breasts that tingle and squirt every time any baby, let alone yours, whimpers. A few years ago a 3-year-old boy fell into a gorilla’s enclosure at some zoo…I think it was in Chicago, but I’m not sure. He was knocked out, and one of the females, who was nursing an infant, went over to him, touched him tenderly and sat by him until the keepers came to get him. The zoologists said it was perfectly normal behavior for lactating females.

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  7. juan said on October 15, 2004 at 10:57 am

    Just a brilliant little gem, Ms. Nance. That one will sooth my cortex for a long time. Thank you for a slice of unadulterated beauty.

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