I became a first time parent in middle age. Prior to that, I had a long run immersed in the cultural life of New York City, where I lived, and still live. My cultural palate was diverse and full, and I felt humbled and grateful to be deeply connected to a world so richly filled with art and artists.
I had a big social life, and most of my friends were people I’d met at artist colonies, where I often spent time writing. The friends I made were novelists, poets, screenwriters, painters, sculptors, composers, and musicians.
Fast forward to my new life as the first time mother of an infant daughter. I was simply too exhausted to do much socializing or event-hopping. I got by on so little sleep, and had so little free time, I didn’t have it in me to linger over lunch with a poet friend to discuss her latest chapbook.
When I did have time to socialize, I often did it with my daughter in tow, and it tended to be with other new parents, which whom I could discuss the minutia of diaper rash, diaper changing, and the best type of stroller for city streets, rather than the use of metaphor in the latest French avant-garde film. I was far less obsessed with the arts at that point than with my daughter’s “art” of projectile vomiting. Continue reading