Thursday, January 15, 2009

nesting instinct

A little while back I was asked to be part of this killer all-city intern get together hosted at the Goodman. It was pretty sweet, and I remember making what probably sounded like a flip comment that has more truth for me the more I think about it.

I said that making a play was like giving birth. I said it was like what I imagine giving birth must be like (that got a laugh. which was fun.) Here's why I said that - because it's effing hard. Because when you're in the middle of the tech where nothing's going right (c'mon, you know there's always that tech. always) you just want it to stop, you want to grab someone around the neck and say "You did this to me!" You bargain and beg and pray and wonder if you'll ever do this again. And then, once everything clicks into place, the amnesia starts to set in.

This is why women sometimes have more than one child, and why artists make more than one play. You forget. All you can think about is this cute tiny person who looks a little bit like you and your partner(s), but mostly looks like something totally orignal, something all its own.

And yet I wasn't actually done with this analogy. Even though some of the interns seemed to think I was at least moderately clever (sometimes moderate cleverness is all one can hope for). I think that if tech is like childbirth, opening is like dropping the kid off at college.

I think when (god willing) I have an actual child, I will be either the best or the worst mother in the history of anything.

I will worry a lot. I will hug too tightly. I will get lipstick on your face and then lick my thumb to wipe it off. I will become hysterical if you fall and scrape your knee. I will be righteously indignant to those who look at you funny or question how advanced you really are. I will not hide things like that with a cool, collected exterior. I will worry. I will show up at the slumber party with extra snacks and your favorite pillow. I will ask her what exactly her intentions are towards my baby. I will insist. I will suggest. I will wait up. I will stand in the doorway of your dorm room just a little too long. I will assume you're wondering when the hell I'm going to leave so that you can start to be a grown-up. I will call to make sure you're still doing alright five minutes after I've gone. I will worry. I will love you until it feels like my heart will burst. I will be too obvious about it when I feel this way. I will mean well. I will try not to crowd you. I will worry. I will breathe in. I will breathe out. I will repeat.

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