Today I drove up to San Francisco, leaving my infant son more than an hour’s drive behind me at his babysitter’s house. I was on my way to record a book review/commentary for KQED Radio’s the California Report. I’ve done a number of these reviews for them in the past few years, but the last one was well over a year ago (Beth Lisick’s hysterical book, Helping Me Help Myself), when I was approximately 6 months pregnant.
I got there early and so stopped over at the nearest cafe, where I did not order myself a coffee as I would have done were I not nursing still, but a soda and a sandwich (for after–I’m always ravenous when I record reviews, it’s weird!). I pulled out another book I’ll be reviewing for Publisher’s Weekly and sipped and scanned pages for fifteen minutes, feeling luxuriously like my old self–sort of. Even though there were no little fingers tugging on my leg, my former self wouldn’t have thought things like: what if a terrible accident on the road keeps me from getting back to my son? Is that a breastmilk stain on this blouse? Can these people tell that I’m a mother? And of course, as I pawed through my bag looking for my review to go over it one more time, two diapers, a never-used binky that serves as a toy and one baby sock all reminded me of the duality of my life. I am writer and mother. Seemingly separate roles that nonetheless blend together.
Anyway, it was fun to record a review. The book is Either You’re In, or You’re In the Way, by Logan and Noah Miller–twin brothers that I went to high school with. The book is a phenomenal chronicle of their journey to make an independent film based on their complex relationship with their alcoholic father, who died in jail in 2006. It was also a fabulous way to sort of get to know two guys I had never really talked to in high school. Reading it reminded me so much of those years, even though that’s not what the book is about. Still, they describe places in Marin county I know so well, and people I would still recognize if I saw them today.
To listen to the review, you may either:
Tune in live on Friday May 15th. 88.5 FM. 4pm and 6pm. The review usually comes somewhere in the middle of the show.
Stream live at www.thecaliforniareport.org
Or listen to the archives, which are usually up a day later, also at www.thecaliforniareport.org, click the link “Archives.”