Drama Mama

The scattered thoughts of a new mom.

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Allow me to introduce myself

Wed, Apr 14 2010 (06:00 PM)

First, I need to congratulate my dear friend Ann. She joined the ranks of motherhood at 4:15 this morning. Congratulations, Ann! I’m so excited for you, and I can’t wait to meet baby Evelyn!

Now I suppose I ought to explain who I am. I’m obviously a new mother, but I’m also a daughter, sister, friend, and wife-to-be. I used to be a coworker as well, but Layla couldn’t stand to have me away for four or more hours at a time. So my fiancĂ© John and I decided it wasn’t worth the stress or heartache, and I became a full-time stay-at-home mom. As a very talented software engineer, he can support us comfortably, and we can spend our nights and weekends as a family.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Knowing my titles and relationships doesn’t really tell you who I am. It simply tells you what I am. And, to be honest, I’m not really sure how to define a person. We already know titles aren’t enough. I could list my likes and dislikes, but I’ve always found that rather juvenile and pointless. Would I really be all that different if I liked peas better than green beans? A list would be boring anyway. I think it’s more fun to discover those little things along the way and have stories to go with them. I want to know why you like or dislike something not just that you like or dislike it. For example, I dislike country music because because the twanginess of the vocals goes against the grain of everything I’ve learned about singing. My high school choir teacher actually made us put oreos vertically in our mouths to train us sing with tall vowels. And there, you have a why and a story to go with my dislike of country music.

I could recount what I’ve done in my life, and that would get us closer to who I am, but I still don’t think it gives the whole picture. I could tell you that I attended a private liberal arts college where I majored in theatre and history and minored in English. I could tell you my contributions to each theatrical production during my four years there and submit my transcript of classes and grades. But, again, you wouldn’t know why I did what I did. And you also wouldn’t know what I didn’t do. You wouldn’t know that I strongly considered enrolling in a five year architecture program at a state school and that I love math and logic, not just the arts and humanities.

I think what really defines a person is how he or she thinks about things and makes decisions. His or her feelings about things add to the definition, including the degree to which these feelings affect decisions. John and I were attracted to each other for awhile, but what connected us was the realization that our thought patterns are nearly identical. We both try to optimize plans for efficiency. This is especially evident when we’re driving with several errands to accomplish. Independently, we think through the easiest paths (Will we have to make a left-hand turn in a construction zone?)and the time-sensitive tasks (The bank closes at six!), and we usually end up with the same or similar plans. If we differ, there’s always a discussion about which optimizations are most important.

The day John and I discovered just how identical our thought processes were, we were sitting on the couch in my apartment working through a book of logic puzzles I had. The puzzle was designed like this one called “Pattern”. You use the numbers along the top and left side to figure out which boxes are black and which ones are white. Neither of us had seen a puzzle like it before, so we were discovering our solving strategies as we went. We sat for a few minutes in silence studying the page. Then I tentatively pointed out that a large number indicated that at least a certain number of boxes in the center had to be black. John agreed, and we marked the appropriate boxes. Then John found another spot where we could positively confirm a few more boxes. As we continued our pattern, considering the puzzle in silence then triumphantly declaring more black boxes, we noticed that 90% of the time we were looking at the same thing and reaching our conclusions almost simultaneously. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever experienced: synchronized thoughts. We’re really lucky to have found that in each other.

So, I guess to really tell you who I am, I’ll need to reflect on how I really think about things. And I would imagine that will all come out in my writing whether I’m the subject or not! So look forward to meeting the true me little by little in future posts. I’ll try to add the titles, likes and dislikes, and stories as I go.

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