I strive to be a truth teller while observing nuances of human interaction, places, changes, love, disappointment, hope, loss, angst, rage, trauma, and the quest for “normalcy” that we each seek. When I was in the throes of mothering a gaggle of babies, toddlers and young boys, it was a daily yearning for what I hoped would one day be “normalcy.” And yet, I really didn’t know what that would look like. Now as my youngest sons are about to leave home, I realize all too well that in fact those days were as normal as could be. The fighting, the laughing, the resisting bathing and the non-stop showering, the sassy rebellion, the cuddling on the green chair which later became the red chair, all having the flu at one time, the defiance and the mischief, the home births that seemed like they would never end, the breastfeeding all night every night, the trying to grocery shop and harder still — trying to actually cook the food, the trying to comfort two babies at once wondering how anyone could survive twins, the birthday parties sometimes with themes and sometimes with none, the sneakers, the yard sales, the moving from one home to another, the loving dad who came home every single night to change the mood never losing his sense of humor, and us all surviving the wrenching and unbearable loss of one child while not taking a breath for years. All of that WAS normal. And now, a new normal awaits and though I am anxious and scared I must still walk ahead and through one foot following the other.
I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, moved to Richmond Hill, NY at age 17 to live on my own, then onto Woodside, NY for same. I met and married Shep Smith in 1978 with a wedding in the Hamptons and we lived on the Upper West Side and then the Upper East Side in NYC until due to his job we had to move to San Antonio, Texas where my first son was born. After two years we moved to Hampton Bays, NY and then East Quogue and finally into the first non-toxic home ever built in Southampton, NY. We and our then three sons loved that home we built so much, but in 1988 the real estate market collapsed and we were without an income. We moved to Raleigh, NC in 1993 with four sons and lived in North Raleigh for 20 years. In 1998 our twin sons were born making a total of six sons, with five living. W have lived in our very cool downtown condo/former textile mill from the 1800’s since 2014. I am a lactation consultant in private practice in Cary, NC doing work I still love and am committed to.
I suppose my quest for a normal day may continue until what I hope is a normal ending.