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Space of One's Own

alec vanderboom

A newborn has invaded my life! Though desperately wanted, especially after the death of her brother during my last pregnancy, the actual fact that Baby Maria now shares my bed, my breast, and most of my closet space, has left me feeling mentally squished. I need a space online to claim the calm that used to come from coffee breaks with my husband, Jon.

The last time we did the newborn thing, we were joined at the hip. Finding out that we were expecting a son when our first born daughter turned 18 months, we did what all sane Catholic converts do. We immediately quit our respectable jobs (me-public interest attorney, him- college art professor), cashed in the retirement savings and moved to Madison, Wisconsin to start up our own, unproven home advertising business.

Because what baby doesn't inspire "movement" in a parents life? Seriously. Our babies just happened to inspire a lot of moves. The oldest is now 4, the middle 2 1/2 and the youngest is 8 weeks old. Each kid born in a different state. But more than mere geography, the kids have moved the outline of our mental philosophy.

When we met in the dawn of 2000, Jon and I, were grad students filled with the typical college ideals. Pro-choice. Believers that religious tolerance demanded religious plurality. Hip. Edgy. Feminist. Jon wore bike cleats to our first date. He refused to eat meat, hiked in winter, and carried urban survival gear. I was a graduate of Smith College, an ardent feminist and career girl who was finishing law school on her way to help the poor of Appalachia.

Then we got married, a real sacramental marriage that blurred our separate selfs and lifted us upward. Now we are on a different edge. Roman Catholic. Pro-lifers. A stay-at-home mom and a sole bread-winning dad. Parents of four kids in four years. Renters of a two-bedroom apartment in an expensive city and drivers of a single car. A married couple in a sea of co-habitating friends.

Our journey of faith has carried us far. This blog will serve as notes from the road as we figure out how to put the theory into practice as we each go about our daily work.