Marilyn and Gloria

"Love-making is radical, while marriage is conservative."
—Eric Hoffer

One day in the early 70's, I read a magazine article in which Gloria Steinem was reported to have said that she would have no problem continuing her work as a writer should she ever have a baby—she'd do her writing when the baby napped. I can't recall the date I read this, or even the year, but I do remember vividly that it was a rainy afternoon and those words about writing mothers and sleeping babies were responsible for what you could call a significant moment. For I was on that afternoon the mother of two toddlers, one of whom had avoided sleep since birth and continued to defy parental expectations, not to mention physiological law, by thriving nicely without once lying down, much less closing his eyes. And I was certain that if he ever did take a nap, I would not sit down to write. I would do instead something meaningful, something important. I would take a nap, too.

Parenthood may be the world's biggest club, but it's not a club without rules. And the first and most inflexible rule is: If you aren't a member, you don't know what the hell you're talking about. (Which is not the same as saying that you automatically know what you're talking about if you are a member—but that's a different issue completely.) Gloria Steinem didn't know...

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