My Baby, Your Baby

Happy Birthday, Leah Marie!

Say happy birthday to the cutest dang first-grader ever.

I’ve undertaken the leap away from nine-to-five grind the way many people wind up having kids: You plan and plan, hoping for a time that’s right, but in the end you just do it. Because the time is always right.

And though perhaps life gets messy for a while, and there are times (like now) when you don’t have two pennies to rub together, you know that there is no other life you’d rather be living.

I have a great respect for those professionals who manage this transition seamlessly, with grace and panache—clients falling at their feet, and money in their bank accounts. This is what we freelancers all want, the same way parents might want a brightly painted nursery and a college fund for their babe.

You could say that these are the things you need to make the leap. But the concept of need covers some gray territory.

How much will you sacrifice to make your dream work? Are you willing to eat canned goods instead of gourmet for a while? Can you manage dressing in last season’s clothes? Well, that’s the tip of the iceberg. Will you, as my musician brother is doing, move out of your apartment and into your dirty, warehouse practice space to save the cash you need to make your music?

We need to be practical to make the leap and fulfill our dreams. But more than anything, we needs to believe in ourselves and our dreams.

For now, I’m too selfish to devote my everyday life to a child—although I take great joy in being an aunt to rising swim star Leah (above) and her livewire sister Madelyn. Maybe someday I’ll take the leap to parenthood, too. But meanwhile I have my hands full tending a baby of a different sort.

4 thoughts on “My Baby, Your Baby

  1. Abi says:

    I love the way her goggles match her swimsuit. Kids have such a natural sense of style.

    I feel lucky that I have friends like you to remind me that the things we begin to feel are absolutely necessary to our lives—a car, pizza delivery, Netflix, dishwashers—aren’t REALLY necessary and if you are willing to strip down, you can manager to live simply and have the time to do what you love. I’m still trying to figure out a clever way to have a little of both. Maybe not the Netflix, but definitely the dishwasher. I feel like I’m caught in a trap of “shadow-work.” This is a term used in Reclaiming ( for work which is related to what you want to do, but not really what you want to do. I.E., editing is related to writing stories, but not actually writing stories. I was just so GD terrified for so long that I would never get a job that was even remotely creative, that I’m still just grateful I’m not typing numbers into a spreadsheet all day. Well…maybe the time for compromise is over. I can almost taste the freedom of being truly in charge of your life. A responsibility, yes, but with such a broad, expanding horizon—unlike the teeny, tiny horizon I see ahead of me now.

    Keep the faith, sistah.



  2. Abi says:

    P.S. thanks for the tip about Catia Chien. You know me well! I’ve loved her stuff for years and have actually bought a couple of her prints through her website. She sent me a project a year ago and I asked for a rewrite—still waiting and HOPING she sends it back. Would love to work with her.


  3. m2 says:

    not sure how i came across this site (rolf potts, maybe?) but been enjoying it the last month or so. and jotting my own letter of resignation this evening. shoot me an email if you like, cheers, m2


  4. Eliza Amos says:

    Funny you should say “strip down.” The budgetary aspect of Escape Artistry seems to be hitting me hardest in my wardrobe. Never thought I cared much about what I wore until I realized I’d been wearing the same linen pants and All-Stars for two weeks…. Anyway, take heart, Abi. Going freelance would allow you to write off your Netflix as manuscript research or something. 🙂


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