The Longest Shortest Time

Gus

Remember Joanne?

Joanne at 32 weeks

Joanne at 32 weeks

Yes, that Joanne. Hilarious, brilliant Joanne, who was afraid of giving birth to a criminal in episode 15. I had all kinds of plans with her. Plans I told you about. To talk to her after her son was born every few weeks, and to see how her struggles evolved.

We tried it. I recorded a call a few weeks after baby August (Gus) was born. And as always, I thoroughly enjoyed talking to Joanne. Thing is, even with all of Joanne’s self described neuroses, everything was going pretty smoothly. She’d had a c-section—something she wasn’t too psyched about—but she wasn’t hung up on it, either. Gus was breastfeeding well; he was sleeping as well as could be expected, as was Joanne; Gus’s dad could be around a lot to help out. Joanne was even pleased with how quickly she was losing her baby weight!

Joanne is a writer with a very powerful sense of story. The day after we talked she sent me an e-mail that said:

I’ve been feeling pretty lousy about the things I said and the way the conversation went. I can’t stop thinking about all that you and so many other mothers have gone through– *especially* you with your recovery from Sasha’s birth–and I feel like my experience has been pretty banal in comparison, and that I didn’t speak about it in very compelling terms. If, in the end, you feel like our story isn’t terribly useful for podcast purposes, I totally understand! It’s hard enough to make stories come together, and when the material just isn’t there, I sympathize!

Gus

I told her to keep in touch and to let me know if anything came up that she thought was worth exploring on the podcast. A few months went by and (good news for Joanne) it seems things are still going as smoothly as can be expected. As I’ve learned in doing this project, longest shortest times come and go, so the way I left things with Joanne is that she’s welcome back anytime she wants to share a struggle. In the meantime, let’s give a hardy welcome to baby Gus!

And get ready to welcome Ellen, the mom I found to replace Joanne in the series. I’ll be posting our first episode with Ellen on Friday. I’m really excited about this one, you guys. This is a brave lady.

Thanks, Joanne, for trying this out with me! And for recognizing when a story has seen its climax.