Does Ruth still remind you of Ruth from the bible?
Haven’t thought about that in awhile! Honestly . . . no. I want to mumble something about steadfastness, which would be accurate if incomplete, but since I started the blog, Ruth has more or less cut her mother out of her life, which is pretty much the antithesis of the biblical Ruth.
Why did you pick the name Nora?
After the woman in A Doll’s House; my impression is that Nora is very much not what her parents expected, and that they wanted their only daughter to be a princess—a doll—rather than a butch lesbian. Nora has managed to become herself and maintain good relationships with her parents and brother, which I greatly admire.
Also, you said at one point that you were only planning to raise one child. Do you still feel that way?
Well, I’ve gone back and forth for a long time. I most of the time have wanted to raise two children, and Mr. Book wanted to raise only one before Joey. Then we had Joey, and I wanted to raise only him, and Mr. Book was enthusiastic about parenting again—and both for the same reason—because we so enjoy Joey. He is so, so great that (as my husband keeps saying) how could we stop at one? Adding another child is rolling the dice again, which makes me a bit nervous. We’re living with my parents now, and they’re just crazy about Joey: What if our possum is more introverted and less warm, and they care for him less? But even when I was most wanting to stop at Joey, I thought about how much I love my sisters and want a similar experience for Joey, and about wanting him not to face it alone when we die. See how sentimental I am? But Mr. Book and I both plan to have one more child. Maybe in May. 😉
As the only man in Cricket’s life, do you think there are things Mr. Book could/would be teaching to Cricket that Ruth and Nora can’t?
This question right here is why it’s taken me so long to put these answers up. At first I was thinking that there are things Mr. Book would be teaching Cricket just because he is himself, and different from Ruth or Nora in ways that have nothing to do with gender; he’s funnier, and loves early rap (you’d better believe that Joey is hearing a lot of De La Soul), and spends more time outdoors. But then I read Playful Parenting, in which Cohen mentions that in studies, boys have been found to be more likely to (e.g.) play with a baby doll if they first see men nurturing babies; I resist this information, but boys apparently look to men in specific and gender-y ways to see what they should do, and what men do. I admit, if I had known this way back when, I would have tried to choose a gay couple instead of a lesbian couple; I thought it didn’t matter, and now I think that maybe it does matter. Not that lesbians cannot be fabulous mothers to their sons! And provide them with male role models, and so forth. But I am more and more believing that Cricket may grow up to feel the lack of a dad—not of parents, but of a male parent—especially since he has Mr. Book somewhere just out of sight, the tall person who seems to fascinate him. I said something vague one time about Mr. Book being Cricket’s only male parent—not a parenting parent, I was clear—and Ruth Flipped Out. I wonder how she would answer this question. (My guess: “No.”)