Here’s what I figured out:
I’m lazier than everybody.
Especially a woman I read about recently who gave birth to 14 boys and then had a girl.
I’m talking about Kateri Schwandt of Michigan, who married her high school sweetheart and started reproducing.
They had boys, one after the other, until they reached 14 sons.
And last week they had a girl, named Maggie.
NPR, which reported the story, says the odds of having 14 boys and zero girls is .02%.
They didn’t report whether Kateri was trying for a girl, but I can tell you one thing she got: my admiration.
I simply don’t have that level of determination.
I wouldn’t put in the effort.
I wouldn’t even try.
If I had two boys but still wanted a girl, I would stop.
Good enough is my standard.
I’m fine with that.
Why go for Blackjack?
I stand pat.
I think Kateri should go to Vegas.
In fact, I’ll take her.
And how about Brianna Hill of Chicago, who gave birth during the bar exam and finished the test.
Take that in.
The bar exam was being held remotely because of the pandemic, its four 90-minute sections scheduled on two days. To prevent cheating, Brianna was required to sit in front of her computer while a proctor watched.
I don’t know what the proctor does if you give birth.
So about 30 minutes into the exam on the first day, Brianna felt her water break, but she couldn’t leave her laptop until after the first section.
In other words, her water broke before the break.
If she had a c-section after the section, the puns would be complete.
Anyway, when she realized she was going into labor, Brianna called her husband, midwife, and mom — then went back to finish the second section because she had time before she had to leave for the hospital.
TO GIVE BIRTH.
She took the second section in labor, then went to the hospital, delivered a son, and took the full second day of the exam in the maternity ward, nursing between breaks.
But when did she spin the plates?
Or leap tall buildings?
I admire Brianna so much because I have done both things, been in labor and taken the bar exam.
But not at the same time.
And I can tell you that the bar exam is worse than labor.
In fact, I had to pee during the bar exam and almost didn’t come back.
Why would I?
It was so hard.
You’re not going to believe this, but whenever Francesca has a bad night’s sleep, I tell her that she shouldn’t let it bother her the next day because “at least you don’t have to take the bar exam.”
I swear it’s true.
I actually tell her that, in the way that all mothers propagandize their daughters, who manage not to roll their eyes.
It’s a miracle that I passed the bar exam. I had no answer at all to an essay question on estates. The prompt involved who would inherit if there were children, stepchildren, children born-out-of-wedlock, and maybe a hamster.
I wrote: “I would give all the money to my favorite.”
And that’s exactly what I’m going to do.
I have one child and she’s my favorite.
Partly because she listens to my sayings.
By the way, my other sayings include, “Is there cake?”
Also, “Did you just fart?”
I stan Brianna and Kateri, as the kids say.
But in truth, they’re just the women who make the news.
I know there are so many other women doing something as heroic as getting themselves or their families through a global pandemic.
Keeping track of masks and wiping down counters.
Paying bills and making ends meet when the bottom falls out.
Going to endless Zoom meetings and remembering to unmute.
Helping teenagers with virtual homework when geometry is a distant memory.
Studying medical reports to make decisions for themselves and their families.
Becoming experts on local COVID-19 infection rates and the best pulse oximeters, when they never even knew what that was before.
Keeping kids entertained when they can’t see their friends or play their sports.
Missing their own friends, family, children, and grandchildren.
Worrying remotely about sons and daughters in college.
Sitting in cars outside the emergency vet while a beloved pet is being treated inside.
Staving off loneliness when they’ve watched everything on Netflix.
Mourning, in isolation, loved ones who have been lost.
Modeling perseverance, resilience, and strength.
Putting on a brave face, like makeup.
I could go on and on.
So could you.
All of us, trying to make the best of an impossibly dreadful time.
Leading our lives in a new normal for the holiday season.
We tell women not to try and be superwomen.
We don’t have to try.
We already are.