When Jonah was christened, Steve’s cousin came to New York to act as Jonah’s godfather. Looking around for topics of conversation — our dissertation topics were certainly not of interest — he asked what our hobbies were. I think we laughed, which I suppose was rude, but the thought of having time for a hobby was absurd. Steve had just begun working on Wall Street and was finishing his dissertation on the weekends. I was watching Jonah, adjuncting at Columbia, and trying to turn my dissertation into an article. We had no lives outside of work or parenting.
Now that we’re not slaving away in the netherword of adjuncts and temporary administrative positions in finance, we have more time, and, thus, have hobbies. If Steve’s cousin ever asks about our hobbies again, we’ll have lots of answers.
I’m collecting old books at estate sales and then reselling them. Steve and Jonah are growing heirloom tomatoes in the basement, which they’ll replant in the garden in a month. There’s European soccer on the TV. Ian’s drums and music. Jonah’s longboard. Steve’s genealogical research on his cousin-marrying Mennonite farmer ancestors.
We sometimes think that we’ll return to the city when this parent thing is over. But we need elbow room for the hobbies, so maybe not.