On a cold fall morning, Elise and I meet at Cafe Paulette to chat. I am terribly late- an unusual occurrence. Elise, is just a few minutes late and pregnant with her first child. At 33 weeks, she already understands the weekend dynamics of mothering and how it often milks our remaining supply: minutes and hours, leaving us halfway composed frantically running down a busy Fort Greene street.
Elise and I have met before, in passing at parties or events. It’s funny how that happens. How you can orbit in one another’s circles, never really crossing over clearly-and then something life changing (like pregnancy), connects you. Over blueberries, yogurt, omelettes and fries, we discussed pregnancy, mothering, and art, and how these identities and our past identities transition and form overtime. What a treat…
“Twenty nine feels like a spicy age to become a mom. I didn’t leave the party (of my 20s) too early, but also wasn’t the last one lingering. I also lived nearly 20 lives in my 20s!”
+ As someone who’s work dives into stories of blackness and generational narratives, how does having a child at this specific age in your life feel meaningful?
“From the loss of my biological father, connecting to a part of my family I’d never known, watching my siblings enter their angsty teen years to celebrating 70 years of life with my grandmother this year has been by far the most significant personally. I’ve become much more aware of the fragility and preciousness of time. I was blessed with a child at this very moment, but this is when I could truly appreciate the value in life, in living.”
+ Motherhood and art, where do these worlds meet?
“I’ve finally reached every New Yorker’s dream – to live alone! Only soon I’ll have a forever roommate.”
+ Overall home style?
+ One wish for your unborn babe?
To find joy in exactly who they are.
+ What part of motherhood are you looking forward to most?
Relinquishing a false sense of control.
+ What is your one hope for mothers-to be?
Never forget who you are.
Thank you so much, Elise! We can’t wait to watch your motherhood journey!
(Photography by Maia Harms for LaTonya Yvette.)