Friday, March 15, 2019

Vanessa McGrady's "Rock Needs River"

Vanessa McGrady spends time thinking about feminist parenting, high-vibrational food, and badass ways to do things better. She often wonders why people aren’t more freaked out about plastic in the oceans. Whether in New York, the Pacific Northwest, or Glendale, California, she is grateful to call each place home.

After two years of waiting to adopt—slogging through paperwork and bouncing between hope and despair—a miracle finally happened for McGrady. Her sweet baby, Grace, was a dream come true. Then McGrady made a highly uncommon gesture: when Grace’s biological parents became homeless, McGrady invited them to stay.

McGrady applied the “Page 99 Test” to her new book, Rock Needs River: A Memoir About a Very Open Adoption, and reported the following:
From page 99:
I tried to explain that I was just helping on a call, getting my computer so I could work. I fought tears, scooped up Grace, and headed down to my car.

Grace had always been a strong traveler since her first ride in her daddy’s truck, but on this day, she wailed. I did everything I could do to calm her from the front seat, made sure she had a blanket, sang, offered toys and a bottle. Nothing worked.

Finally I took an exit, pulled over in a run-down, unfamiliar part of town, got in the back seat, and held her. We cried together.

That night, I had tickets to the Joffrey Nutcracker, in which my ten-year-old neighbor and BFF, Keya, was dancing as a snow angel. Peter was stuck working, so Grace and I put on our Christmas best and headed to the ballet.

We sat in the nosebleed section, getting the stink eye from the usher, who made sure I knew that if Grace made so much as a burp, we’d need to exit. Gracie settled in. The overture began, the lights dimmed, and guests began to arrive at Clara’s party. The Snow Queen floated, amid sparkly drifts, to her king.

Ballet is perfect for a six-month-old, by the way, as it’s all action and music, never a still moment, always changing light and something different to see. Grace was silently entranced on my lap for about twenty minutes, then settled into a deep sleep.
This part of the book discusses my struggle in going back to work with a new baby, and trying to balance it all. The book is about the path to becoming a parent, and the struggles afterward, as well as our relationship with my daughter’s birth parents. I loved this scene and also loved that feeling of escape and release in real life. To this day, seven years later, Grace adores the Nutcracker.
Visit Vanessa McGrady's website.

My Book, The Movie: Rock Needs River.

--Marshal Zeringue