You got a friend in me
Although her son hops when he walks and avoids eye contact, Judith Newman knows you can’t always tell if a child is on the autistic spectrum just by looking. But, after years of school events, the New York Times columnist reckons she can usually spot the mothers. Such a woman will have “skin a little ashier than the average woman her age, hollows under the eyes a little more pronounced, a smile playing about her lips as they dart about nervously, wondering what might happen next. She is sometimes proud, sometimes amused. She is never quite relaxed.”
I’m one of those women and I think Newman nails our tribe perfectly. Like much of her intense little book about her son, Gus, the passage made me want to laugh and cry at the same time. So true. So funny. So hard.
Newman was 40 when she gave birth to her twins Gus and Henry in 2001. Her husband, a retired opera singer, was 69. It took seven years and $70,000 (£53,000) for them to get pregnant. She exposed the intimate details of her fertility treatment and unconventional relationship with such brutal