Words That Stick

Meaning of Life

My friend Ariana posted these words on her Facebook page a few days ago. In the middle of my runaway life, that first line – “The meaning of life is just to be alive” – resonated with such a relief. I’ve been so rushed and wound up, overcome by tightening deadlines, overscheduled with meetings and appointments, intimidated by to-dos. Time shrinks without warning, pushing me into the next day before I’ve had a chance to be fully in the one I woke up in. Continue reading

First Date, French Kissing and Wondering Why He Likes Me: When I Was 14

Seeing myself in that three-way mirror was like seeing myself for the first time. All the ways I’d placed myself in the world suddenly gave way.

IMG_5960We were at Jessica’s house in her mom’s bathroom trying on the eyeliner I wouldn’t be allowed to wear for another year, curling our eyelashes, giggling and gasping as they caught in between the metal clamps. I moved a panel of the mirror and suddenly a different me appeared. My nose slanted across my face rather than running straight down the middle. I noticed how slender my face was, thin and long and the way my jaw rounded gently, no strong lines. Until then, I’d only known myself straight on, unaware of my asymmetry. It stunned me, this three-dimensional view of myself, like staring at a stranger then realizing I’d known them all my life.

“Try this one,” Jessica said, passing me a glittery baby-blue shadow. “It’ll go good with your eyes.” Continue reading

Will I Know How to Raise My Teen Girl?

IMG_5859It’s an unwritten law: there will be scraped knees and hurt feelings. Hearts will break, exhaustion will set in; someone will get cancer. One of my three girls will grow up to hate me, maybe all three, hopefully not all at the same time. But then they’ll love me again, won’t they?

I’m reading this article in the Sunday New York Times magazine called The Mother of All Problems. It’s about teenage girls and how they turn on their mothers, become unreachable, utter profanities about us behind our backs to their friends. Hate, hate, hate us. Continue reading

Compassion is Alive and Well in the 4th Grade

Last month, in honor of the launch of #1000Speak, I posted a special piece about compassion called Teaching Our Girls About Friendship. Writing on a shared theme and posting on the same day as hundreds of other writers worldwide was a mighty, moving event. Reading so many amazing stories and perspectives inspired me, swelled my heart and put a perma-grin on my face for days. The whole experience got me thinking:

If writing and reading about compassion can have this kind of impact on me, an adult, what can it do for our kids? Continue reading

5 Ways St. Patrick’s Day Prepared Me for Motherhood

IMG_4570In my 20s and early 30s, wearing green, pinching the unfortunate souls who didn’t and getting wasted on St. Patrick’s Day was a required annual ritual my party hardy friends and I looked forward to. Then I had kids. Suddenly March 17 and the traditions of the day took on a different meaning. Here are five ways St. Patrick’s Day prepared me for motherhood: Continue reading

5 Lessons I Learned Staying Home with My Sick Three-Year-Old

IMG_5769 Winter in northern California is hardly challenging. Even during the years we get lots of rain (not this year or last), it’s rarely freezing cold and it certainly doesn’t snow where I am in the Bay Area. Despite the mild weather, we do still get hit with colds and flu though. My youngest ended up getting sick with a cold this weekend and stayed home from school today, which meant I stayed home too. Here’s what I learned during our sick day together. Continue reading

On The Mid: How To Make Family Time Happen

IMG_5036When I was a kid, we journeyed on weeks long family vacations around the world. From home, we took long car drives up to New Hampshire to see the leaves turn in the fall and longer rides out to beach on the Cape in the summer. The four of us went into the city (New York) to see shows and traipse around and when we moved to St. Louis and my sister and I were in middle school and high school, we went out for dinners and to the movies, to recitals and sporting events — all together.  Continue reading