Teaching Our Girls About Friendship

IMG_5409This post is part of the 1000 Voices for Compassion movement, an online campaign happening on February 20, 2015 to flood the blogosphere with kindness, caring, compassion, non-judgement and all around goodness. To read other stories of compassion, check out the hashtag #1000Speak on Facebook and Twitter.

My daughter is in 7th grade in a small private school. She’s known most of the kids in her class since kindergarten and even one or two since preschool. While they’re not all close friends, there isn’t much overt bullying going on. The teasing and undermining is much more subtle than that.  Continue reading

The Most Gorgeous Mess I’ve Ever Seen

IMG_5426The afternoon had gone on long enough the way it does when you’re home alone with a three-year-old. I’d cooked a nice, buttery mac-n-cheese as requested that then she hadn’t eaten. She’d dressed up as Rapunzel, a mermaid bride, a punk rock monster and a genie complete with towel turban, which she adorably calls a “kurban.” We’d played Barbie/Polly Pocket/Littlest Pet Shop with an alarming array of small, brightly colored plastic bits and pieces that I’m sure came in packaging that said Not Suitable For Children Under 3. Continue reading

The Mom Who’s Always Right Here

IMG_5240On Sunday I wake up at 6:30, like I do every morning, without prompting. My monkey brain immediately calculates the number of hours I’ve slept and it’s not enough. I stayed up too late reading or writing, Tweeting, my mind whirring. I wish I could sleep in just a little more, but my body is stubborn in its ways. I’ve kept to my side of the bed all night even though my husband’s side is empty. He is out of town, skiing the powder in the snowy Canadian Rockies. Continue reading

When The World Comes To You

IMG_5361The world walked right up my driveway, opened my unlocked car door, sat down behind the wheel and had a smoke. He settled in, rifled through the glove compartment, popped the trunk. He took the quarters in the console and a pair of sunglasses, but not the phone charger. The dog must have been barking like crazy – she goes nuts over a falling leaf – but he took his time, finished his cigarette. I found the ground out butt on the floor of the car a few days later. Continue reading

4 Truths About Our Post-Baby Bodies #SoGladTheyToldMe

IMG_5313Back in May of last year, I wrote a piece called “4 Truths About Our Post-Baby Bodies” that ran on The Huffington Post and Scary Mommy. It’s about finding strength and beauty in our postpartum bodies even though they may not look or act the way they did before having kids. Today I’m posting that piece on my blog for the first time in support of #SoGladTheyToldMe, an amazing campaign launched by Stephanie Sprenger of Mommy, For Real to spread words of honesty and understanding about motherhood and let us all know we’re not alone on this journey. She was inspired by the overwhelming response to her post I’m Glad They Warned Me, itself a response to They Should’ve Warned Me. If you have something helpful you’d like to share, please post on Facebook and Twitter, with or without a photo, and use the hashtag #SoGladTheyToldMe. Continue reading

To My Daughter On Her 10th Birthday

IMG_5202This morning I am making you a cake, per your request like I do every year. This time you asked for something so simple, I almost prod you for more. How about raspberry jam filling? Chocolate shavings? Rainbow layers? But no, all you want is a lemon cake, leaving the icing up to me. You give me that closed mouth smile that means you’re happy but a little hesitant, like you’re waiting for permission. “A lemon cake?” I say. “You got it birthday girl.” And you break out into a wide grin. Continue reading

Blind Spot

Ella Portrait 2009When my oldest daughter was around 14 months, she could “read” picture books. She’d hold the book out in front of her, turn the pages and recite the story word for word. So bright, we thought. By two and a half, she was extremely verbal and very smiley but didn’t seem able to hold eye contact for long. Typical for the age, we thought. At three she often came home from preschool with bumps and bruises. “She’s a little clumsy,” said the teacher. “Misses the chair when she goes to sit down.” Overly energetic, we thought.

Somewhere in the back of my brain, these little facts joined hands and circled up, but with a nine-month-old on my hip, I convinced myself there was really nothing much to worry about with my older one. I’d like to think that if it had been something more important, more drastic, I would have noticed it sooner. But I cannot guarantee that is the truth. Continue reading