Birthday Parties, Slivers of Empty and Being Okay with Motherhood

P1040480“Mama?” says Lilah. “When is my birthday party going to be?”

My newly minted four-year-old looks at me slightly confused but with full confidence that I will have just the right answer to this question. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

Her actual birthday was more than two weeks ago deep in the heart of the summer. We celebrated with extended family during a beach vacation, but I haven’t planned a proper birthday party for her, the one with all her friends, a big cake and a surprise visit from a favorite princess. The one she’s been talking about all summer.
Continue reading “Birthday Parties, Slivers of Empty and Being Okay with Motherhood”

When an Earthquake Isn’t the Only Thing Shaking Up Life

IMG_5977I can’t really say there was a beginning or an end, it happened so fast. The side table lamp rattled a too-late warning, then the bed shook quick and hard like a wet dog. I stay frozen on top of the cozy comforter, gripping the laptop balancing against my thighs to keep it from sliding to the floor. My mind races: run to a doorway? Grab the kids? Where are my shoes? Seconds later it’s over. Earthquake.

“Hey!” I yell in the direction of my open bedroom door. “Did you guys feel that?” Continue reading “When an Earthquake Isn’t the Only Thing Shaking Up Life”

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 “Will I Know How to Raise My Teen Girl?”

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

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 Most Gorgeous Mess I’ve Ever Seen”

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 “The Mom Who’s Always Right Here”