Prayers that sound like accusations.

A couple of weeks ago I found a vintage copy of Elisabeth Bing’s “Six Practical Lessons for an Easier Childbirth” in the mixed-paper bin at the recycling center. It made me smile, and not just because of the awful 1970s hairstyles and maternity clothes. After four pregnancies in a row had stopped developing, my daughter was expecting again and this time a heartbeat was detected.An omen, I thought....more

We Are On Our Way There (4)

Continues from “We Are On Our Way There (3)”In trying to remember that night, I’ve misplaced a bit of time. In not wanting to go back, I got ahead of myself.At 1:57 a.m. I texted: Please respond… How many times have I written these words to her?...more

We Are On Our Way There (1)

(Continues from “Three Days”) After the first frost, Jo spreads straw over the strawberry bed and I clear collapsed morning glory vines from the front of our house. I eat the last three blackberries while circling our garlic beds, already safe under straw. Jo starts up the woodstove for the first time this season and I make a sweet tomato sauce with garlic and onions, cumin and curry, cayenne, cinnamon, and the last of our harvest. Stirring the red pot, I glance out the window. Bright leaves dance their last stunning, spiraling dance to the ground....more

The Invitation

These notebooks with their ragged handwriting began as a letter to myself, then became a letter to another mother with a daughter, then another with a son, then a father with a son, and then, somehow, a letter to the world—to any parent who might be hungry, like me, to feel a little less alone. I keep writing to unravel the past five years in which I’ve felt so lost, and lost so much—of myself, my child, a dream of family. I write with blind faith....more

Three Days

After that first, warm, early spring-like day—that last family therapy session on our little patio—when Olivia announced she wanted to finish the 11th grade in the coming eight weeks then move to her father’s a state away and drop out of high school, I walked around in a trance for three days. I washed dishes, drove, taught class, shopped for groceries, and finished cleaning the bathroom sink just in time to greet the therapist when she arrived for her last session alone with Olivia....more

The Agreement

That day on the front porch, the rocking chair still rocked as Olivia reclined as far back as she could and then slid her sunglasses down over her eyes to look at me. It was the end of April. She was so beautiful—that young woman who hated me. My gaze lingered on the spark of silver hoops like moons dangling beneath her ears. Then I studied her short square toes. She stretched her left foot and there was her father’s Baryshnikov arch. That day on the front porch, the rocking chair still rocked as Olivia reclined as far back as she could and then slid her sunglasses down over her eyes to look at me. It was the end of April. She was so beautiful—that young woman who hated me. My gaze lingered on the spark of silver hoops like moons dangling beneath her ears. Then I studied her short square toes. She stretched her left foot and there was her father’s Baryshnikov arch. ...more

My Mother's Daughter

  My mom and I do not share an “easy” relationship, but I wanted to tell her, “I love you; I am who I am because of you,” without the extra fluff that simply...isn't us. I wrote this after searching for hours and not finding a single Mother’s Day card for mother’s and daughters who don’t always get along like best friends, moms and daughters who don’t always see eye to eye....more

Mother/Daughter, It's Complicated

A Daughter's Perspective  ...more

Why I Want to Go to Housewife School

“What you need is housewife school.” This from a friend observing my efforts to replicate traditional Icelandic recipes and to learn how to crochet. He was referring to Reykjavík’s Hússtjórnarskóli, which loosely translates as “house management school,” but is often referred to as “Housewife School.” ...more
Bizellis Mommy_1Mojo Yes! I need that school! Closest thing I have is this: ...more

Adolescence ends when you finally admit you still need your parents

Psychologists say that increased fighting between adolescents and parents is part of a natural process of a child breaking away and becoming independent. But has anyone else had an adolescence that extended 25 years? ...more