Unplugged

Sometimes, it's a cosmic subtle hint. Sometimes, it's a truth said in the heat of an argument about nothing - "You're on the computer all the time." Sometimes, it is a heart crushing proclamation made by a five year old who's been denied screen time - "I don't want to read a book! Books are boring! I HATE BOOKS I WANT TO PLAY WII." I hate books. The words brought tears to my eyes. How could my child hate books?...more

Sometimes, in Summertime

My friend Tara at Faith In Ambiguity said 'May is for mothering'. Between end of school parties and awards and graduations and recitals, May is certainly, overwhelmingly, for Mothering. I have spent the past couple of weeks in a state of goofy almost-doneness, pitting responsibility against warm days and sandboxes and four o'clock beers. I took the kids to ice cream for no other reason than today was Wednesday and we had nothing better to do....more

Mr. Bojangles

God, how she loved that cat. She had waited so long to adopt him; visiting the pet store every week for three months, talking to him through the wire mesh, tickling his fur with her outstretched finger. Sometimes the man who worked there would let her take the orange tabby out and pet him, but she was careful not to ask too often. She didn't want to be known as a 'cat lady'. 'Cat lady' implies a certain strangeness, and she wasn't strange. At least she didn't think so. She'd asked the owner of the store to hold him until she could save up the adoption fee....more

Potty All the Time

My world has been consumed by the toilet for two days. Henry, whose fixations make me look like an OCD lightweight, has fixated on doing his business in the potty. Which should make me extremely happy. Instead, he is driving me insane. He has been accident free, due in large part to his insistance on sitting on the pot every fifteen minutes. The first seven or eight or twelve times, it was cute. I high fived and potty danced and heaped praise for the tiniest dribble. I pulled a muscle while executing a triple salchow after he pooped....more

Playing Possum

*An editorial note for you amateur etymologists: there is a difference between an opossum and a possum. The possum is an animal native to New Zealand and Australia. The opossum is the only marsupial native to North America. However, I have never heard an American, and certainly not a Southerner, refer to the country rat as an opossum. So, for this story, possum it is! ...more

My Desk is in Shambles

The upstairs of our house is occupied by Katie's room and bathroom, and a good sized bonus room. In the back portion of the bonus room runs a knee wall, with a long counter attached on one side. It is our computer desk, craft area, and would be writing space for me. I want this to be my desk, but instead it is a repository of bullshit. Long strips of paper that Katie has cut and strewn all over the place. An overflowing bill basket; not necessarily full of bills, because it also contains a bunch of tissue paper and a sheet of stickers and an ink cartridge....more

V is for Vote

This is not about politics. I just want to make that clear from the get-go, because so many people (myself included) immediately get their asses up on their shoulders when you start talking about politics. Frankly, no one is interested in hearing what a person of a differing opinion has to say, because they're wrong. There is no such thing as civilized political discourse, it is all left and right and a bunch of people acting like monkeys, slinging their shit around. But sometimes, something strikes me as so important, that I feel I really need to address it publicly....more

A Letter to My White Son

Dear Son, By sheer luck of circumstance, you were born a white male, in a prosperous country, to a loving family, in a comfortable home. Fate had you land in a well feathered nest. You are a lucky boy. Don't ever forget it. No one will judge you based solely on the color of your skin. No one will feel they have the right to harrass you because of how much skin you're showing. No one will look at you and see a threat, or cross the street or lock their doors, or as an opportunity to assert themselves against you. You, my son, are safe to wear hoodies....more
What a great post...my heart breaks for the unfairness of it all.more

Nadine

My maternal grandmother Nadine was four feet eleven inches of barely contained fury, wrapped in the latest fashions from Filene's department store. She was as round as she was tall, and often commented with a mixture of disgust and disbelief, "You can't find pants to fit a duck." Dressing her was my mother's duty as a child and when I was old enough, and we were visiting, the responsibility became mine. She rose every morning before dawn. Some days, it was to travel into the city for dialysis, to combat the lupus that so affected her body, and later her mind....more

Kindergarten Registration

I sat in the elementary school cafeteria last night, surrounded by parents in various states of anxiety. Even those who had been through this process before were a little nervous. It's a big thing, no matter how many times you've done it before, no matter how excited you may be about pushing another kid through those big doors with a smile and kiss, the event won't be ignored for the milestone that it is. Last night, I registered Julia for kindergarten. When Katie started kindergarten, I was unable to face the first day alone....more