Teach Your Children

I have had it with the excuses. "They're only being kids." "It's just girl stuff." And my favorite, the resigned, shoulder-shrugging, "Well, what can you do?" The answer is that we can raise our kids. Toddlers take toys from other children. They pitch fits when they don't get their way. I had one with a proclivity for shoe-throwing during fits of pique. ...more

Happily in the Middle

I was having a tough time. Last month was a hard one as a parent, because my child was hurting and I couldn't fix it. It left me exhausted and emotionally raw.While in that fragile state, I read two completely unrelated books that combined to hit me hard.The first was The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan. It has a cheerful blue and yellow cover that asserts that O, The Oprah Magazine called it "funny and irresistibly exuberant." It looked and sounded like the light, mindless distraction I needed....more

Eleven: The Hallway as Metaphor

I made my son hang out with me.It was an unseasonably warm winter Sunday in January. My daughter had a friend over, and my son was bored. It was foggy, and I decided to walk with my camera on a nearby beach. I told my son he was coming with me. No excuses.He half-heartedly grumbled for a while, but he went. By the time we were walking to the beach, he was just yanking my chain, complaining about having to hang out with me for the sake of entertainment. With great solemnity, he said, "Mom, I'm almost eleven. I'm a tween. I'm separating from you."...more

Fade to Black: Death After Dementia

  It seems very wrong to write a eulogy for someone who is still alive. That's what I've been doing today. But instead of putting my scattered ideas onto paper, I'm writing this. It's one thing to eulogize in your head and another thing entirely to commit those thoughts to sentences and paragraphs....more

Peace Without Quiet

Saturday was a very good but very tiring day. I'd spent 24 uninterrupted hours with my kids in the car, at a hotel, and at an early morning swim meet. We all had a surprisingly good time together, but we were ready to separate when we came home.My daughter snagged the computer first. She needed to type up the "Let It Go" lyrics she'd methodically written down in her room the day before. My son slunk up to his room to do whatever it is he does with all those LEGO pieces. I unpacked, then lay down on my bed....more

Ceding Control or Just Letting Go (A Bit)

Lately I find myself noticing all the ways I'm ill-prepared for the next several years. I thought that the sleep-deprived years with irrational toddlers would be the worst for me, but I can see that older children are going to challenge me in ways for which I am wired for failure....more

A Mother's Sanctuary and a Few Moments Alone

I really did have to go. But then I was alone. And the door was locked. The fan drowned out the noise, and I had my iPhone in my pocket. The bathroom is only a few feet away from the wireless router, so the signal is really good in there. So I stayed a while. ...more
We take our little moments when we can! My husband and I realized we hardly ever got to just sit ...more

I Was Poisoning Myself: Why I'm No Longer a Wine-Drinking Mom

If you look closely, you can still see a ghost of a ring. My reading chair sits next to the fireplace, and for a long time, the hearth was where I placed my glass of red wine. A slight red wine ring remains in that spot, although I haven't had a sip of red wine in nearly two years....more

Going to Hell: Is Pride Always Bad?

When and As Needed