Teaching a child about death

The assignment at preschool was simple: draw a picture of your family. The teacher stapled 15 little pieces of paper on the bulletin board outside of the classroom once the drawings were finished. There were big families and small families. Families with pets, babies, and families that looked like tiny aliens. Our family, drawn on…

We’ll Always Have Frankfurt

I took the last fortune cookie that came with our bill at the dim sum place near my office. My friends and I were celebrating the end of a long week, and we were all loud and slightly buzzed from our cocktails. The thin slip of paper fell into my lap as I crumbled the…

Mash, Mash

I can’t remember the last time I wrote fiction. But this one just sort of happened, like writing tends to happen — out of nowhere, without warning. So enjoy it and vote for it! Because writing is great, but winning is also great! Are Those Hearts? She knew she was in trouble the moment she…

Inked

I could sort of make out the outlines of the tattoo on my husband’s arm on the small photo on my phone. He took it in front of our bathroom mirror, holding up his right forearm in front of his face. I had to turn my head to the side to see that there were…

What Are We Allowed to Talk About Anymore?

We gathered in the center of our cubicle farm—the four women I share the space with stood around my desk. I am new in the office and they were asking me about my son. They wanted to see pictures and asked me about his age, his height, and told me that he has my eyes…

How do you make 13?

This has been a frequent question in our house lately, now that Sam is suddenly interested in letters and numbers: “How do you spell mama?” “What is 5 and 5?” “How do you make 13?” Easy answers. But today is our 13th anniversary and suddenly, I am not sure how one makes 13. It’s not…

Happy boobday

It’s actually tomorrow, but tomorrow is supposed to be crazy since I have taken up this other little part-time gig, plus the kid, plus Christmas party, plus my regular job… But I wanted to stop and talk about my boobs for a little bit. Tomorrow is the one-year anniversary of my breast-reduction surgery. A year…

Things Every Household Should Have

When I rented my first apartment right after college, I had two pots, a glass baking dish, a set of four plates and mugs, and a colander. And wine glasses, of course—mismatched, most of them left over from college parties. Even though it wasn’t much, I couldn’t imagine when I would use most of these…

In Which I Meet Benedict Cumberbatch…But Not Really

I am sure that you, too, have fantasized about what “The Meeting” would be like. Perhaps there is a small crowd of fans outside an event, with you at the front. Your fingers brush his as you hand him a Sharpie to sign his name and you exchange meaningful looks and maybe a “hello” or…

A year of writing seriously

I just realized the other day that on November 13 it’s going to mark a year since my first essay was published by Full Grown People.  That was the day that I started to dip my toes back into writing and to take it — and myself — seriously. I guess I have always been…