The Thing About Love

My mom is standing by the kitchen sink, squeezing pimples on a chicken. This is the 1990s in Hungary, when chicken still come with remnants of what makes them poultry: feathers, dry skin around the heel, nails that once scratched dirt on a farm. Behind her on the kitchen table are carrots and parsley and…

When Being a Mother Is a Lonely Gig

Right before my son was born my mother said something to me that, at the time, didn’t make much sense. She said: “Your husband will love you and support you and will appreciate all of the sacrifices that you are making in raising this child. But in the end, you will be all alone with…

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…

The Married Couple’s 36 Questions for Staying in Love

I am sure that by now you have probably read the recent Modern Love column in The New York Times by Mandy Len Catron. In “To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This,” Mandy unpacks the 36 questions that can help two people fall in love. The exercise suggests that both parties answer the questions…

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…

Nightmare

Last night Sam had a nightmare. It’s been a while since he had one — maybe since the winter. For a while he was getting them regularly, thanks to whatever crazy developmental stuff was going on in his little head. But the past few months have been uneventful when it came to his sleep. It’s…

The Problem With Date Night

It’s Saturday night. My parents are watching the kid. My hubby has the night off. I am a nervous wreck. Because the problem with date night is that it’s still, you know, a date. A date that I was hoping never to have to go through again after getting married. I was so done with…