I Am Not Ready for Kindergarten

I want to begin by telling you that Sam started out in a cup. He was in an orange medical container with a white lid, the kind they use to collect urine samples—and apparently semen as well. I carried him from our home to my doctor’s office, about 15 minutes down the road, between my…

Keepers of History

  “All of this history,” my five-year-old sighs, “I am just not sure I believe it.” We are standing on the walls of a medieval Hungarian castle on a rainy, gray day. The town has grown around the castle over the centuries and it looks very different from what I assume my son is expecting:…

Summer of Independence

It’s still weird, the silence in the house. I wander around the living room, puttering, putting away toys and books and crayons. I make tea and sit by the kitchen table waiting for the water to boil. I suppress the urge to peek out the front door, walk down our driveway and look across the…

A book!

I almost started out this post by explaining and sort of apologizing for the title — it’s not really “my” book or anything… But I will not explain and apologize, because I am proud to be included in Full Grown People’s next anthology: Soul Mate 101 and Other Essays on Love and Sex.   The…

Retail Therapy

Tangled hangers drive me crazy. I usually don’t have the patience to untangle them, but the whole purpose of this exercise is to untangle, tidy, clean, organize. I flop on the bed next to the piles of clothes and work on the hangers for a few minutes until I can line them up, all of…

Writing Revenge

She hated the mornings the most. Her muscles ached from lifting the kids, from carrying the laundry basket up and down, up and down, from sitting on the floor for hours after school, playing, pretending. Always pretending. All she wanted to do in the mornings was light a cigarette and get to work just like…

Hair and boobs

On the morning of my 39th birthday, I was grateful for two things: my hair and my boobs. There were other things too, of course – the way Sam buried his little face in my hair at 5:30 in the morning. The way he and Drew planned how to surprise me with breakfast and cake…

Buying Self-Confidence (and Belts) at Taekwondo

My 5-year-old son bounced toward me with his new trophy and his bright-white taekwondo belt that he had just received from his master. “Mama, look, I did it,” he said, beaming, as we embraced. “We are so proud of you,” my husband said as he took a turn hugging him. Just a little over two…

My Husband’s Always Traveling. How Is It Affecting Our Son?

Last night my husband’s suitcase was on our bed again. I hate to pack, but I like to help him because I know that otherwise he will look like a sad, worn-out businessman at his destination. I can fit about a week’s worth of shirts and ties and sweaters into his carry-on, and they usually…

Why I’ve Had to Change my Definition of Friendship

One of the most vivid memories of my childhood is a bit of an elusive, weird thing: it’s my mother’s devotion to her best friend. My mother felt and “did”—and still does—friendship so exuberantly, so passionately, that when I was a child I could feel the love wash through our house when her friend was…

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…

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…