Pirate Mom

I wasn’t raised to swashbuckle. When I birthed two boys, it did not take long for me to realize I was going to have to learn how to do so. As they dove off of staircases, thinking they could fly like Buzz Lightyear; received concussions trying to clamber out of their crib; and split chins…

The givers

My friend Kate is pushing my grocery cart for me. And she is doing this while brandishing a Christmas wreath I’ve chosen to buy. It’s looped over her right forearm, like a medieval shield, as she does battle with the pre-Thanksgiving shoppers. She’s a tiny formidable force in Whole Foods, tooling down the aisles like…

Russian doll

It would simply have been a passing thought had I not grabbed it by the tail. But I did. And so here I sit, surrounded by beach towels on the floor of my closet. My intention was good—clean out a closet that escaped my Kondo-like spring purge a few months ago. But now the towels…

The escape artist

In a house where you are the youngest of six children, it is not unusual to feel invisible at times. And when the older siblings always seem to have some drama for your parents to attend to, you learn to become a keen observer and an unwilling empath. I can still feel the energy in…

Beyond the ordinary

I’ve just deleted my mother from my cell phone contacts list; this is not as drastic as it sounds. She passed away eight years ago. You might ask what took me so long. And you’d have a point. I’ve written before about my mother being a force of nature. She was a mighty oak, someone…

No surprise

He keeps surprising himself over and over again. Befuddled by his own success. While I sit quietly on the sidelines, not surprised at all. My youngest, a bit of an Eeyore with a mother who channels a lot of Tigger, generally underestimates himself at every turn. Growing up with an older brother who was not…

Going home

I don’t know why I answered the doorbell. I never do. Really. It’s always someone trying to sell me something—raffle tickets, candy bars, the salvation of Jesus Christ. But this time, I peeked out the window to see who might be there. A father and son stood on my doorstep. I opened the window a…

The precious few

Precious few things truly matter in this life. I’d like to think the biggies are universal—love, family, friends, kindness, support, inspiration, health. I’m not sure that’s the case for everyone. I know plenty of people for whom material success, promotions and recognition matter more. But I also like to think life hands the very wise…

Go figure

My boy has a dream. It is not my dream for him. I had a dream once. It was not my mother’s dream for me. She pushed and she pulled and she prodded to get me to accept her dream. I nearly did. But despite a high LSAT score, I refused to go to law…

Roll film

Have you ever forgotten that you’re the one holding the brush that paints the broad strokes? Do you ever become so caught up in basic day-to-day muck that you completely miss the fact your life is a canvas of your making? I’ve done just that. I’m not blaming myself. I hope you don’t blame yourself…

And so we heal

I grew up as one of the lucky ones. The youngest of six daughters in a house with paper thin walls. I grew up with curlers in the bathroom, a bevy of family birthday celebrations, a closetful of dress-up shoes to choose from when I wanted to play Nancy Drew or Charlie’s Angels. I was…

“I’m with the band”

When walking in my neighborhood, a friendly one I’ve written about before, I used to be the headliner. Whether trotting with baby in stroller or chasing my speed demon son on his tiny trike, neighbors would call out, “Hello, Kristine!” I’d wave back and smile. It seems I’ve been relegated to mere groupie on my…