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…

In differences, small victories

There are days I think I am raising a parrot. As I hang up a conference call, my son pipes up with not one—but two—perfect British accents. One Northern, one Welsh-based. While he cannot tell me which accent hales from which region, he mimics the pronunciations perfectly. Unremarkable until he does the same with Indian,…

Enough? Hell, yes.

I tell my kids often that they are enough. You will know what that means if you have ever felt like you were not enough. Enough to ace a big test. Enough to get that promotion. Enough to be loved in your ugliest moments with your jiggliest bits. It is important to know that we…

Untested

I caught myself midsentence: “ I think if she could just see that all she has to do is . . . “ Oh honey, just be quiet. Shut up, shut up, shut up. Despite my best intentions, I was doing it again. Chatting about how someone else should be running their life. Even with…

My bed is like Grand Central Station

Yeah. Not in that way. Every home has its epicenter. In many homes, it’s the kitchen table. Homework gets done, meals are eaten, world politics are argued. When we added on to our home, I wanted a kitchen large enough for a huge farmhouse table. Alas, that was not in the cards. But I got…

Applause, applause

It was an inopportune time to be crying. But the tears were running down by face, sparked by a story the makeup artist was telling me. I was going to my first black-tie affair since my divorce. The first black-tie event I’d been to without a date since my late twenties. It was an auction…

Yearning for a fleeting insignificance

I told my friend at dinner that I unexpectedly found myself looking at a women’s retreat and spa trip in Bali. She looked puzzled. “I bet you could get 80 percent of that relaxation and recharging just from going away by yourself and not worrying about the retreat part.” Maybe she is right. But the…

Some love notes make me fret

I shoved the note into my coat pocket, absentmindedly, as I much too loudly herded my children out the door for school. I tried to think of it as a badge of honor, but at the time, the words in that note just hurt. In angry nine-year-old boy scrawl: “You do NOT love me and…

What the divorced won’t tell their married friends

I was sleeping in my son’s bed. I was not alone. I had a multitude of stuffed animals surrounding me, arranged in the protective circle within which he liked to sleep. He was at his father’s house with his brother for the weekend. And me? I was a newbie to this whole divorce thing. It…

The power of three

They say good things come in sets of three. Case in point: Johnny, Danny and Joey. If you are a single mom running a household with children, you’re busy. Goes without saying. And if you were raised, like me, with a father who kept the house shipshape growing up, you may not quite have been…

Yo, alien boy. What have you done with my son?

Like any good mother, I know my son. I can usually predict, with about 80 percent accuracy, his next move. And like any good mother, I want him to best me. Despite our seemingly enlightened posturing (and if we’re posturing, wherein lies the enlightenment?), we want our kids to have better than we did. Do…

Have faith. Be smart. One does not preclude the other.

I felt the impact and truth of what I was saying in my bones—literally. I felt the force of my conviction physically, and it surprised me. My mother lay dying in a hospital bed. She was still well enough to hold conversations and was worrying about my financial situation. I was married at the time…