Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I still remember my mother’s 33rd birthday. Not well, of course. I was six years old. But I remember a scene dimly lit with cake and candles. I remember Mom moving around the room. She was so tall in my world back then. And I remember wondering at those thirty-three years. Parents had lived such a tremendous amount of time.

In the selfishness of childhood, I never considered what happened to my mother when she became a mother. I never considered her youth as much more than a prequel to her life with me. In her stories of our births and babyhood, her children always played the starring role.

I didn’t yet know the length of nine months. But I know now.

I know now what it’s like to learn I would become a mother, and I’ve watched my husband’s eyes widen as I broke the news. I know what it’s like to notice that first swimming inside, to lie on a cool slab at the doctor’s office and watch two impossibly tiny feet on a television screen. I’ve felt my own life and my own belly inch farther and farther to the end of my reach. And I’ve waited through those final quiet days, hopeful and fearful for my time to come.

I know other things now, too.

I know that my body is no longer my own. I know this because now I’ve held my baby to my breast. I’ve cried with her when she couldn’t eat, and I’ve felt the whole world fall into place when she could. I’ve felt her scream as though the sound came from my lungs. I’ve looked into her eyes, and I’ve seen my eyes.

There was a time when I kept my heart neatly in my chest. When I didn’t say certain things because I worried they might sound cheesy or cliche. When I didn’t write things down for fear they would look too used on the page. But moms don’t have that luxury. They’re better off silly than stoic. They babytalk in ridiculous voices. They sometimes need pants with elastic waistbands. They’ve been caught drawing hearts in peanut-butter sandwiches. They talk about how great it is to be a mother.

And that’s the thing I know now most of all.

It really is great to be a mom.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Our little guy

I said I wouldn't be an obnoxious pet owner. I wasn't going to talk about my cat incessantly. I wasn't going to spend a lot of money on my cat or refer to myself as its mother. I wasn't going to even contemplate having the cat in the family Christmas card.

But then again,

I wasn't ever going to get all gooey and school-girlish over some boy.

I wasn't ever going to turn into my mother.

I wasn't ever going to start enjoying Rod Stewart.

I guess I was wrong.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Correct me if I'm wrong

But isn't using vinyl lettering to decorate the entrance of your man cave sort of violating the principles of the man cave?

Monday, October 04, 2010

A five year plan

Three years ago I made a five year plan.

A friend was giving a group of us each a ride on his new scooter. It was a short ride, just to the end of the street and back. I was trying hard to hold on tight but not, you know, too tight. We were sitting up straight, making a bit of small talk, mostly just staying quiet. As we cut through the warm summer air, I got a picture in my head: a five year plan. I would get a scooter of my own. I would find the job I was looking for as a school librarian. I would bundle my books together at the end of an afternoon, hop on my scooter, and zip home.

I felt pretty smart--coming up with such a manageable plan. This was a plan I really could make happen. But there was something else I was hoping for, something I never would have confessed. I wanted more than just the scooter. I wanted the fellow driving it. And I was holding onto this thought like I was holding onto his shirt--tight but not too tight. Because you never know when you're going to need to let that sort of thing go.

I bought my scooter the very next summer, and this year I finally got that library job. But my five year plan wasn't really complete until last week. I woke up while it was still dark, kissed my sleeping husband goodbye, and strapped on my helmet to go to work.

Two years ahead of schedule.

Here's to getting more than you planned on.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Skinny Fridge

Let me introduce you to my favorite household appliance. The reflection of me that lives in this fridge is a decidedly trimmer, slimmer gal (as if it were possible!) than the one I see in my bathroom mirror.

I don't care if this is a conspiratorial plot by the fridge makers of the world. I'm absolutely sold.

Come on over. You'll feel like a million bucks.