It Won’t Get Better

FenceBFKisscolor

A newborn's cry is unmistakable. The hearty, bleating squawk of a tiny human being announcing their arrival, is a sound that etches itself into the cellular memory of a parent.  My youngest has a cry that is 14 months older than his first heartbreaking shrills once were, and yet.... When you peeked around the corner of the breastfeeding center the other day, I already knew you were there.  Your daughter, barely on the cusp of her one-week birthday, was sharing news of the dawn of your motherhood in the way that only babies can.  She announced your arrival with a primal yell...the one that sends mothers everywhere right back to the fog of those first unpredictable weeks. I stood there with

Undocumented Refugees

I want you to imagine that you have just put your ten year old daughter on a bus, bound for sleep-away camp. You've packed her some snacks for the ride.  You've covered her in kisses and sent hearty prayers towards the sky, hoping that your love will build an armor that shields her from anything that could happen when you're not there to help her. You tell yourself that this is the right decision.  She's ready.  You need to learn to let go.  It is for her own good, for her own growth. And then you watch the bus drive away. Your daughter's bus arrived in San Diego this morning, and it was not met by a welcoming, kind-faced group of adults.  Her bus was welcomed by angry, chanting,

Damn You, Stitch Fix!

StitchFix Jeans

I am a sucker for clothes.  Lots of clothes.  I'm sort of a collector/hoarder/treasure-hunter when it comes to putting outfits together.  I find excuses to cruise around the mall when Ben is napping peacefully in the stroller (it counts as exercise!).  I obsess about buying multiples of things that I love (Old Navy tank tops to go under everything, every single pair of American Eagle super soft skinny jeans that I can possibly find).  But as much as I binge on clothing, I end up wearing the same.damn.thing every single day.  Tank top and maxi skirt.  Tank top and jeans, maybe a flowy cardigan.  Favorite earrings.  Wet ponytail.  Bam.  Mascara on a good day. The 25 year old me would kick

Five!

BikesMax

My little "big" guy turned 5 a few weeks ago, so I figured it's never too late to share his birthday letter with you! Dear Max, Five years ago today, you were letting us know that you were ready to come into the world.  You were scrunched up tight in my belly, folded over like you had just jumped off of the Olympic high dive.  You were bottom-down, head up, and very stuck.  We couldn't quite figure out how you managed to get yourself in that position at the very end of your 39 weeks inside, but knowing you now, it all makes sense.  You are full of energy, curiosity, and endless movement.  Of course you got stuck. But you didn't want to wait for the c-section we had scheduled.....you

The Last First Year

FamPicBounceHouse

There is a moment in motherhood when you realize that you have been holding your breath. As if forgetting to breathe will somehow slow the passage of time, in all the right places. It is the deep inhale as your baby settles in to sleep, buffered and bolstered by the crook of your arm, the sticky sweat at the back of his neck wetting your forearm as you move to stand up.  In the seconds before you transfer him to his crib, you notice for the hundredth time how his cheeks flush when he's sleeping.  The way that his pouty rosebud lips purse and relax in a sucking rhythm, even when he's done nursing.  The way that his little hands clench as he dreams.  You offer up silent prayers for a

Drum Circle Mamas

I grew up next to the ocean, but I rarely went in. The water was always too much of something.  Too cold, too salty, too unforgiving.  The currents were strong, and I wasn't a great swimmer.  The speckled blue waves were murky as they churned toward shore, and I was afraid of what swam beneath. The ocean didn't belong to me, but the beach did. The beach at sunset was my favorite place to be.  As teenagers, we would sit in tight clusters together, the jagged edges of the cliffs scratching at the back of our legs.  We would traipse in flip-flops, over the powdery sand below, cocooned in hooded sweatshirts, watching fireworks explode over the horizon.  My best friend and I would drive

7 Truths About Breastfeeding

bf1

On May 15th, my sweet baby Ben will turn one year old. We did it. We survived his first year. But you know what else happened that was totally unexpected and hard-won and butt-kicking and prayed for and holy and amazing and beautiful? I became a breastfeeding mom. I have breastfed Ben every single day for the past year.  We are about to have our one year "Nurse-aversary".  ME.  The formula-feeding mom.  ME.  The one who thought that I would never need a nursing bra, and would never leak enough milk to have a reason for breast pads.  ME.  The one who used to be afraid to nurse in public.  The one who once cursed her body, felt shame in her body, was angry at her body.  I