Opening Paragraphs

I used to write here. My heart would beat so fast when I sat down to type.  I could feel the words in my throat, bubbling and exploding and rising up without warning.  I would write when the house was quiet, drafting opening paragraphs under the stream of a hot shower, emerging to tap them out on my phone, dripping wet.  I'd tiptoe to the computer, and minutes would fold into the darkness of hours.  I'd emerge from my mind, finally, with a story that made my pulse race.  I loved sending those paragraphs out into the world late at night.  I was braver then.  Pitching essays was only a bit of science, and the rest fury.  I believed in what I had to say.  I believed that it would find you.

The Melanoma Diaries

"I'm 100% sure it's not Melanoma" the physician's assistant said, as Ben sat watching us from the corner chair of an ice cold examining room.  I shifted in my paper gown, trying to hide the rip that Ben had created when he slid off my lap as my exam began.  The PA laughed.  "Well, I should say 99%.  We're not ever supposed to say 100." Ben dropped a goldfish cracker on the floor. "Let's just do a little biopsy, to rule out a carcinoma." the PA said.  "It will be quick, and we'll know more in about two weeks.  If it's a basal cell carcinoma, then we remove it, and you'll be fine." And then it was over.  They offered Ben a granola bar.  We went about our business. I was so

We Fight About Politics, And It Makes Our Marriage Hot

Thrilled to have an essay published on Good Housekeeping this week! ***************** My husband said he would never talk politics on a first date. I said I would never date a guy who wore linen pants and drove a car that cost more than my yearly salary. But here we are, eight years into marriage. I am the daughter of parents who marched on Washington to protest the Vietnam War. I grew up with Joan Baez and James Taylor on the record player. This means that my family was shocked when I brought home a Republican. But we knew what we were getting into from the get-go. On our first date, we shut the restaurant down as we argued health care, abortion, access to education, and international

4 Easy Steps To Mastering The Newborn Stage

Congratulations!  Now that your sweet little one is nestled into his carseat, and you are headed home from the hospital, it's time to review some very important rules for maintaining the health, dignity, self-esteem, emotional resilience, and future intelligence of your cherished offspring. Perhaps you've heard that there is a "proper" way to do this parenting thing.  There is. Intimidated?  You should be. Three days ago, you were in charge of deciding which brunch spot to wander into after you and your partner woke up at 10 am.  You were in charge of other grown-ups at work, and they could communicate their wants and needs to you in your language, and (mostly) in a timely manner.

Mothering Through The Darkness

  In just a few weeks, Max will turn 6 and Ben will turn 2.  My sweet, hilarious, curious, kind little boys are growing out of their clothes, growing out of their baby routines, and growing into little people who share their dynamic personalities with ease and laughter.  But they are not the only ones who have grown.  My motherhood continues to change me, to challenge me, to inspire me, to complete me, and to crack me open.  As parents, do we ever stop holding our breath long enough to look back and say out loud that we are making it?  That we are surviving?  That in the quiet moments after the kids have gone to sleep, or when we catch a glimpse of them playing together, or when we

How Do You Talk To Your Sons About Sex?

Dear Son, Last night, you wondered out loud why some mommies have girl babies in their tummies, and some mommies have boy babies. And so it begins.   We talked about how your DNA is like a recipe for how your body will grow.  We paused.  You asked more.  We talked about how daddies have sperm and mommies have eggs.  We paused.  You asked about robots.  We talked about robots.  That seemed like a good place to stop, because you are only 6. But later, as I congratulated myself on saying all the right things, I realized that this was the easiest that the conversation would ever be.  As you grow, we'll develop a laundry list of the typical things that parents of high-schoolers worry

Late To School (Again)

I laughed at a first grader who knocked over a row of bikes this morning. She was late to school, walking her bike the last few steps before parking it in front of the principal’s office.  “Come ON!” her mom begged.  “The bell just rang!”  Their footsteps tapped along the sidewalk in a familiar, choreographed dance.  I was on the last eight-count of my own uncoordinated morning performance, having nudged and prodded and rushed my five year old into his kindergarten class just seconds before. I had already walked past Little Miss Tardy when I heard the crash.  Caught up in the rush of the morning, she had flung her bike into the carefully arranged line of bright colored handlebars and