I love my daughter. I really do. With all my heart and soul. But sometimes . . . sometimes I just want to leave her by the side of the road so my mom will pick her up and take her home like any other stray. We were at a restaurant, eating a fabulous meal, filling our bellies in preparation for a fabulous fireworks show. I looked over, and my precious six-year-old was twirling a linguine noodle in the air. Marinara sauce covered her face and shirt. She was eating with her fingers and mouth open, napkin discarded and unused on the table, and her chair was so far away from the table I was surprised she could reach her food at all.
When did this happen? Story used to have good manners. Not superb, I’ll admit (she still uses the back of her hand more often than her napkin), but she certainly didn’t cause restaurant patrons to stare and tablemates to lose their appetites. In that glance, I saw a child I didn’t recognize, a feral changeling.
In life there are things that people tell us are going to happen. They tell us that when we’re older we will realize this, or when we have more experience we’ll know that. The world is full of things that we will come to understand with just a little bit more life under our belt. While you may file these future truths away in your head as something to look out for or just fully dismiss, it is inevitable that they will one day show up and will completely catch you off guard. One of those things, for better or for worse, is turning into your parents. It’s unavoidable, and, I’m afraid to say, gets worse with age. Without my knowledge, my parents’ idioms and quirks have infiltrated my head and house in ways I can’t ignore. These are but two of the most pervasive examples. (more…)
When Story was born, my mom and grandma came up to help me. I knew how lucky I was to have four generations in one house, full of love and laughter and exhaustion. The bonds among the women in my family have always been rock strong, and I hoped that Story would feel the same. But I worried.
As much as I hate to admit it, I have found myself in a funk. This Monday, I woke up and realized that it was summer. I had hardly realized it was spring. The sun has been out for what must be months now, and we haven’t had any picnics in the park after work. We are still eating dinners inside. I left cookie dough in the fridge and completely forgot it was there. This is bad. (more…)
I must admit that I had my doubts. When Ali got a bunk bed for her girls and reported the resulting magic of the immediate vacancy of her bed, I shook my head. Her girls were ready to sleep in their own room; the arrival of the bunk bed just happened to coincide with that milestone. I may have even begrudged her a bit. My own daughter was two years older than her oldest and still sleeping in my bed. No way did Ali think of something I didn’t to retrieve the luxury of an empty bed. It was just nature. Her girls felt the call to nighttime independence before mine. We two moms had nothing to do with it.