The Long Way

everything I wanted was on back order

BUT THEN AT 40 IT ALL ARRIVED AT ONCE: A HUSBAND, STEPKIDS, AND TWINS

The Green-Eyed Book Monster

In the space of one week I received three notifications from authors regarding publication dates for their new books. I would like to think I’m above jealousy. I would like to think I’m always supportive, positive and evolved. But by the time the third email arrived announcing a major book deal, I could only see green. I wish no misery on anyone, even people I strongly dislike. I want the best for everyone. As long as that includes me, apparently. Most writers know how easy … Continue Reading →

Have a Heart & Pass One On

I was sitting at my desk when the call came in. It was from Dave, a colleague I’d once worked with in Dallas. “Hey there, I know it’s been a while,” he said, “but I wasn’t sure if you had a special valentine in your life so I wanted to let you know I was thinking about you.” Hyper aware of my single status at the time, for which I’d been feeling blue, the sound of Dave’s kind gravelly voice made me smile. The last … Continue Reading →

Why Now is the Time to Stop Writing About My Kids

“Quit writing down what I say,” my son pleaded as I reached for a post-it note to record an exchange we’d just had in the car. “Can I get you a tissue for that issue?’ is funny, though,” I replied. “It made me laugh when you said that to your brother and I want to remember it. Same goes for the things you say to your buddies, like square up, legit, respect, quality, get reckt. Authentic dialogue is key for writers.” “But I don’t want … Continue Reading →

The Struggle for Identity After Motherhood

A few years ago in Southern California my husband and I went to dinner with a couple we casually knew. We were new to the neighborhood and game for making friends. The woman was an author and the man a television producer. Being a writer myself, I was interested in learning more about her career and I soon discovered that the man worked for one of my previous employers. How wonderful I thought, we’d have topics in common. It was a Friday night and the … Continue Reading →

What Gloria Steinem Gave Me

I saw her off to the side of the stage, notecards in hand, patiently waiting while the evening’s host read aloud her accolades. From where I was sitting I would have pegged the woman in the wings as thirty or forty, but no more, had I not known otherwise. She stood ramrod straight and confident, with lustrous tresses that highlighted her famous face and when the moderator said, “Please welcome Gloria Steinem,” she strode across the stage waving and smiling to the crowd, her long … Continue Reading →

Puberty and Parenting: A Day in the Life With Almost 12-Year-Olds

I’ve come to a crossroad and so have my children. That crossroad is called puberty, something I naively never imagined myself reliving. Before I had children I visualized long hikes up canyon trails while an infant slept happily in a sling strapped across my chest, or captivating museum visits with a four-year-old clutching my hand in compatible bliss. Never in my imaginings did I picture what life would be like as a mother of twin boys on the eve of their twelfth birthday. If someone … Continue Reading →

When Math is a Four-Letter Word

While discussing the challenges of raising children, a friend shared an apropos quote. “When kids are little, they have little problems. The bigger they get, the bigger their problems become.” A somber example of this is the recent suicide of a Palo Alto high school teenager. In an article published November 12, 2014 (insidebayarea.com), the superintendent of our school district addressed the tragedy. “The world is different for the student today than in the past, and the pressure to be ‘successful’ is growing as the competition … Continue Reading →

I Will Never Forget 9.11.01

There are a couple reasons I haven’t wanted to write about 9/11 until now, chief among them being that I’m not a New Yorker. Yes, I happened to be in Manhattan on that world-changing day but I’ve never felt that gave me any right to record anything. I didn’t lose anyone that day. I may have seen the smoke but I didn’t smell the jet fuel. I may have been rattled to my core but I didn’t have to consider leaping from a high-rise window, … Continue Reading →

Welcome to Middle School

“You are an embarrassment machine,” my son hissed to me at a restaurant a few days before he began sixth grade. He said this audibly enough for me to hear although his head was bowed, his long blonde bangs grazing the edge of his placemat. I don’t recall which infraction I’d incurred at the time. Perhaps reminding him that he should say please after placing his order with the waiter? Suggesting that he spread the napkin across his lap, rather than leave it next to … Continue Reading →

The Boys of Summer…Think Theirs is Really Crummy

“What kind of sandwich would you like in your lunch?” I asked after nudging awake one of my eleven-year-old twin boys the other morning. He narrowed his eyes at me, groaned loudly and then turned away, smashing his head into the pillow. “Make me an I-don’t-want-to-go-to-camp sandwich,” he said. “Why do I have to go to camp anyway? Everyone else I know is having a good summer. They’re going on vacation and sleeping in. Mine sucks.” Pity parties weren’t allowed in the household where I … Continue Reading →