The Long Way

everything I wanted was on back order

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

Reflections on a Marriage: Still Flooring Me After All These Years

For our wedding twelve years ago, my grandmother sent Charlie and I a beautiful card bestowing best wishes and congratulations. On the inside left flap she wrote, “With any luck you’ll make it twenty-five years.” That was ol’ Ruth for ya, always full of cheerful nuggets. Charlie and I looked at each other, wondering whether she meant we only had a chance at twenty-five years because of our advanced newlywed ages (I was forty and he was forty-seven) or because we had less-than-perfect track records, … Continue Reading →

How O.J. Simpson Changed My Life

  Twenty years ago today, my then boyfriend and I — along with 95 million other people— sat transfixed, watching the televised slow-speed car chase between O.J. Simpson and officers from the Los Angeles Police Department. It was a Saturday and we were flipping through channels trying to settle on something when it became abundantly clear that our viewing choice had been made. There was no way we couldn’t watch the dramatic scene playing out on Interstate 405. Earlier that day Tex and I had … Continue Reading →

A Vote to Rename Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day used to trip me up. From the age of thirty or so, when I began craving kids, it served as a painful reminder of what I didn’t have. The occasion could make me weep, but I’d dutifully send cards to my mom, my sisters, my grandmothers, my stepmom (or at least I hope I did), and a few friends. I’d try to bat away my pity and hope that I’d meet the guy of my dreams with whom to have a family. Ultimately … Continue Reading →

The Ex Factor

  Last weekend my husband and I traveled out of town to attend his fortieth high school reunion. Yes, fortieth. It arrives before you know it. Rumor had it that his ex-wife would also be attending and while I tried to act like that was no big deal, part of me wanted to stay home. “Are you sure you want me to go?” I asked Charlie more than once. “I don’t mind if you go alone. I really don’t.” The good news was we were … Continue Reading →

Through the Eyes of Instagram

For their eleventh birthday last month, my twin boys asked for Instagram accounts. My immediate instinct – as it is in most situations when I’m feeling harassed about requests for more screen time – was to say no. But they weren’t pestering me nonstop and I’d already done some research, by which I mean I’d eavesdropped on a conversation between a few moms who are smart, reasonable, and exercise good judgment. They were discussing the pros and cons of Instagram for pre-teens, with the pros … Continue Reading →

Don’t Send Flowers. Bring Me Coffee.

When my husband-to-be and I were dating, he had a lovely habit of sending me a dozen red roses to my office on the fourteenth of every month. That date marked the anniversary of our first date. And exactly two years later, on the fourteenth of July in 2002, we tied the knot in a private beach ceremony on the island of Kauai, with plumeria in place of roses. Which suited me perfectly. I hadn’t wanted to admit to Charlie that I’d never really cared … Continue Reading →

The Difference Between Men and Women

Baby is here. That is what my husband texted me from Seattle after his first grandchild, a beautiful little girl, was born to his oldest son and his wife. From our home in the Bay Area, I looked again at the tiny screen on my cell phone. Baby is here. Was he kidding me? Did he really think I would accept those three words and say, oh, okay, thanks, TTYL xo. Surely he knew me better than that. Surely he knew I would call him … Continue Reading →

Prematurity Awareness Month: How I Became an Accidental Expert

For years, I’ve been intending to write something in honor of Prematurity Awareness Month (let’s call it PAM for short), but every year when November rolls around, I find myself at a loss to describe the worthy cause supported by March of Dimes. Maybe it’s because a girl named Pam was mean to me in grade school, maybe it’s because I don’t think I’ll do the issue justice, or maybe it’s just because I’m feeling overwhelmed about the impending holiday season, which is about to … Continue Reading →

The First Goodbye

I am certainly no pro at saying goodbye; in fact, I’m the type who would prefer to avoid the subject entirely and slip out the back door, hastily waving a hand behind my shoulder. But when it came time to put our nearly sixteen-year-old beloved dog to rest, I knew I had to push past my normal avoidance tendencies and prep my twin boys for what was to come. As we went about our daily routines, I’d sometimes point out when it seemed as though … Continue Reading →

Back to School Blues

Around ten o’clock the other night, I heard a quiet knock on the bathroom door. I was brushing my teeth, preparing for bed. Even though I wanted to believe that my twin boys were implementing good manners as a result of my amazing tutelage – finally, finally the countless times that I’d pleaded with them, I mean yelled at them, to knock before entering were sinking in – I knew what was really going on. They were being polite because they’d sensed my wistfulness earlier … Continue Reading →