Moments, Parenting

The Silliness of Three

Make a silly face, Mama. There’s a 3 year old on my lap, face forward and cupping my cheeks with her hands. I oblige, raising my eyebrows, sticking out my tongue, and wiggling fingers behind my head like some kind of deranged rooster. It is morning, and silly faces are our ritual. Another one! She makes a silly face without even knowing it, bed-headed and sleep-encrusted, puffy eyes. She smushes my cheeks together, forcing my lips forward in a pudgy pout. This time I attempt to cross my eyes,which I’ve never been successful at- not even with a slow finger to the nose the way so many have instructed me. I end up squinting them, nose crinkly and drawn up, duck lips like the high school girls on Instagram.  …

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On Fear and MotherhoodMoments, Parenting

On Fear and Motherhood

When I was thirteen I applied to my first writer’s workshop. I sent a thick packet of papers in an envelope I’d lifted from my father’s office store room, where shelves lined the walls with boxes of binder clips and ink for stamps. I wrapped that tension tie tightly with string. I sent off the words and went about the business of ninth grade. What I’d written that day when I sat down at the brand-new Hewlett Packard was stupid, really. Embarrassing. Trite. The kind of adolescent poetry whose sugary sweetness causes cavities as the words are read. But buried in the third paragraph was a single point of truth. She’s afraid she hasn’t been in enough pain to write well.  …

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