When I was very young we lived in a little red house on the top of a hill. It was a brick house, and the fact that the mortar was intentionally applied to ooze out from the cracks gave it a feeling of a fairy tale. Smooshy brick, we called it. There was a pine tree in the front yard, and I set up camp under its branches when it was warm. There were twenty-six steps leading up to the house from the driveway below. I silently counted them one thousand times. There was the grave of a … [Read more...]



I fill the plastic yellow bowl with animal crackers for the third time today. He places an elephant in his hand and momentarily inspects it before biting off its trunk. Next comes the camel with his humped silhouette, and the death march continues till they've all been consumed. This child of mine, this boy, is a nervous snacker. A boredom eater. It's a challenge to lure him away from the pantry's siren song. I worry about the sugar, worry that he's overindulged, worry that I've spoiled … [Read more...]

Big Work


We sat cross-legged on the bedroom floor, the four of us, and counted ceiling stars. They were plastic, glow-in-the-dark, the kind you buy in packs at the drug store. By then, entire constellations had gone the way of single LEGO blocks: down the vents or in between couch cushions, or into the slobbery mouths of our dogs. But a handful remained, stuck onto the plaster with putty wads. We named them, listened to the sounds as they echoed through make-believe … [Read more...]

Bad Guys, Kryptonite and Bills


I fought it at first, but there was no denying the six year old boy. I'd wanted to dress him in something home made, every stitch a wish of love. It took time to own up to the fact that I couldn't sew. (The only seams I mend are the invisible kind.) I considered various "creative" solutions- a bunch of grapes or a bed sheet ghost? He balked. So we drove to the store, baby in tow, in search of a costume befitting us both. The Halloween aisles, by then, were bare. Pickings were slim but … [Read more...]

Ditching the Pacifier: Why I’m Not in a Rush


It's two am and like clockwork she appears at my bedside. By now I'm accustomed to this routine: the creak of the door, the sound of her footy pajamas shuffling down the hall, and then, arms raised, she whispers Mama. Mama, I want you. Without a thought I hoist her body over mine, and soon she's a tiny bird between us, settled, roosting. The only sounds in the world: the whir of the fan. The tug of the sheets. The rhythmic in and out of the pacifier that pacifies me. My middle child was … [Read more...]