Dear Nicky’s Mom

Dear Nicky’s Mom,

Thank you for sewing the tear in Aden’s stuffed leopard.

The tear I’d promised to fix.

Approximately 4 weeks ago.  Or maybe 5.  Or maybe 6.

Imagine my surprise when Aden rushed to me after school with a huge grin on her face and told me that her leopard was fixed.

“Oh,” I said neutrally.  “Did someone fix it for you?” ...  read more

A Birthday, A Monster, and A Murder

Today was my son Ian’s 11-year-old birthday party.

I made a terrible faux pas.

Ian’s birthday is close to Thanksgiving.  Like anyone with a child whose birthday is close to a holiday, I try to make his birthday special by not allowing the holiday to bleed all over his special day.  Ian’s birthday isn’t about turkey or pumpkin pie, cornucopias or fall leaf decorations.  This year, Ian’s birthday is about turning 11 and being a boy.  Being cool.  Blaring rock music and playing football with his friends. ...  read more

Delay Tactics

Cai and Cael, age 4, are honing their “don’t let Mom leave” skills.  It’s a virtual rite of passage in childhood, employed most typically at bedtime.

Previous attempts have included the usual childhood gambits.  The desperate thirst for water.  The unbearable urge to pee.  The terror of the dark.

All of these worked for a while.  Mostly because I’m kind of a sucker as a parent.  I spend an inordinate amount of time wondering if my children really are terribly thirsty, parched like a veritable desert, wasting away from dehydration as their callous mother reclines negligently on her chaise sipping wine and eating cheese. ...  read more