May 7 2017

Sorry I Was in Your Way, but the Thing Is I Have a Baby

Sorry I Was in Your Way, but the Thing Is I Have a Baby

As a parent of small children, you often get the vague sense that you are in the way. You notice the quiet cringes as you enter a restaurant, the looks of crushing disappointment when you board an airplane. You apologize thirteen times in the span of a one-block walk because the kids still haven’t learned (after eight million reminders) to look where they’re going.

Sorry. Sorry about that. Say excuse me, P. Look FORWARD when you walk, please. I’m so sorry.

We’re working on it. And most of the time, people are pretty nice — if not warmly understanding, they’re at least tolerant. I’m sure the people who wince at the sight of kids aren’t even doing it on purpose. It’s probably just an automatic reaction. Subconscious.

I’ve gotten used to feeling in the way, but there’s a huge difference between FEELING in the way and someone straight up telling you that you are — something that, this past week, has happened twice. TWICE. In one week. Continue reading

May 1 2017

To the Heroes Who Love Me When I Am Anxious

To the Heroes Who Love Me When I Am Anxious

Most of the time, I’m fine.

Or, more accurately, I’m “fine.” Most days, I function just like everyone else appears to function: I grocery shop, I play outside with my children, I laugh easily. I seem relaxed and comfortable and carefree. There is a soundtrack always playing in the background of my mind that is filled with worries and what-ifs, but on these days the music is low. Controlled. Almost muted.

And then there are days like the one last week. My husband was out of town, I was alone with the kids for several days and nights, and a few new-ish friends popped over for a couple hours to have some wine and watch a show. After a little while, I went upstairs to put my daughter to bed; and by the time I rejoined my company, I was drowning under the first crushing wave of a phobia-related panic attack. Continue reading

Mar 23 2017

Diary of a Dog: Before and After Life with Kids By Beaker

<span class="entry-title-primary">Diary of a Dog: Before and After Life with Kids</span> <span class="entry-subtitle">By Beaker</span>

3 B.C. Diary of a DogJUNE 2010:
Not really sure where I am, but it is GREAT! Definitely digging this place. It checks off several must-haves.

dog's checklist of non-negotiables must-haves diary of a dog

I’ve been here for a few breakfasts now, so maybe this is my new pack. The Two-Leggeds sneak me some gourmet scrambled eggs each morning after my own food, I get snacks just for being cute, and I have my own bowl and everything. My OWN BOWL! Pure luxury.

There are a couple weird rules, though. Here’s one: I’m not allowed on the soft fuzzy floor yet — something about how I need to learn to “go potty outside.” Continue reading

Jan 22 2017

The Space Between Baby and Boy

The Space Between Baby and Boy

We’re in it now, this space between baby and boy.

We’re teetering, delicately and precariously, a roller coaster in its graceful pause just before the plunge. It was a little rickety at first, climbing that steep, steep slope: Sleepless nights. Endless spit-up. Needless crying. I felt each click click click of the ascent. But for now, we are floating here, balancing above the next phase of your life.

With your sister, I didn’t realize it was coming. I just woke up one morning and she was a little girl. Somehow, in one dreamless night, her ringlets grew out, her face changed, her speech solidified. I didn’t know there was a space between until it was gone.

But with you, I recognize the signs. I feel fortunate that I can see it this time around, grateful for the opportunity to soak in every last minute of your babyhood. Continue reading

Sep 22 2016

A Love Letter to Michigan

A Love Letter to Michigan

My beloved Mitten,

When I left last year, I knew, absolutely, I would miss you. Somehow I always understood that you are special — even as a child, even when my then-boyfriend-now-husband-who-is-from-Virginia called you “kinda flat,” even when I was nineteen years old and it was winter in Ann Arbor and I had to lean into a blizzard on the blustery walk to class. Even then.

There’s just something about you.

After so much time away, I got to spend the whole month of August as a guest on your soil — and I remembered all those somethings. I also noticed brand new somethings, because we’d been apart for so long that I was able to look at you with fresh eyes.

Of course, people say we sometimes don’t recognize the beauty of a thing until it’s gone, and usually when I hear clichés like that, I’m all Continue reading