Struggling, for the Win

“I feel awful!” my nine-year old daughter wailed, throwing herself on the kitchen floor like a dishrag. “Please don’t make me go to school!” Her ailments grew more elaborate each morning that week. “I’m like a woodland spring in a drought!” “I’m a fairy stuck in a flower that won’t bloom!” Then, I found a... Continue Reading →

On the Eve of My Sister’s Wedding

You'll hear a lot about my sister this summer; after all, for several weeks, we're living together with our children, embracing the village life temporarily. (To read the rest of the series, written for Washington Post's On Parenting this summer, see The Village Life, Part I, Village Life, Part II: Specializing by Moment, Village Life, Part III:... Continue Reading →

My Daughter Takes the Lead, Again

“Mom, do you like my recital costume?” my daughter asked, offering a wadded-up ball of tulle for me to admire. We both held our breath hopefully. I unraveled the ensemble from my daughter’s arms and found a neon green leotard attached to a flouncy zebra-print mini skirt. A matching backless halter vest, belted with a... Continue Reading →

Chasing Fear with Magic, for Now

My daughter woke me at night because she had a stomachache. I knew what that meant. I placed a bucket at her bedside. I gave her a glass of water. She leaned back into her pillow. “Mom, I think that made it worse,” she croaked. Suddenly, and comically to my surprise, out of her mouth... Continue Reading →

Practice Makes Better

Practice of any kind—writing, teaching, or exercising—can be so mentally excruciating for me that at times, I feel I simply cannot. I’m much better at being lazy. I’d grab a bottle of wine and treat a glob of taleggio like a salt lick until my face is sweating rather than go to bed early just... Continue Reading →

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