"Can we play a little, when we get home? Before homework?” The words tumble out of her mouth. They are coated with an imploring tone and dust from Pirate Booty. She pauses to nibble another crunchy (but organic!) cheese pod. She swings her legs. They dangle like two muted wind chimes from the bus stop-kiosk-shelter bench. “I know you are going to say no. You always say no.”
Her barbed statement rockets to my ears. I feel its sting, however, everywhere. In prison terms, she shanked me. With a shiv carved out of manipulation and mommy guilt.
For a moment, picture when you vacuum around your couch. You move it out from the wall about a foot and suck up bits back there, then you return it to its position, and get the area right under the front where the vacuum head thingamajig kind of fits. But there is swath of floor -- maybe four inches wide along the whole the length of the couch -- that doesn’t get touched. I’ve dubbed this land Dustbunny Canyon.
New York Family used this for the "Last Word" section in the October 2013 issue. They had to edit it a bit for print and to make room for the very snazzy illustration, so I've posted the wee-bit longer version here. Head honcho Eric Messinger gave me one of the best comments yet about my writing, calling it maybe "the most deceptively profound personal essay we've ever run about being a parent."
We all do it. We keep relatively innocuous foibles hidden. We are less than honest about rather innocent bits of ourselves. Why? We feel embarrassed? Perhaps. Fear of judgment? Of course. Afraid of ridicule? Definitely. Especially us parents, moms and dads who are juggling jobs and family and relationships, why do we spend so much energy — energy we don’t have — hiding certain things about ourselves?
I entered a contest. A writing contest. Haven’t done that in, well, I can’t remember the last time I did that, so it’s been that long. It was run by the folks at LiteraryMama, a pretty awesome online literary magazine that focuses on moms who are writers…especially those that write about mothering. I didn’t win...but I got an honorable mention. Thing is, it wasn’t about winning.
Selfie. Because I need a new photo for a bio and need to tweak it with Instagram filters. Because, well, you can look better with filters. I ain't no dummy...but still despise my selfies (not those of others who seem to rock them).
Our attempt at a human pyramid. It's a bit failed, but hey, it's ours. #summerfun #goodtimes #togetheragain #sarcastichashtags
She was the Mystery Reader for her "cousin" Owen's kindergarten class at Tuscan Elementary in Maplewood NJ today. Hanging with the sculpture outside, reading Knufflebunny. #summer #fun
3 Men and a Little Lady. #nyc #love #family
More Erma wisdom. #quotes #life
I'm declaring it Erma Bombeck week. #quotes #wisdom
On our Father's Day walkabout, ran across these nattily-dressed fellas with typewriters offering #freehaikus. She walked up and gave them a topic: cats (shocker). It came up she was allergic to cats yet loved them. They were quite perplexed by her obsession and quite smitten with her haiku insights. Thanks, @thehaikuguys, for making our afternoon so fun. #nyc #uws
William. Bill. The Colonel. Paappa. Many names for him. I am infinitely lucky to call him Dad. Happy Father's Day to the guy who's always looked out for me and taught me so much. 42 years later, I'm still learning from him.
Packed room listening to always-brilliant and witty @adonnrowley chat with the one and only @janegreenauthor about her latest book #temptingfate. This morning, I'm feeling so lucky to be among the women in that yellow room at #happierhour. #writing #nyc #books @rcedar @jamiekrug @wendykbradford @tremillernyc
She made The Abbie and The Lemor as a thank you to her teachers. Yup, made "Kitty City outposts" for each of them to take home. The Abbie has a Starbucks and a Trader Joes. The Lemor has a Starbucks and a Barnes and Noble. Each is powered by star energy (star-shaped beads, natch). She's never given anyone a piece of Kitty City...that's how special they are, how much she adores them. And yes, they come with cats.
Getting her mummy groove on at her final school event. Captured the fun with Abbie and Lemor, her 1st grade teachers. No words to describe how we feel about them. Okay, one that comes close: amazeballs. #walklikeanegyptian #yesicried
Whenever we pass by, she gets a goofy grin. #nyc #uws
Kicking off double date night. Stay tuned for more. #whatsdatenightagain
Her class photo. Staring right at that camera. I'm in awe of her confidence here (and always). Thanks to #stompinggroundphoto for capturing this.
Off to her first Harry Potter birthday party. Um, yeah, I am wearing a Hogwarts t-shirt. Not sure who is more excited. #ireadYA #potterhead
Today's sticker wisdom: Different is good.
Our first outing with Catty, Zip and Stripey. #tbt #meow #nyc