"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.
On a rainy summer night, someone wanted some snuggles. Someone was not quite into doing her homework after the long weekend. Someone else was quite into this form of procrastination as she knows this snuggle era of someone's childhood is oh so short. #love #nyc #blankiesnuggledtoo
Love this. Regram from @therealflyingyogini #words #truth
Because I'm really not a great photographer, I don't have a pic of the amazing women that were gathered last night in the abode of @adonnrowley at her #happierhours featuring @clairebidwell and @jillianlauren....though even if I could snag a good pic, it would never be able to capture the energy that was there. Rare. Special. Inspiring. Truly lucky to be witness to it all and meet new folks and see old friends. #nyc #writing #inspiration
Took time this past weekend to redo some goals. Some short-term, some long-term (life long?). So, this is what I'm doing today, what I need to do today to make it happen. Thank you, @consciousink, for my constant reminders.
Poolside and pink laces.
Converse in the Hamptons.
Seeing @putzelmovie listed on the TV screen never gets old. @jasonchaet @allegracohen @jakebraver @melanielynskey @jacktcarpenter
Hamptons sun and coffee. ☕️
Bummed to be missing @clairebidwell reading from this tonight literally down the street from me, but seriously can't wait to talk about it next week among friends. I don't often do these shout-outs, but encourage everyone to snag a copy. You won't regret it. #booklove
Sunday words. #truth #reminders Regram from @livefitnsore
Bed, books and a chandelier. Still needs artwork. @waterlogue
Whatever the chalk guy says, I'll take it. #sidewalkwords
Dinner companions. No, they don't look anything alike. #love
Found this proverb, truth that's quite fitting for today. Happy Mother's Day to all of the mothers out there. Squeezing the kiddo, the one who made me a mom, a little tighter, a little longer today...just because. #love #mothers
#inspiration repost from @livefitnsore
What do I see? Women I admire. Women that inspire me. Women I'm infinitely lucky to be able to call my friends. #pengala @adonnrowley @wendykbradford @rcedar @brettne @jessicarotondi @mkotler313
Still buzzing from my experience last night. I had the privilege of attending the @pen_america gala and sat next to the incomparable Adam Gopnick, one of my favorite writers. The room was filled with conversation and debate, reminders of what we -- as artists, journalists, and writers -- can accomplish with our words, with the risks we take. So many quotes from the evening, but one that stands out: make the choice to be curious. Yes. This. #pengala #amnh #inspiration @newyorkermag @jessicarotondi @adonnrowley
I spy the moon trying to hide behind that water tower. #Monday #nyc #newview
Yup. That's a Hello Kitty container of gin. Bubble-wrapped. Yup.