Expanded

For Renee, Charlotte, Christina, and Katy What happens to a motherWhen the heart she grew for youSuddenly has to make room For two What happens to a motherWho once spent her daysPlayingTeachingCuddlingDancingBribingLaughingExplainingExploring Is now married to the couch, bed, or kitchen floorReally anywhere the newest and most helpless childNeeds her more What happens to a motherWho…

Screaming for Smiles

Today I encountered a woman screaming at her children because she wanted to take a photo of them smiling in front of a lake. Her kids were grinning at each other, at passers by, up at the cloudless sky, across the gleaming water– they were smiling at everything except for their mom. In fact, they…

Vow Renewal

An excerpt from the book I’m working on- prose and essays on motherhood. The first timeA short service On a crisp spring dayStars in our eyesPromises on our lipsI doAnd I do, too The second timeA 3-day ceremonySoundtracked by tears and breaths In perfect synchronyWorking to bring our creationEarthside and into our arms The third time Standing in…

Macaroni and Cheese

People talk about the big moments of parenting. The things your spouse will do that make you fall more in or out of love with them as you embark on the daily practice of raising a child together. There are the obvious moments I feel more in love. Watching him cradle our infant just minutes…

Praying for Keeps

Millions of prayers whisperedAs parents look down on their young A full lifeA future wifeHealth, wealth, and safety These words are prayers but more like pleasA dealA demandA need We dream of hopes for those tiny toesAnd wishes for that grinBut what if all we hope for them is already within? I pray for self-acceptance,…

Exactly Enough

People start asking you very soon after having a child if you plan to have a second one. A harmless and understandable question, sure. But it always sends a shock through me. I know the socially appropriate way to respond, so I smile and give a lighthearted, “Maybe!” or “We’ll see!” Sometimes if I have the time…

The Kid Who Eats Alone

I’ve cried at work before. There was that one time at the Dolphin Research Center that I was walking out of the fish house and slipped on the glassy, wet sidewalk. I fell directly onto my knee and when I finally got the courage to look at the damage, I discovered that my kneecap had dislocated.…

Smelling the Fear

Throughout elementary and high school, I struggled with bullies. Most of the time they were not physical bullies. Sometimes they were. But mostly they were of the mental and emotional sort– my least favorite kind of bully. If you think I suck, just hit me. Give me an Indian burn or a titty twister. Pull…

Michelle Obama’s Sloppy Joes

There is a hashtag trending right now that our nation’s finest middle and high school students are utilizing to show the world how deprived and unfortunate they are. #ThanksMichelleObama Because of the First Lady’s efforts to reform school lunches and battle childhood obesity, public schools have altered their serving sizes and menus. Apparently, public school lunches have gone…