Category: Motherhood

The Searing Comfort of Layla

I spent the summer of 1973 sitting on a blanket atop the scorched brown grass behind our Flint townhouse, yards of black cord connected my bagel-size headphones to our stereo inside. I watched my eight-month old baby girl sit and crawl and eat the…

Witness to Happiness

The man was jolly, like he’d changed out of his red suit a few days ago and now was just hanging out in Ocean Beach. Happy. Jovial. Smiling. Chatting. An ad for good humor. Or maybe delight. He seemed delighted. How many people do…

Making Up for Lost Soup

On the topic of soup. I’m making chicken soup for my daughter who is sick with a cold. She is napping. While she has been napping, I have eaten a bowl of cheese puffs, a slice of actual cheese, a slice of turkey, three…

On Mother’s Day

I became a mother at the age of 24. Sometimes I wish that fact gave me a pass on the first 10,000 mistakes I made. I was so young. What did I know? But there are no passes for any of us. We are…

Prepare a Place for Me

There was only one reason why my father would be calling me. My mother must be dead. He explained how it happened, how just last week he had given up taking care of her at home, that for the third time, she’d gone limp…

I Wasn’t There

Adopted’s birthday Dates on papers, abstractions For me but not her

My Field of Dreams

It’s a ballet of sorts. Maybe you’ve seen a guy, the last guy to leave the ball park, maybe he put his glove down and picked up a ball and bat and then tossed the ball high in the air and as it came…

99 New: Sustenance

My mother didn’t make pancakes. She made pancake. She would ask if I wanted her to make pancakes, but then she would produce a single pancake, a pancake the exact dimension of our cast iron frying pan. It was a thick, serious piece of…

99 New: The Elasticity of Names

When my daughter was born, it was the height of the 70’s women’s movement. I was determined that my child would be strong, brave, capable, respected. I wanted to give her a name fit for a judge. I envisioned her as a judge, her…

Worry Wear

I was recently asked the question: “What advice would you give to your 22-year old self?” Several tidbits came to mind: Make your own money. Keep going to school. Don’t worry about being the only woman in class. Remember other women are your sisters…

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