Do you see this little girl? Today I did the unthinkable and forgot about her in the car. Here’s how it happened: our family arrived at a friend’s house and in our excitement we all darted out, assuming that someone else had grabbed the youngest member of our clan.
When my son, Wolfy was learning to walk, he would fall and then cry pitifully, reaching his arms out to be helped up.
“Don’t go to him,” people said, “Don’t pick him up when he acts like that. He needs to learn.” Continue reading “How to Be Brave”
A real life sleeping beauty. From the curve of her mouth to the wisps of hair lying across her cheeks. Her smooth skin unblemished by the hardships of the world.
Sometimes I try to view the world through her eyes. Remarkable and immense. There is so much she doesn’t know. And yet she astonishes me with her ability to grasp the nuances of human interaction. The way her voice can suddenly shift and take on the cadence of someone much older than her two years. Where did she learn that? Is she imitating me? Someone else? Or is this something she has come to all on her own and much too quickly.
She is perfection.
Her short hair in ponytails. Wearing two kinds of mismatched polka dots. I pretty, Mommy. Yes. Yes, you are sweetheart. You are the most beautiful girl. And I hope she always know that. But someday she won’t and she won’t believe me when I remind her. Never mind. I don’t want to think about that now. I just want to watch the way my girl dances whenever she hears music. Spinning in circles. Arms flailing. So pleased with herself because when she jumps, both feet come up off the ground.
She is perfection.
Toddling down the long hallway of a hotel, the pink tutu of her bathing suit swaying back and forth with her clumsy gait. She is running as fast as her small, chubby legs will carry her. She is trying to catch up with her older brother and even though that’s impossible. Even though she will never be as fast as him, she shrieks with delight. And I just want to freeze time. Freeze the moment so that I can always go back and visit this child of mine. This girl who is ready to take on the world.
She is perfection.
It was love at first sight.
I was scrolling through Facebook when I stumbled upon a photograph of kittens, so young their eyes weren’t even open yet. “I neeeeeeed one of those!” I commented. And I did. Six months earlier, our beloved orange tabby cat had been eaten by a wild animal. I missed her. I missed living with a cat. Also, mice were invading our farmhouse.
A few weeks later, we brought home one of the kittens from the photo, a fluffy gray tabby with big blue-ish eyes. Our three-year-old son named the tiny ball of fur, Runaway. Continue reading “I Divorced My Cat”
When I became a mother, I never wanted to pretend to be Santa Claus.
I didn’t want to participate in the big lie. Instead of magic, I thought the Santa myth was a bunch of overrated bologna. It didn’t make sense to me to buy presents for my kids and then pretend that some fictional character had actually given those gifts. I didn’t want to put my kids on a stranger man’s lap. And I never wanted to convince them that someone would sneak into our house at night while we were sleeping and knew if they had been naughty or nice. The whole pseudo-omniscience thing just really didn’t sit well with me.
I didn’t want anything to do with Santa. Or his sleigh. Or his reindeer. Or any of it. But it turned out, this whole Santa thing actually had very little to do with me. Continue reading “How Santa Started Visiting Our House”
Raising children in a small town can be challenging.
There aren’t zoos or museums or giant parks or festivals. Our town doesn’t even have its own playground. Often I am asked why I live here and why we choose to raise our children here. People tell me, “I would go crazy if I were you.” Continue reading “8 Reasons Raising Children in a Small Town is Awesome”
1. Clothing is your greatest enemy.
Whatever you do – do not allow your parents to dress you! You must refuse and you must resist. Do not take this responsibility lightly. Your own body is your best defense: arch your back, flip over, and run away. Your teeth and fingernails are your weapons. Use them wisely and use them often. Continue reading “The 5 Most Important Rules for Toddlers”
I used to be a very judgmental mother.
I was the perfect parent, except for one thing – I didn’t have any children yet. Well, I had one baby. One. He was a really easy baby. He smiled at everyone and was never grumpy, even when we changed his schedule. Looking back now, I realize that my life was pretty simple and I didn’t even know it. All I knew is that I was the mother of one easygoing baby and yet, I thought that I was an expert on all aspects of parenting. Continue reading “A Judgmental Mother Visits McDonald’s”
Recently our family took a trip to Montreal.
My husband and I thought it would be the perfect mini-vacation because it’s the closest city to where we live and even though it’s still cold outside, there is a lot to see and do. The highlight of the trip was supposed to be the Biodome, which is sort of like an indoor zoo.
The first problem occurred even before we left our house when I realized that my passport had expired a month ago. Everyone over the age of 16 needs a valid passport or enhanced driver’s license to get into Canada and back into the United States. Having an expired passport was really bad. It should have been an omen for what to expect from the rest of the trip. But we had already booked and paid to rent an Airbnb in Montreal. There was no changing the plans or cancelling. We would just have to drive up to the border and try our luck. Continue reading “Three Terrible Days in Montreal”
It’s not easy to admit you’ve made a mistake. As a parent, it’s even harder. What I did was wrong and I can’t even apologize to my son because I don’t want to remind him that for years, I told him that Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny aren’t real. I put my own ideals before the needs of my child. I strongly believe that lying to kids is wrong, but I let that get in the way of being a good mother. My little boy wanted to believe in magic. He wanted to be like the other kids and I didn’t allow that. Instead, I put myself first. Continue reading “I Regret Telling My Child There Is No Easter Bunny”