Here's what it's like, splitting custody of my children after spending years putting them to bed each night, dressing them each morning, hearing their laughter and squabbles at all hours, watching their little heads bob as they move. Sometimes I stand at my stove, stirring noodles into boiling water for myself and it is so... Continue Reading →

heart-shaped eyes

At my son's elementary school, they cut sheets of tissue paper into pieces. Brandon, glad to have me in this part of his life we don't usually share, holds heart-patterned tissue paper over his eyes, looks at me like an emoji. I have brought an apple at Brandon's request and I pull it from my... Continue Reading →

arcade jackpot

Yesterday I took the boys to Dave & Buster's which in the past has not been my jam. The lights and sounds and kids screaming--I am overstimulated and tired at the thought. But a couple weeks ago we all went to an arcade together and it was fun to see them play games and try... Continue Reading →

change like hail

Yesterday I went in to sign my new lease. There was the woman who approved me for the apartment and we laughed (cackled, really) as she talked me through the thousand pages. The other employee came in and tactfully told her to get back to work. Still, the woman told me about her mom who... Continue Reading →

names like colors

"Mom, there are other people with my name," Brandon told me yesterday. "In books or on shows, I see other Brandons." So I told him names, like colors, get used again and and again. I told him a name is a word we assign to someone as if it is his own, although it isn't... Continue Reading →

the cold side of independence

It's been a year, almost, on my own like this. I wasn't prepared for how hard it would be. I remembered fondly living alone, after college, before marriage. And naively, maybe that's how I thought it would be again. That was when I held two jobs to cover rent and expenses. That was when I... Continue Reading →

cheerios ground into the carpet

I'm going to write my own "Summertime Sadness" song and it's about a parent who longs for the school year back, for a few hours to herself again. It isn't natural to parent alone. It is a two-person job, maybe three, maybe eight. I don't parent alone, actually, because Steve parents them half of the... Continue Reading →

It’s been an hour

It's been an hour since thunder boomed and the boys skittered into my bedroom, into my bed, under the covers. Since then it rained and rained and rained and then the clouds pushed off each other and the sun resumed its role. But before that happened, Holden intertwined his fingers and said a prayer, even... Continue Reading →

Bucket Filling

"Mom, you're filling my bucket," Brandon said, after I told him how smart he is, how proud I am to be his mother. "What does that mean?" I asked, knowing the answer but wanting to hear him say it. "Everybody has an invisible bucket," he began, "and when you compliment someone or do nice things... Continue Reading →

Leaking into Everyone Else

To become a mother is to die to oneself in some essential way. After I had children I was no longer an individual separate from other individuals. I leaked into everyone else. When I try to talk about mothering, about how it is a part of me but not all of me, I can't do... Continue Reading →

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