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From the first breath

Posted on November 3, 2016

I remember the way it felt when the ultrasound tech put the gel on my belly. I was not yet accustomed to the frequency and casual way that I would be expected to undress. Looking back I realize it was good preparation for a kind of naked vulnerability that never goes away once you are a parent. Fear, hope, longing to make things right and have everyone happy, it strips you bare.   This year I had to get an inhaler, my stress levels make it hard for me to breathe. It’s funny because all my life I’ve been so strong and healthy, and it’s literally my insistence to do it all that I cannot breathe. You’d think that would knock me into better behavior,…

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Superpowers We Don’t Acknowledge

Posted on October 31, 2016

I can hear myself saying, “I’m not crafty” and “I am a disorganized mess,” but the truth is that I’m crafty and organized in my own way. It sounds like a way to justify a mess and never throwing anything away, and maybe it is, but the messiness is what helps me pull together forts, spice up last-minute gifts, and change a boring Saturday into something more. I think it’s easy to feel less-than in the era of Pinterest, DIY celebrities, and #OOTD amazingness. I am clinically slow to recognize talent or accomplishment in myself, when I do manage to muster a bit of, “Damn right, I did that” I tend to fall apart in some other area. Case in point today I made…

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Seasons of Marriage

Posted on October 27, 2016

A couple of weeks ago it was time to take the docks out of the water at camp. We had been stalling, partly because it was going to be the first time we did it and we were uncertain and partly because we weren’t ready for summer to be over. Summer, for us, has always been the season of now. Now we can rest. Now we can have fun. Now we can be together. We met during the summer of ’99 at Williamstown. Truthfully now took a while there and it had to be worked for almost beyond what was possible. Still, summer, and even the crisp days of spring that lead into it, have been our favorite.   We knew we had to…

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An Introduction and a Review

Posted on October 18, 2016

A long time ago a friend recommended to a woman from Hachette Book Group that I be sent a copy of Elizabeth Alexander’s book. I remember being so excited when it arrived in the mail, but as is often the case reading kept slipping off of my to-do (to-enjoy) list, replaced instead by laundry, work research, or sleep. It sat on my nightstand as a beacon of my inability to end the day with time left for me, until my mom came to visit. She was barely in the door when I said, “Here, I want you to give this book a try, I think you might like it.” She smiled, tired from the cross-country trip, but always game for a book. “Thanks,” she…

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Changing the Lens—Close Up at Home to Avoid Political Focus

Posted on October 14, 2016

I can’t remember a time, except maybe the year in college when I was singularly focused on making myself disappear one pound at a time, when I haven’t had fiery opinions about things. My emotions sometimes overstep and I worry about things that aren’t mine to fret over. Over the last few years I have been increasingly vocal about feminism, racism, and honesty in parenting. I haven’t wanted to create a false prop that I direct the girls to model after if it’s something I can’t even get close to myself. I’ve started talking more about the election, rather than just tweeting during the debates I have been writing posts, sharing articles, and speaking up in day-to-day life. This last week has shifted things.…

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