Little red sandals

I had a pair of red sandals in first grade.

I treasured them more than any other possession.

My mom would let me keep them on while wading in Monterey Bay. They were the only pair she let me wear in the water, which meant they were more than cute. They were downright magical!

As I splashed around in knee-level water, my dad would swim out toward the horizon. He’d fade into a blur before becoming a dot and then disappearing completely from my sight.

“I hate it when he does that,” my mom mumbled once, long before I understood he felt powerful that he could make her hurt.

I splashed and splashed. My dad was having fun. I was having fun. What could be the problem?

Sometime that year, I dreamed my dad took my younger sister and me to the Bay by himself. Read more…

A success of smiles

“He’s talking!” I exclaimed when my oldest son, Li’l D, spoke his first word before returning to babbling for weeks.

“He’s walking!” I exclaimed when he took his first step unassisted, though he wouldn’t take another for many days.

I wrote these first dates in his baby book. I hawkishly watched baby sites to make sure he met every milestone on time. I wanted everything to line up just right for him to have a perfect life, as if his life at thirty would be dictated by his life at three months.

Somewhere between then and now, I talked myself down from those stressful heights. I remembered my truth that parenting success is revealed in a child’s acts of wisdom, humor and grace over the long run, not in any two-minute tantrum on the playground or milestone hit late.

So when Li’l D’s younger brother first said “mama,” I smiled and said, “I’ll write that as your first word after you’ve said it a few more times.”

I cheered when Littler J rolled over for the first time, but didn’t run for his baby book. Was it a fluke or the beginning of a new era? I wanted to make sure.

I wasn’t worried about the milestones written on someone else’s website, as long as Littler J seemed engaged and content.

Then eleven months came and went without him showing much interest in walking. Read more…

Embracing the mess

I work with contracts.

It’s important to be precise when writing contracts.

My professional pursuit of precision has shaped how I write blogs. I’ve tried to generally make mine neat, fairly linear and perfectly clear. This was easier when I had only one kid and a short-ish commute.

Now, with two kids, a long commute and a heckuva lot of change in a short time, I’ve gotta be frank: I’m getting tired of constantly pursuing precision.

Can’t I just leave that at the job? Can’t I step away from my desk and say, “Adios until tomorrow, Precision! I’ve got life and kids and love and laughter on my radar now!” Read more…

Forgiving

My favorite director

2015-04-27 09.42.42My husband became an assistant director last August.

He’s worked with many directors since then.

I know only one director by name: Bob.

He’s my favorite.

I don’t really have any idea what he does, to be honest.

I don’t know if he’s won or will win any awards.

What I do know is that he’s fast.

If Bob’s directing, chances are I’ll actually see my husband in the evening instead of being three hours asleep when he finally gets home.

I really like seeing my husband.

(I might not always show it, but it’s true!)

Ergo, I like Bob.

A lot.

Apologies to anyone seeing this twice.
See comments for explanation.

Hug and kiss trees

Three years ago, I took my then two-year-old son to Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s “Sunnydale High.”

A couple of fellow Buffy-loving friends were getting married, and I wanted to make them a special–if not exactly visually stunning–gift.

This was the gift

This was the gift

I spent more time there than I needed for my gift. Buffy was a life-changing show for me, not only for its content but for how it ushered in a new era of my life: The Era of Girlfriends. Read more…

my bulimia / my beautiful body

A row of skinny clothes hung in my mom’s closet through my childhood.

“I’ll wear this when I’m skinny again,” my mom would tell me as she perused potential skinny outfits at the store. “I’m sick of being fat.” She’d that last word as if she was reciting the name of a mortal nemesis from the comics she loved.

I didn’t understand.

Me and mom (icon)She was the most beautiful woman I knew. Her features were breathtaking, her love even more so. She was perfect.

Somehow, bewilderingly, she didn’t know it. As if her words weren’t enough, she had a closet full of unwearable clothing that told me so.

I didn’t hate my body when I moved to South Korea after graduating college.  Read more…

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