My mom was the black sheep of her family.
When my siblings and I realized she was going to die, probably within days, we agreed to reach out to her siblings. I contacted one of Mom’s aunts and asked her to call Mom’s siblings. I was clear about my expectations:
To avoid drama or negativity and to make sure Mom’s last few days are peaceful, it is absolutely imperative any contact be made through me.
Despite this clearly stated desire to send Mom off in peace, my mom’s younger sister said–on speaker phone to my dying mom–that Read more…
“You don’t want a minivan?” asked my new manager’s manager, R.
“Uuuuuuuuaaaaaaaaggaaaalllllgaaaal,” I replied in my best impersonation of a zombie.
“Why don’t you want a minivan?”
What I wanted to say: “I’ve already written about that on my blog! Go read that–it’ll just take a minute or two–and then let’s revisit this conversation!” Read more…
I took a train, a bus, a ferry and a boat to reach the unpopulated British Columbia island I called home my eighteenth summer.
I spent that summer researching killer whales, a creature with which I’d fallen in love while taking a Marine Bio course. Most of the time I did so from the main research island, but I spent the last few weeks at an outpost atop a cliff.
I witnessed many wonderful things there, where I was able to occasionally spot a dorsal fin as I listened to whales squealing happily as they rubbed their bellies against pebbles nearby.
One particular moment stands out almost two decades later.
My cliff partners had hopped on a boat for an island party the night before. I insisted I wouldn’t go, despite abundant badgering. I was true to my word, too, which I celebrated by spending the night tossing and turning inside my tent, certain every rustling I heard outside was a bear or other feral creature intent on eating me. Even the scuttling of tiny mice sounded ominous alone in the deep dark of night there, but minute by eternal minute the night passed.
A fog rolled in over the Johnstone Strait while I tried to sleep. Read more…
Let me tell you a little about two words that don’t belong together: “pumping” and “break.”
Ever wonder why it is nursing moms don’t leak all over the place when they’re not nursing their babies?
This has to do with something called “let-down.” When a baby begins nursing, her sucking motions combined with the sweet tiny, nearness of her trigger a surge of hormones in her mom. Those hormones signal to milk ducts that it’s time to drop the floodgates. Release the flood!
Luckily, a pump is just like a baby. I pick it up, cradle it while humming, and instantly feel the surge of lovey hormones that lets me know everything is exactly as it should be. Read more…
I’d just picked up my wedding gown when I dropped off my car for servicing in late September 2013.
I meant to transfer the gown to my husband’s car, but couldn’t do so without first showing it to P, the mechanic who always seems to help me when my car has troubles.
She loved my dress. She wished me a happy wedding and all the best for my baby-to-come, then only visible as the slightest belly bump.
Since we last parted ways, I’ve been wed and had a baby and celebrated my husband’s promotion to assisting directing and left my old job and started a new one. I’ve probably put at least 20,000 miles on my car, who treats me well though I let her languish in untidiness and without hubcap covers or driver side door handle.
All these big changes Read more…
I carried to South Korea a spiral-bound notebook with a silver dragonfly on its cover.
My friends had filled it with encouragement and recollections of shared memories meant to sustain me through lonely times.
The love behind their words has sustained me through so much more than my season in South Korea.
Last night I heard one of my sisters let herself into my house as I washed bottles.
My baby was asleep. My five-year-old was so immersed in Doc McStuffins that he barely noticed her arrival.
Amelia joined me in the kitchen. When I stepped away from the sink to make salad, she took over at the sink and started washing dishes. Read more…
I spent four and a half hours driving on Friday.
My new commute blows. I’m already well past the days of savoring a little traffic.
Usually I’ll “only” have to drive about three hours daily. Friday was a special day. What made it so special? To answer that, let me share with you my moment of revelation:
I’m in my nine-month-old’s classroom, pulling his daily necessities out of my bag. First comes his baby food. Check! Next comes his feeding bottles. Check! Then come his bottles of milk. Check? Nope. Of course they’re not there. They’re exactly where I left them: in their travel bag in the fridge. Read more…