Dear New Mom at School

I should have made more of an effort because not that long ago I was the new mom at school. I remember how intimidating it was to walk into a room full of people who seemed to know each other, people catching up, trading war stores; a room full of people who weren’t worried about their fourth grader settling in or fretting their second grader would falter. I remember what it was like to walk into a room of people already familiar with the school and the curriculum and the teachers. It wasn’t that long ago I watched folks hugging and smiling, laughing that kind of openmouthed, head back laugh that friends laugh with one another, wondering if I would find friends like that: right before my train of thought derailed at “Ugh, I can’t believe I have to do this again.”

Wine and Cheese (Doodles)

grease-grease-the-movie-2984139-1600-900Dear new mom at school,

I”m sorry I didn’t get a chance to talk to you.

I was likely caught up in something or other, even if that something or other was taking care of my need for caffeine or adult conversation. It’s likely I was catching up with friends, trading summer vacation stories, cracking wise about back to school being the most wonderful time of the year. I may have even seen you standing over there, hiding behind a coffee cup or a table leg, looking for a way to stick a toe into the small, tight clusters of people dotting the cafeteria landscape.

I should have made more of an effort because not that long ago I was the new mom at school. I remember how intimidating it was to walk into a room full of people who seemed to know each other, people catching up, trading war stores; a room…

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Nine People You’ll Meet on a Plane

Must.Be.First.Off. Mike. You know Mike. As soon as the plane touches down he’s got his finger on the seat belt release. As soon as the gate is in sight you hear the unmistakable sound of the metallic release. Mike is up and out of his seat, hand luggage in hand before the doors to manual cross check is complete. If getting off the plane first is a race, it’s one that Mike isn’t going to lose. Even if it means taking out a few grannies and toddlers on his way.

Wine and Cheese (Doodles)

miami-international-airport-sign-1950s_27207I don’t travel as much as many do. That said, I’ve spent a fair amount of time taxi-ing and learning the correct position to use if I hear “Brace. Brace.” I’ve spent plenty of woman hours hurtling through the air with a bunch of strangers, angling for arm space and eking out some elbow room. Between zoning out during the oxygen mask demo and listening for that blessed announcement asking the flight crew to prepare for landing, there’s been time enough to observe. People are creatures of habit, and there are behaviors you’ll recognize wherever you are.

I’m just doing my job taking notes.

Clueless Clive. It’s clear Clive hasn’t flown since the end of the Cold War. Unused to security measures put into place sometime in the last century, Clive mumbles and bumbles his way through the airport. Despite written, pictorial and holographic directives, Clive is astounded when he is…

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The Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very-Bad Days

We all want to present a glossed up, soup-ed up version of ourselves. Filtered and angled and cropped so we look our best.

But the truth is life is not like Instagram. You can post inspirational quotes until the organic, grass-fed cows come home. You can pledge your allegiance to the flag, to yoga, to cross-fit or to antidepressants. Life it still not going to be like an Instagram feed. Even a sardonic, satirical, sarcastic version of it.

We all have days like Alexander. Terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad days.

Wine and Cheese (Doodles)

fear womanLast week I put together a slide show for a good friend who is leaving Copenhagen. I watched it with my husband, smiling and getting a little teary. As the music faded and the presentation ended with a slick little slide reading “The End”, he looked at me and said:

“Wow, anyone would think we had loads of friends and an amazing life.”

Putting aside for the moment that compared to 99% of the global population we do live an amazing life, he’s right.

Most of us don’t document the shittier aspects of our day-to-day life. I don’t whip out my handy little point and click to take pictures when I’m playing Old Mother Hubbard and my cupboards are bare and so the poor husband got none. I don’t fill my twitter feed tweeting pictures of myself in sweatpants and leg warmers. (Yes, I wear leg warmers and you will never convince me they are not…

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An Otherwise Ordinary Day

My father died in the early hours of an otherwise ordinary, August day. It was as peaceful as dying can be, the fleeting moment of time and breath that takes you from the living to the dead.

Wine and Cheese (Doodles)

butterfly 3 Mourning Cloak Butterfly

My father died in the early hours of an otherwise ordinary, August day.

As his body lay still, no longer hostage to late summer stickiness or mosquito whine, I was three states and a thousand thoughts and moments away. As the last thread binding him to me, to us, to this place and time finally tore free, I was stumbling to my son’s bedroom. My ten-month old was standing at attention, awake. Alert. I must have comforted him, laid him down and smoothed his hair, damp with the sweet sweat of baby dreams. Surely I shushed him, stroking my finger down the length of his nose before falling back into the expanse of my own bed, the expanse of my own oblivion. The truth is, I don’t remember. I remember only that he woke. I remember because it was unusual.

An expected death, a waited for death…

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