bella, leaving.

Now I have a date, an actual day that my daughter’s childhood will end. She will move into the University of Portland dorms on August 16th, assuming all goes as planned. Today I was alone, changing the sheets on Bella’s bed, and without warning tears filled my eyes. How many times have I performed this […]

paradoxes of parenting pubescents

Today my 13-year-old son and I were at the grocery store, and he bumped into one of his friends whom he hadn’t seen for a while. His friend apparently said to him “Oh yeah, the last time I saw you was when your parents attacked me.” I remember it clearly. We were having dinner and […]

everything flows, nothing stands still…

A week ago, after his second football game of the season, my thirteen-year-old son climbed into the back seat of his grandparents’ car and sat down next to me. My parents came from out-of-town to watch him play, and he played his heart out for nearly every minute of the game. Fifteen minutes or so […]

rest in peace Everett Williams, crystal child

Dear Lovely Death Dear lovely death That taketh all things under wing- Never to kill- Only to change Into some other thing This suffering flesh, To make it either more or less, Yet not again the same- Dear lovely death, Change is thy other name -Langston Hughes, 1931 Last Saturday I attended the memorial service […]

our stellar evolution

You, with your relative youth your pout, your upward gaze. A young stellar object. And me, in front of you by decades. I see you as if in a mirror, behind me coming up fast in your body a month now perhaps for every year I’ve practiced being alive. I’m a supernova to your protostar. […]

put your teenager in the meadow and watch him

Motherhood is daunting. No matter how many coats of denial and idealism one whitewashes it with, it is a formidable journey and it is not always easy to stay convinced of the delightfulness of the upbringing and management of the fruits of our genetic entanglements. Life is up and down, and take-it-as-it-comes, and full of […]

Attachment parenting 20 years later, or “Babywear this!”

When my first child was born 20 years ago, “attachment parenting” was a new and somewhat controversial child-rearing philosophy which involved strict adherence to a demanding set of rules and behaviors including: natural birthing, leaving boys uncircumcised, babywearing, breast-feeding and child-led weaning, co-sleeping, not allowing babies to “cry-it-out”, practicing positive discipline, and so on.  While I didn’t like to put a label on the way I […]

Football: a “lower-conciousness sport”?

Somehow I ended up giving birth to a bunch of athletic kids.  All three of my children (two boys age 19 and 12, and daughter 16) have been capable, if not gifted, at nearly every sport and physical activity they’ve chosen to pursue.  My youngest son’s first word was “ball”.  As soon as he was able to get his baby-self into a seated position, his favorite way […]

Nothing new under the sun – a mother ponders some pop hits of the summer of 2012

I was chatting with a couple of people at a party last weekend about recent pop hits, a subject on which I am vastly knowledgeable on account of being a mom of teenagers (I use my children as a front to quench my ongoing desire for crappy pop music). As a child I was passionate about AM radio, Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 , American Bandstand, Soul Train, and Solid Gold.  […]

a mid-summer checklist for feral adolescents

As a mother of three adolescents, my attempts at a calm, somewhat detached emotional state are constantly tested by fluctuating sensations of pure joy and total terror.  My extreme emotional reactions are usually in response to their activities and behaviors, or to recollection of my own at their age.  Outside of sitting continuously in meditation, there is no detachment practice strong enough […]