Of Teachers and Why We Love Them, My Favorite One, and Two Birthdays

I think we’ve seen the last of them for this year: the first-day-of-school photos that spill down our social media screens. Darling children in their new clothes and unscuffed shoes, grinning for the camera and holding their signs: Amelia, second grade. Dylan, fourth. And the less-than-darling, I’m-too-old-for-this children, holding signs or not, wearing I-couldn’t-care clothes … More Of Teachers and Why We Love Them, My Favorite One, and Two Birthdays

Two Questions

The text had two questions, the first from the daughter, who is ten: “Are you related to Robert Louis Stevenson?” And the second from the mother, who is old enough to be a mother: “(The Daughter) is reciting her most favorite tomorrow… ‘The Swing.’ I’ve been coaching her to try to recite it without the … More Two Questions

Morning Drop-Off

I drove the girls to school on Thursday, a late-summer, light-filled morning. It was just the third week of school, day thirteen if we’re keeping count, which might not be a good idea.     The conversation en route was cheerful. Chatter about driver’s ed, gladness that it was already Thursday, and the painted parking … More Morning Drop-Off


It was a while ago now that he came in to the kitchen and stood next to me where I was stirring something on the stove.“Mom,” he said, “there are things about me that you don’t know.”“You’re right,” I said. He might have been nine or ten years old.  I wondered at the time if … More Boy


I think some parents will do all kinds of things in order to spend time with our kids. We schlep them ourselves to soccer tournaments, rather than car-pooling, maybe, for that priceless car-talk-time. We sit on the edges of their beds in the dark, listening despite our (and her) late-night fatigue, because now is the time she … More Y.O.L.O.


The day was looking good. Kids breakfasted and lunches bagged, they went off together to school. I had only one item on my calendar before the late afternoon’s rash of meets/games/matches, and yes, it appeared that a good writing day was ahead of me. An excellent writing day. I love those. Writing is, after all, … More Mother

A First Sentence

“First sentences are doors to worlds.”—Ursula K. LeGuin Last night was Will’s first soccer game of the school year. It’s still more than a week before the first day of school, but soccer has been underway for a while now. Yesterday’s game felt familiar: the boys tore up the field and all of us parents … More A First Sentence


A small mountain remains: some research papers and two days worth of exams. It will take me hours to scale this mountain, but these are hours I can count, a discernible number– so different from the unknown and countless hours of grading I do over the course of the school year. I have some boxes … More Harbinger


Most of the time I forget all about it. I forget about it in the way that you forget Christmas, or what you had for dinner last Wednesday. I forget about it because it is irrelevant. Most of the time. Most of the time I am up before light, anyway. I make breakfast and bed … More Sky

How to Get Snow in North Carolina

Flush ice cubes down the toilet (as many as possible)Throw carrots out the window (preferably in the direction of the school)Place spoon under the mattress (the bigger, the better)Place a quarter under your pillow (heads up)Dance around a snowman candle (for as long and as wildly as possible)Wear your pajamas inside-out (no further explanation needed)Sleep … More How to Get Snow in North Carolina