What “I’m not your friend; I’m your mom” really means

  I don’t remember if she ever said the actual words to me (though I suspect she did) but I grew up knowing full well that my mom was not my friend. I had friends whose moms were their friends–and I was always jealous. They would share late night talks and gossip and secrets–sometimes from… Continue reading What “I’m not your friend; I’m your mom” really means

More than a face

I grew up in a bitty town on California’s central coast.  Back then, it had but one claim to fame: the Mid State Fair.  People came from all over the county to visit our fair–to enter goods both homegrown and homemade in hopes of winning the prized blue ribbon.  For two weeks each summer the… Continue reading More than a face


I brought her home from the hospital to a trinket box house at the end of a dusty dirt road.  Space was a luxury; I had to turn sideways and squeeze past her crib to crawl into bed.  Her cord hadn’t even fallen off when I found myself crying postpartum-y tears because there was this… Continue reading Someday

To Spain and back

Over a year ago she came–flyer in hand–and she said that her favorite teacher was taking a group of students to Spain and please oh please all my friends are going…can I?  We talked it over with all concerned parties and when time came for the meeting, she was all but signed up. There was… Continue reading To Spain and back

Golden Road

I always wanted four.  Children, that is.  I specifically remember sitting on the staircase with my best friend taking turns sharing our grand plans.  We–with our eleven-year-old foresight–hashed out the fine details of the houses we’d own and the kids we’d have, right down to the gender order of their births.  We were so sure… Continue reading Golden Road

Sixteen candles

Originally due December 19th, her middle name was to be Noel. Fashionably late then (and still we’re kept waiting on her more often than not) she chose instead a January birthday. I cooked a turkey on the night of January 5th.  I was an inexperienced cook and so quite literally every inch of space in… Continue reading Sixteen candles

treasures untold

When she was wee bitty, I once wrote about her scavenging.  How when we were out running our errands she’d spy a lone penny or a discarded paper clip or a shiny bead that had fallen from someone’s keychain.  She’d come home with a treasure in her pocket every time. Those days are long gone,… Continue reading treasures untold

Secrets they keep

Cassie coughed a raspy cough in her sleep and I went to check.  She stopped by the time I got there, eyelids fluttering in a peaceful sleep.  Light creeped through the catty-corner door.  I tried to be all sneaky, slipping out of my shoes so that the flip flop wouldn’t give me away as I… Continue reading Secrets they keep

Reaching further

An uproarious round of applause welcomed her to the stage.  From the audience, my stomach was in knots for her.  It’s one thing to be sincere and forthright on paper, but in person I’m tongue-tied more often than not.  This middle child of mine–with her whisper of a voice–so much like me in that way.… Continue reading Reaching further


Her favorite color changes with the wind. You wouldn’t have guessed it, though, based on her party decorations. I started a board on Pinterest and asked her to join me in pinning ideas–details that would make her party unforgettable.  As the board filled–with both her pins and mine–I noticed a trend: pink. There was an… Continue reading fifteen