Parenting

The Effects of Grief During the Holidays

For the first thirty years of my life, my family held fast to the same Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions. Grandma’s warm, pink applesauce passed around her crowded oblong table. Bundling up and trudging through the Christmas tree field the day…

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And Evening

Outside the old panes, the few ash and maple crowns stood bare in dead air and dead light, the skies beyond them so often matched to pewter around here. Snow, maybe rain, usually both along the coast. For two hundred–some…

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The Hard Work of Mothering

I grew up in a home that valued work. My sister and I learned not to waste time, and that working hard was one of the most important things we could do. Following the examples of my hard-working parents, I…

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Parenting Myself

A few weeks ago, I was scheduled to move into a new place, busy with work, and overwhelmed. I knew I needed to find people to help me, and that I probably needed to pack. I’m fairly certain excellent moving…

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Living with Your Parents

I almost never tell people right away that I live with my parents. I don’t like their assumptions. For instance, instead of hearing that I’m successful in a career I love, they seem to put silent quotation marks around “freelance…

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When Children Appear

During the hurried disquiet commonly referred to as “The Holidays,” the spinning seems relentless, doesn’t it? But every now and then—especially when we least expect it—the world slows.   Or, at least, it appears to slow. Either way, it allows…

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Why Siblings Matter

I hated my brother for much of my childhood.   Every day I told/reminded him of this fact, even though I didn’t know why I didn’t like him. Nevertheless, we went beyond the normal brother-sister teasing to daily ensuring the…

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Thinking of Home

It was too hot for October. Dreamy in a way, but very strange.   I was covered in sunshine, sitting on a wooden bench in Brunswick, Maine. It’s a smallish town with a nice main street—even if it wasn’t sunny…

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Relating to Parents in Our Twenties

Something happens in our relationship with our parents as we crawl from age 20 to 30.   Fights are no longer about curfew or getting grounded; they are deeper, full of blame, and laced in personal dysfunction. “You were never…

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Life and Death in One Photo

This summer we visited Zoe’s great-grandfather’s grave in Rochester, New York. It was a painterly blue day, with only a thin breeze blowing when we disembarked from our rented Jeep Trailhawk next to Papa’s plot. His grave was one of…

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