Posts tagged "parenting"
Cut

Cut

Baby’s crying again. I know the baby’s crying again. Maybe if I had a little help, maybe if he’d stick around after the sun goes down, maybe if I was somebody else in another body this would be easier. The baby’s been crying for two weeks and nothing I do helps. All I want is...

Hard Candy

The summer my older son was about to turn three, I took him to the library of the college that had just given me one year’s grace to find another position. Such things were supposed to be confidential, but the librarian knew I would not return in September or, at the latest, be gone the...

Teeth

Everything belonged to Russell now. My mother was his wife, I was his son, we lived in his house—an isolated farm we didn’t need and couldn’t afford. Russell had started cutting trees off the property and selling the timber to make the mortgage payments. He was sharpening the teeth of a chainsaw on the front...

The Moment

No sound from the kids, not for fifteen minutes. I trust they’re asleep. I get my tiger-striped chenille robe off the back of the bathroom door and put it on over my jeans and flannel shirt. I am that cold. Lately I stand sometimes for a whole half-hour over the floor furnace. Other times I...

Aftermath

After the skies broke open with a stunning crack about two o’clock in the morning, brilliant flashes of blue flooding the Winnebago like strobe lights; after the rain cut rivulets through the sand, long scratches of some malevolent creature obviously displeased with the earth; after Kennie and his dad had been out on the beach...

Instincts

I’m with my family on an isolated stretch of the Metolius River in Oregon. Lush vegetation clings to the bank, ferns and clover and elephant grass, willow trees and aspens, but the air hangs hot and dry. Insects burr. A woodpecker taps like a slow metronome. This is before my parents’ divorce, so we’re all...

The Potato Harvest

This is the morning that summer ends. In one hard frost our garden has become an abandoned battlefield, the last vestiges of the living lay stiff and frozen, black wilted zucchini leaves like limp umbrellas stand as pathetic monuments, tattered flags, over what was, only yesterday, a vegetable garden. Potatoes love one heavy frost. It...

Vitamin M

In the Navy, Vitamin M is the cure for all ailments.  Ship medics prescribe extra-strength Motrin, thousands of milligrams, twice, three times the recommended dosage to treat headaches, hangovers, back pain, stiff necks, fever, carpal tunnel, plantar fasciitis, even acne.  My husband, in his nine years of military service, has adapted easily to the ibuprofen...

“Icky Papa Died”

I was relieved when my great-grandfather died. I learned of the event more than a year after the fact, simultaneously ingesting the information that he’d passed in Idaho, that he’d been buried in Montana, and that his grave—while next to my great-grandmother’s—was unmarked and expected to remain that way. No one in Idaho wanted him...

Suspended

The locker room walls were painted puke green and lined like a cage with metal hooks, and red mesh equipment bags hung from the hooks like meat. One of the bags was swinging, and I was swinging in it, and Drew McKinnick slapped at it and did his punching, and the janitor got me down....

Hill Street Blues

My first memory fails me.  Brown shag carpet.  I am in the living room.  My mother is watching the end of Hill Street Blues on a color television.  She lights a cigarette.  Smoke rises, spiraling toward the ceiling.  When her show is over, an orange racecar with a Confederate flag painted over the top jumps...