Posts tagged "parenting"
How Daylight Saving Ends

How Daylight Saving Ends

You died, my son exhales, a week before his fifth birthday and an hour before the clocks turn back, because a man in New Zealand wanted more sunshine—not time to be with his children, but to go bug-hunting after work. You keep dying, he repeats, every time I close my eyes. And he’s crying. Not...
Bus Stop

Bus Stop

  Bus horns wake you, alone in bed with the kids — you drove up for his conference, you knew he’d be gone all day — last night he said “All of Chicago is your playground,” while you fussed about the room searching for bus fare, your head drowning with worry: ‘What if we don’t...
How I Would Use Time Travel

How I Would Use Time Travel

Tonight I stared full into the eyes of my infant son while I fed him a bottle. Whether from contentedness or exhaustion, his eyes did not, as they often do, flit across the room, discovering everything in the usual infant way, but stayed fixed upon mine. His eyes are livid, tending toward thundercloud gray in...
A Small Consolation

A Small Consolation

“Don’t hold your breath, baby. You’ll turn blue,” my mother always said. But my five-year-old daughter inhales. She holds her breath until her skin flushes, her eyes bulge, until I stop clipping her nails. “Okay, okay.” I drop the clippers on the dining room table, zip up her coat, slide the straps of her backpack...
No Intrusions

No Intrusions

Every time my child gets dressed, I give him a choice between two different color shirts. One of them has a mermaid on it. Every time I help my child pick their clothes, I want to give them anything but blue even though blue was the first color word they could say, and all their...
Line

Line

It is coming up on five p.m. when you push your way out of the crowded bus and onto the street that will take you to your child’s kindergarten. You must walk the final few hundred yards, a trip of less than ten minutes for a woman of good health in her mid-thirties. As you...
But Whyyy?

But Whyyy?

Me, forty-one, walking with Theo, four, and we are in the totally age-appropriate rut of why, and but whyyy, and I am not at all annoyed, just enjoying the moment because he is, barring a medical miracle, my last progeny, and he will never be four again and one really can’t bank on grandkids because...
My Father Reads a Poem to Me

My Father Reads a Poem to Me

and on the recording, in the space between where he stops reading in Taiwanese and I thank him in English, you may hear a respectful pause. You may be reminded of the way audience members leave a little space between a play, or an orchestra’s, closing phrase and applause; you may think you hear me...
The Empress, Reversed

The Empress, Reversed

Fuck Mary. Fuck Lily Potter. Give me Sethe. Give me Mrs. Coulter. Give me Procne. Demeter, even, give me Demeter turning the world to rot, or Juno burning up every other woman in her path, every other baby, leaving her own children to plot and riot and tear at each other with their teeth. Give...
To Disappear & To Find

To Disappear & To Find

The flat of Ohio spreads in subtle swales before us, the sun melting over the cornfields. That’s what my son likes to say: the sun is melting. He sits in his car seat, face lit up in morning light. He is three, and five days out of the week, we make the hour commute to...
The First Time I Tell My Son to Fuck Off

The First Time I Tell My Son to Fuck Off

he is thirteen and (let’s be fair) has started testing out fuck the way a few years ago I added a dash of patriarchy to my speech until, finally, the dam broke and now if you can’t hear it, I think you probably have some work to do. He’d said fuck when he stubbed his...
Almost

Almost

An inch below your belly button, you pinch then pierce the skin with the first of many 22-gauge needles, pressing the syringe until thumb meets forefinger, until every last drop is released—a hormone bath for your aging ovaries. At first, this is exhilarating, a miracle of science, growing follicles in your body like the cherry...
A Knot on the Finger

A Knot on the Finger

you stood in the cul-de-sac and smacked tennis balls into the air, calling out Metro-Astro-Carrier-King-Super as you sent the balls sequentially higher, a difficult progression I had to catch in perfect order; if I closed my glove too early the ball slipped off my fingers and I was sent back to the beginning; I didn’t...
WANTED: Biological Father

WANTED: Biological Father

(spare time or full-time)* Single, thirty-something woman seeks biological father. Must be: tall, 6’2’’ or above. A thick head of hair. Funny by accident—a lovable flop. Swedish descent, but English accent preferred. Royal blood a huge plus. Kind and gentle like Bob Ross. Suave, sophisticated, and street smart like Humphrey Bogart. Intellectual in a Carl...
My One, My Only

My One, My Only

Invariably, at the grocery store where I buy avocados, clementines, and Lucinda’s beloved pork breakfast sausage, some stranger will ask, “Is she your only child?”    I wonder what gives us away. Is it the way I narrate our grocery trip, the questions I pose about the ripeness of bananas, Luci’s eighteen-month-old desire to blow...