Posts tagged "parenting"
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...
Daddy Vérité

Daddy Vérité

The way I remember it, my dad rests his elbow on the rolled-down window. He smokes a Pall Mall. But when my husband tracks down a DVD of the film, the 1969 documentary on Simon & Garfunkel called Songs of America, I fast forward to my father and there’s no elbow, no cigarette. He looks...
Constellations

Constellations

1. Dr. A, my mother’s handsome Bolivian neurosurgeon, lost his father on Everest. I pictured whorls of snow, a worthless compass and a man, stepping out into thin air. I was slightly in love with Dr. A, and so was my mother. Her first appointment, she said, “I know you’re married, but this is serious....
The Farmers’ Almanac Best Days for Breeding

The Farmers’ Almanac Best Days for Breeding

The Farmers’ Almanac was not the first book to which we turned—there were stacks, volumes, before it. So many more up-to-date sages willing to show us the best way to make a baby. Best is the wrong word; the most successful way to make a baby. It was only after months of desperation that we...
Summer Missionary

Summer Missionary

With our third foster baby I begin dreaming of bruised women, women I have to help up the stairs, their egos battered, terrible mothers, until I notice that they are not the birthmothers, they are me. I think of something the church people used to say when I was growing up: be grateful for what...
Consciousness

Consciousness

Quick as a cut, darkness came to the afternoon, to the nursery where I sat cross-legged on the floor, a white raft of a blanket under us. My newborn sucked her fingers while clumped in the crooks of my arms. We both squinted toward the window, trying to make sense of it all: the sudden...
Pieces Dad Mails Me Before He Moves Away: A List

Pieces Dad Mails Me Before He Moves Away: A List

1.  A manila envelope. Our names: “Annalise” and “Dad.” Usually he writes “Annalise Mabe,” and “Logan Mabe.” Usually Dad’s script is rushed, informal, as the pen misses its mark with a hurried pressure. 2. A clear, cubed box with a crystallized lock of my ash brown hair from the summer we traveled to Louisville for...
They Say

They Say

I’d take him home in a minute, they say. At the mall, the grocery store, while standing in line at the bank. When you finally reach the teller she says, I hope he is your deposit. Your baby smiles shyly, blinks his blue eyes and buries his face in your neck. Then they want him...
Foundation

Foundation

“That foundation there,” my father said, pointing as he drove, “was once a little bungalow that belonged to a woman named Betsy Williams.” He slowed so I could see the foundation, the cracked rocks hidden among the wild onion and witchweed. A sycamore grew where the living room had been. We were driving through rolling...