Posts tagged "parenting"
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...
The Little Girl at the Door

The Little Girl at the Door

The doorbell rings, and I know before I answer it who will be standing on our misnamed welcome mat. It will be the intruder. A threat to my family. A domestic terrorist. An eight-year-old child. Sure enough, it’s the girl from the next street asking if my granddaughter is over. The little shit seems to...
To Seize, To Grasp

To Seize, To Grasp

The first one was not the worst one, although it brought the biggest shock: my infant daughter’s irises sought the edges of her eyelids, pried open by faulty synapses. Her arms bent into Ls, and her hands fisted at her face like a fetus. An alien staccato coursed through her limbs. What seized her was...

A Balancing Act

As a memoirist, I often write about my family. I don’t worry too much about offending the people I write about for one simple reason– they’re dead. When you die, you lose the chance to object to what people say about you. I don’t know if I even could write as candidly as I do...
Fun for Everyone Involved

Fun for Everyone Involved

I lived with my father in a pink duplex. I slept in a brown velour recliner on a jalousie-windowed porch. My father, Fred, slept in a king-size bed that filled the bedroom, and I never went in that room, it was all mattress. The pink duplex was on a dirt road, MacCleod. Interstate Highway 4...
Imprint

Imprint

The siphoning happens as it always happens. A tingling beneath the skin of her breast announces an increased flow of milk from duct, a burning sensation, and relief when the sucking deepens and her flesh begins to deflate. Her fists and feet seize, attempting to master the quaking in her shoulders and thighs—emptying oneself to...
This Moment

This Moment

This is it. This is the moment our lives crack wide open like a pomegranate and all its bloody bits spread long and wide. One month before my daughter turns sixteen, I stand by the hospital bed, look her in the eye, and ask why. She stares blankly at the ceiling, fidgets with the D-rings...
Punch Line

Punch Line

One night when my wife is pregnant with our second child, she asks me for a glass of water. It’s late, and though it is a minor request, I still grumble as I sleepwalk to the kitchen. Who can say what time it is? Even the clocks are asleep. But the water is there, and...
Overpass Into Fog

Overpass Into Fog

One winter morning after dropping my daughter at daycare, I took the 180 overpass arching into thick fog and, though I knew it well, I couldn’t in that moment be sure where the road actually ended. Suspended between past and future, I disappeared into language and place, weather and love, and I wondered how close...