Category Archives: Good for a Laugh

My Teenage Flirtation with Poetry

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I kept journals. During my senior year in high school and throughout college, and again for two years in my early 30s after my father died, I filled more than 20 blank books with the minute details of my inner and outer lives.

A few months ago, I found them in a box in my basement. After reading a few entries, I quickly realized I wasn’t ready to revisit my past. I closed the box, put it back on the shelf and returned to my daily routine.

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Sophie Ate a Little Lamb

They had wiped their plates clean. All that remained were some stray vegetables and small bones.

“Did you like the meat, girls?” Papa asked. They nodded their assent. In the seconds that followed, I looked up at my husband and attempted to use our finely tuned marital ESP to convey a warning to him. “Do not say anything more on the subject,” I said with my eyes.

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Just Another Day

Sleep-deprived Sophie, who stayed up late on December 31 to ring in 2016 with her friend, crankily proclaimed on New Year’s Day that “Today is just another day.”

She’s not wrong. January 1 doesn’t really have anything going for it, other than its pole position as the first day of the Gregorian calendar year.

Which got me thinking. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to wake up every January 1 and realize that a single aspect of your life had magically changed for the better? Screw new year’s resolutions. They require thought, intent and effort. Why isn’t there the equivalent of a fairy godmother for New Year’s Day?

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A Taylor-Made Surprise

I’ve always loved surprises. Receiving them, giving them – both make my heart skip an extra beat. Now that I’m a mom, I’m primarily the giver of surprises. I’ve had a lot of practice perfecting them. Especially when successful execution requires me to pretend I’m still a lawyer and keep a secret for eight long months.

I bought the tickets back in November, when I didn’t yet know whether we’d be in town to use them. I kept the event under wraps because surprises are fun and also because if I told Sophie about it  and we couldn’t go after all, she’d hold a grudge for decades.

The day before the show, I started to prepare her.

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Can I Start Saying ‘Crap’?

Very happy to report that this essay was syndicated on! Check it out here.  

“Mom?” Sophie looked up from her iPad game and glanced over at me with her big brown eyes and a sheepish grin on her face.

“What’s up?” I asked, girding myself for a request I would not want or be able to fulfill.

“Can I start using the word crap?” she asked, sheepish grin still glued on her face.

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How Music Opened My Eyes to Sex

My introduction to sex came through music I listened to when I was about 10 years old.

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The Cinematic Traumatization of Sophie

Setting the Scene

I’ve discovered that watching movies with Chloe and Sophie is a great way to reassure myself during times of doubt that my girls are actually sentient humans who are capable of feeling compassion and empathy for others.

I have recently learned the hard way, however, that Sophie is more likely to feel compassion and empathy for other animals than for her fellow homo sapiens. It’s not that she doesn’t like people. It’s just that, with the exception of ants, she loves other mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and invertebrates more.

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Can It Be 5,112 Days Already?

Chloe is 14. Chloe is 14. Chloe is 14.

I’ve been repeating that short factual sentence to myself for days now, getting used to the sound of it. It’s strange.  Although it’s not a particularly momentous birthday, it feels like a bigger deal than it really is.

I don’t know why I feel this way. On the one hand, I’m happy. Chloe is healthy and content. She has made it through her first full year as a teenager and hasn’t yet turned into a monster. Maybe we’ll survive the years of Teenageddon after all, I muse.

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Needs vs. Wants

It was time to put my foot down. Sick of my girls’ too-frequent requests for stuff, I recently put my serious mom hat on to announce a new house rule.  “Chloe and Sophie,” I said, “you must start distinguishing between your needs and wants. Your mom and Papa do not possess an orchard full of money trees,” I added as the two girls rolled their eyes in perfect unison.  We don’t live in a French Renaissance castle, either, although our humble abode is about 100 years old (and often feels like it was built 500 years ago, too).

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