Home Again, in Paris

Do you have a special place that feels like home even though it is not your home? For me, that place is Paris. No matter that I haven’t lived there in almost 20 years. Every time I return, it’s as if I never left.

The time-traveling architecture, the omnipresent statuary, the distinct industrial perfume that wafts through the hallways of the métro, the strident cries of ambulance and police sirens, the colors and scents of the outdoor markets, the leisurely café life…these are all familiar and comforting to me. Like home.

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Sophie Grew & Wore My Shoes & Now She’s 10

Sophie shot up four inches in the past year. I never appreciated the miracle of a four-inch growth spurt until I observed her over the summer and realized both to my delight and horror that my little girl’s body had stretched out – not unlike Gumby – and almost entirely lost its childlike proportions.  Unbeknownst to us, her body was apparently preparing itself for its tenth birthday, a milestone she finally reached this evening at 8:49 pm.

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A Shot of Inspiration

Sometimes, inspiration hits at just the right moment. A couple of weeks ago, an acquaintance of mine published her first novel to widespread acclaim. We live in the same town and although our paths hadn’t crossed in years, there was no way I’d miss her appearance at our local bookstore, a mere 10-minute walk from my house. Listening to her read an excerpt in front of a standing-room-only crowd made me want to pull out a notebook, then and there, and start writing myself.

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Chasing Time & Memories on Cape Cod

I breathed in the salt-infused air from our hotel on Cape Cod Bay, bidding farewell to summer from North Truro, a couple of miles outside of Provincetown. The glorious week with our extended family went by all too quickly.

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The Bee in My Bonnet

Freelance writing. Blog writing. Novel writing. Oh my.

For those of you wearing more than one writing hat, how in the hell do you manage?

I’ve been thinking – obsessing, really – a lot this summer about this question, alternating between dogged optimism that I will find space in my brain and in my schedule for all of my writing to thrive, and despair that I will never achieve a rhythm that allows me to devote sufficient attention to more than one area at a time.

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When Photos Do the Writing

Although we don’t live in New York, we’ve been in a decidedly New York State of mind this summer. After a glorious stay in Lake Placid, it was time for our annual visit to Ithaca, the place my aunt and uncle have called home for decades. My mom has taken the girls there every year since they were toddlers. For the past couple of years I’ve joined them. This year, for the first time in a very long time, my husband also came for a few days.

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Rest & Relaxation in Lake Placid

Last summer, I wrote about quenching one’s thirst for wanderlust locally – and the importance of reminding ourselves that we don’t necessarily have to travel thousands of miles to feel like we’ve been transported far away from home.

This summer, in keeping with our avoid-air-travel-at-all-costs vacation theme, our trips won’t take us more than a few hours by car from our humble abode.  We’ve finally realized that while the world offers much beauty to discover, sometimes it’s nice to explore the treasures in our backyards – which I’ve broadly defined as destinations within a 4-6 hour driving radius from our house.

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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 www.blogher.com! 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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On Middle School and Happiness

As Chloe’s middle school graduation approaches, I feel a bit unmoored and I’m not quite sure what to make of it.

For every positive thought I have when I think about the milestone – pride, relief, happiness, excitement for Chloe’s future – I have an equal and opposite reaction, and those reactions all essentially revolve around the overwhelming fact that in three short months, my 14-year old will be a freshman in HIGH SCHOOL. Setting aside the fact that this makes me feel old, it primarily makes me nervous, but not for the reasons you might think.

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A Mom's Ramblings About the Marvels & Mishaps of Parenting, the Joys of Family Travel & the Writing Life