What are you listening for?

In the largest tree of my neighborhood sits an invisible bird who shouts, with great urgency, “Mom! Mom! Mom”. Every morning dog walk is punctuated by this ricochet of demand that registers in my nervous system and puts me on high alert. As I go into autopilot solve-for-the-child-in-need mode, I remind myself each time that the sound I am hearing … Read More

Radical Coparenting Strategy #1: Lean In

My son and I share a passion for knowing the world. My obsession is the inner world. And his, the natural world. Where I see a decaying animal body or pile of poop, he sees the path to answers: What did this creature eat? How did it live? What is it made of? Where has it been? As he delved … Read More

Sistering

This is my ex-husband’s wife. My son’s stepmother. In this patriarchy in which we live, there is language for who she is to these primary people in my life. But there is no language for who she is to me. I have been searching for a term that expresses the depth of vulnerability and beauty, courage and grace that has … Read More

What I love about you is everything

At the personal development workshop, we paired up to do a “What I love about you” exercise. After practicing in pairs with other workshop participants, we were asked to choose someone outside the workshop and do the exercise with them that evening. I chose to call my seven-year-old son. I explained to Teddy that I was going to talk for a … Read More

You are not alone

I was at a weekend self-development workshop, seated at a dinner table with five other people, a few of whom had known me well for many years. When it was my turn to share my goals for the workshop, I declared that I was committed to discovering new ways to connect, collaborate, and feel less alone. Gavin gasped. This man sitting next to … Read More

The Most Important Secret of Being A Person

We are driving home from soccer, and Teddy is in a great mood. His team won three to one, though officially no one keeps score. As Teddy takes a drink of water, I watch his face change in the rear-view mirror. He picks up where he left off whining on the drive to soccer about not having access to the … Read More

Praise for stepmothers

My son spends half of his life under another roof with his father and a woman I did not choose. This woman rises earlier than she’d prefer to care for my son. She cooks meals for him, listens to him, plays with him, considers his preferences and needs and desires. She rides airplanes with him, holds him when he cries, advises him … Read More

The Joy of Ex

I didn’t know when I was divorcing that I’d eventually come out the other side happier. I didn’t know that I’d come to love and appreciate and respect my co-parent again, in a fresh and true and far more sustainable way. I didn’t know that my son would would thrive. I didn’t know how incredibly resourced, powerful, and courageous I … Read More

The body is a wonderland

Pete is getting married on Saturday. When Natasha asked how I was feeling about the wedding, for a moment I went blank and couldn’t figure out whose wedding she was talking about. When I realized she was talking about Pete, my conclusion was that I must be feeling just fine about the wedding. That night, I dreamed that I was trying to run away with … Read More

Stepping Out of the Boat

Inside the story of our marriage, I was a certain kind of woman, a certain kind of wife and mother. Even if things weren’t happy or whole, I knew my part and how to play it. It was understood between Pete and me that I would be the one to willingly exhaust and overextend myself if I thought something needed … Read More