He Taught Me How to Go Pro

This week I read Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield and attended Sam Blackman’s celebration of life, two events that seem deeply intertwined as I settle more deeply into Sam’s loss. In a museum-sized swell of mourners that could not begin to fill the space Sam left in his wake, I was seated next to my eight-year-old son, Theo. Next to … Read More

Radical Coparenting Strategy #3: Bite the Monkey

I live with a twelve-year-old German Shepherd mix named Hamachi. A large dog with a large mouth, Machi gets mouthy when she’s excited. For example, during her younger days, at walk time, she would have a friendly nosh on anything in reach—my ankles, her leash, my butt—while yowling and leaping around. Years ago, I learned to intercept this behavior by … Read More

Radical Coparenting Strategy #2: Leave the Dance Floor

Most divorcing parents I speak with have a story that goes something like this: Our relationship sucks, and it’s the other parent’s fault. If he would just stop doing X, Y, Z, I could be happy. Sound familiar? Another comment I can count on when people see my coparent and me getting along is this: Well, YOUR blended family works … Read More

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