MLK Day, and keeping our eyes wide open

My teen girl, Scout, is reading A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah for school. At first, she moaned every time she had to read a new chapter. “I hate this book,” she said repeatedly. “It’s so, so bad.” So I held an intervention. A Long Way Gone is the memoir of a young boy in the Sierra Leone who was driven from his home and forcibly conscripted into a rebel army, where he witnessed –Read more

Feminist. Should you be one? It’s so hard to decide.

The decision about whether to be a feminist is a hard one. Young women today have it tough. Lots of them are happily dating men, and are understandably nervous about becoming a feminist because it automatically requires being a lesbian. I’m a problem-solver by nature, and I hate to think of these hot young things struggling with this decision. So I, a proud feminist who wears Birkenstocks, have written a guide to help women process their feelings. Here are someRead more

HAPPY NEW YEAR! PREPARE FOR THE END! But smell the roses along the way.

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to focus on healthy eating, but I just ate four handfuls of stale Honey Bunches of Oats cereal. Because, you know, fuel for writing. Don’t judge. I judge myself plenty enough. Hello, 2018! Welcome. I speak for many when I say we’re looking forward to a year filled with global peace, clean air, and a newfound commitment to eradicating poverty worldwide and protecting the critically endangered Western Lowland Gorilla. KIDDING! We’re at theRead more

Before I understood what’s important

The Christmas of 1991, Bob and I were living together in an oceanfront condo in Melbourne Beach which we couldn’t afford. But did you hear me say oceanfront? We weren’t yet married, and although I was 27 years old, I wasn’t yet an adult. We didn’t have much money, but we had more than we do now because KIDS. I was working for the Vero Beach Press-Journal, and scheduled to work Christmas Day. Bob had been a copy editor atRead more

Giving thanks for my children’s birth mothers, and wondering if the feeling is mutual

Let me say this about November: it’s not all pumpkins and relish. Even in Florida, it sneaks up cold and hard, or at least occasionally chilly and hard, and I can’t yet be lured into the joy of the season. I don’t mind the season, exactly – it makes coffee taste better and hot showers feel so good. But it reeks of a reckoning, the kind of spiritual reconciliation we face whenever another end-of-year approaches. Case in point: November isRead more

Turtles and grief and a hard, hard world.

One afternoon not long ago, Nico called me from the bus stop. I was at the dentist with Scout. “MOM! YOU NEED TO COME HERE RIGHT NOW! I NEED HELP!” “Honey, I’m at the dentist with your sister. What’s wrong?” I tried to swallow the panic. Was he hurt? Being kidnapped? Had he cracked his phone? “No, Mom, you have to come right now! There’s this turtle….wait….I just need to….okay, I’m tucking some of its insides under the shell….MOM. IRead more

A Cast of Characters Update

It occurred to me yesterday that since I wrote a bestselling award-winning really good book about my family, I can stop using fake names when writing about them in my blog. It’s with some regret that I say this – I really do like their deserving monikers. But to be honest, I have never gotten proficient at writing the word “pterodactyl.” It’s time, anyway, to give you a brief update on everyone. The Diva: The Diva is my daughter Scout,Read more

Annual Vacation Odyssey! and a Rocky Mountain High

I’ve missed you. I hope you’ve missed me. Would you believe me if I said I spend a percentage of each waking hour wishing my fingers were tapping on a keyboard? Probably not. But it’s the truth. When I say this to Hot Firefighter Husband, he says, Then write! Just write! Do it! and I think, I will! I will write today! Then the oldest child calls from the school nurse’s office because her toe is bleeding and the youngest childRead more

Trump, Putin, and the fake ADOPTION news

If I had never seen a photo of Don Trump, Jr. posing with a South African buffalo he had just shot, I might feel a tiny bit sorry for him. There he was, just going about his life as the father of five and a billionaire, when he was thrown into his father’s bombastic presidential campaign. And in an effort to make his dad proud, he agreed last July to meet with a Russian government lawyer and several other pro-RussianRead more

The Diva flies off, and Wonder Woman

I owe you an Annual Vacation Odyssey post, and I will deliver on that tout suite. But in the meantime, I want to tell you about my darling Diva, whom I’ve shipped off to the Dominican Republic with a bunch of people she’s never met to run a summer camp for under-served children. This idea hatched in my brain earlier this year as I watched her struggle through her freshman year of high school. It was like she was trudgingRead more