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Category: Milestones

Onward, with Jazz Hands

The kids have told me that my half-jokey-but-really-I-was-seriousness declaration of “Onward, with joy!” as our family motto is basically the un-coolest thing I have ever done in their entire lifetimes, so just imagine their (implied) glee when our friend David texted me the Latin translation of the phrase, and I thereafter made it a habit to walk around the house shouting, “Puram, et gaudium!” with such abandon at the people who live here you’d think I was trying to gain late access to Hogwarts. I am the coolest. My children have grown over this past year, as children do. Saoirse is now twelve (and a half, she’d want me to add), Quinlan turned ten in the middle of lockdown, and Cian is seven. In approximately three seconds they’ll all be off to college and I’m going to handle it just fine, I swear. But because we have two pre-teens in the house and a little brother who is heavily influenced by said preteens, David and I have rules they beg us to follow now. You already know about the PURAM…

From My Bubble to Yours: the Anniversary of Mom’s Glioblastoma Diagnosis

It’s been a year since it all happened, my friends. Last year, a day after the sadness of 9/11, when we took a breath and gave our loved ones an extra-long hug and carried on, on until the next year, is when our story with my mom began. That phone call. That drive. I finally told David, during a quiet moment last week, that I have flashbacks to that night, that car drive, my calls for help. I’m embarrassed by that admittance–I’m a grown woman, after all, and this happened during my grown-woman years. I asked him if he thinks they’ll ever go away. I want them to go away. I want the moment that divided before and after to be erased. This is what weighs on me: if it had been a stroke instead of a tumor, my decisions could have killed her that night. Do you realize that? Because I chose to try to find her before getting help. Because I chose not to call an ambulance right away to meet me there. Because I made a decision to drive her to the hospital myself even…

The Easter Bunny Shakedown, or Why Some People Make Fun of Religion

Quinlan walked into my office the day after Easter, pursing her lips like she does when she senses deep, deep injustice in her presence. “Mom,” she said. Her tone was accusatory. “The jelly beans that were in our Easter baskets were the same ones you had in the pantry.” She wouldn’t break eye contact with me. “Mom,” she repeated. “Why are the jelly beans the same?” The time had come. I gulped–actually made a gulp sound–and half-heartedly tried to cover my (er, the Easter Bunny’s) tracks: “Well, honey, jelly beans are the same all over the world. It’s not like there are a bunch of different versions of, you know…jelly beans. So it makes sense that I’d have the same ones that were in your Easter basket.” She looked at me, then sat down beside me in such a manner that I was pinned between her and the side of the couch. She didn’t say a word for a beat or two. Then: “I know about the bubbles.” “The what…