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Category: Parenthood

Grief, and When Our Children Show Us the Way Out

As I type this, there is an estate sale company in my mother’s house, sorting through her belongings. The estate manager called me from where she stood in my parents’ dining room this morning to ask me some questions, and when she looked outside, she paused our conversation. “It’s just beautiful here!” she said. “This is a lovely home.” I hung up and cried. I need to tell you about this past weekend. We’d decided to do some sort of Fun Family Fall Activity, and Quinlan really wanted to go to a place with a corn maze, so after we finished cleaning the house Saturday morning (Cian: “Why do we hafta keep cleaning the house all the time? It’s just going to have to get cleaned AGAIN.”), we drove to an apple orchard about thirty minutes south of us. We handed over the bonkers-expensive entrance fee, donned our masks, and made our way to the corn maze after dodging a small handful of social media influencers in their Instagram Hats as they teetered out of a pumpkin patch. All Quinlan wanted to do was…

George Floyd, the White Mama, and Anti-Racism: a Reckoning

I saw this image last week, and the message hasn’t left my mind. It happened right after I read this opinion piece, called “I Need White Mamas to Come Running,” by Christy Oglesby, a senior producer at CNN. Her plea hasn’t left my mind, either. In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, the atmosphere in our house has shifted. David and I, I know, are not alone in this. We’ve begun reading and listening in a way we haven’t before: articles and essays online and books in our house and on my phone are being re-read or picked up anew. He’s just finished Angie Thomas’ The Hate You Give and is about to start the beautiful Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I’m listening to Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates. I’m taking my time with that one. It’s both incredible and raw and, as a mother, really hard to hear. But the mother needs to pay attention to the voices of her children, so I’m listening. David and I been talking a lot…

Cian Challenging the Rules: Well, When You Think of it That Way

In the evening after the first day of school, Cian made an announcement. “I’m going to be very well-behaved this year.” He stopped and took a look around the table at each of us. A brief look of self-doubt passed over his face. “Well,” he clarified, “at least while I’m in school.” This, my friends, is my third-born. He came home last week all sorts of worked up. We were in the car after I’d picked them up from school, and he said, “I don’t know about this first grade. My teacher wants us to RAISE our HANDS before we talk. That doesn’t make any sense. If she’s close enough, I should just talk. She answered me the first time I did it. But after that? She didn’t pay attention to me!” I didn’t have to say anything because both of his sisters rolled their eyes and jumped in for me. Quinlan just sighed. “Cian.” Saoirse told him, “Cian. You’re in elementary school now. That’s how it is in ALL of the classes. Everybody has to raise his hand.” “But that doesn’t make any…