My piece on learning to love crow’s feet is up at HuffPost.

Early Mother’s Day Message

I’ve probably listened to this voicemail from Aud and her best friend 15 times. It’s such a perfect encapsulation of their age — I want to bottle it and uncork it 20 years from now. [ed. note: Aud’s friend and I have a running joke about a dream she once had, where I turned around from the driver’s seat and told her she had a big head.]

“Hi, Mom! It’s Audrey, um, just call me back, in, um before, um, if you, before you go to bed if you receive the message, I guess? Um, I just wanted to say goodnight, and happy early Mother’s Day, and have fun in New York, um, I’ll miss you! And tonight we went to see the Amazing, the second Amazing Spiderman? And it was SO good, and it was awesome and I liked it MORE than the first, and I don’t understand why there were bad reviews for it AT ALL — it’s just sad — but um, also we watched The Carrie Diaries? Which is a really good TV show? And then um — do you wanna talk to her? You, you said you wanted — okay — here’s Anna — sorry, we’re not gonna make you — try not to make this message too long, ‘cause I know you don’t wanna listen to Anna, but— [laughter, muffled voices]

“Gee, THANKS, Audrey. Um, hi Mary Beth! Um, just wanted to say, like, have fun in New York and stuff, um, so yeah! And happy early Mother’s Day, and, um, and yeah, so Spiderman was SO good, oh my GOSH, we were like, SOBBING, when— [muffled voices] and we were like, sobbing, at like, part of it? And it was like, oh my gosh, it was just SO…eh-MO-tional, and oh my gosh it was so good though! Um, and yeah, so— [muffled voices] — just a minute — oh! OH MY GOSH! Okay, my parents? and Pete? didn’t LIKE it, and Pete doesn’t even like Gwen Stacy! Like, what is WRONG with him?! But, um…anyway! Okay, so, happy early Mother’s Day, and by the way, it’s SO offensive what you said about my big head. I’m so offended. That’s so mean, I’m sobbing! Um, alright, Happy Mother’s Day, um, here’s Audrey!”

“Bye! I love you! I’ll…talk to you tomorrow! Uh, love you, bye, good night!”

My true tale of the Easter Moth, now on Huff Post.

You learn to appreciate the small victories in parenting.
Fudge, bedside, 3 a.m.: “Mama, I threw up.”
Me: “In the bed?”
Fudge: “No, near it.”
Me: “Okay, good job.”

Please check out my incredibly helpful tips for new parents, now on Huff Post!

"And I thought, all these things don’t seem that much like life, when you’re doing them, they’re just what you do, how you fill up your days, and you think all the time something is going to crack open, and you’ll find yourself, then you’ll find yourself, in life. It’s not even that you particularly want this to happen, this cracking open, you’re comfortable enough the way things are, but you do expect it. Then you’re dying…and it’s just the same plastic chairs and plastic plants and ordinary day outside with people getting groceries and what you’ve had is all there is, and going to the Library, just a thing like that, coming back up the hill on the bus with books and a bag of grapes seems now worth wanting, O God doesn’t it, you’d break your heart wanting back there."

— Alice Munro, Forgiveness in Families

Floyd and Bobo, w/footballs.

Floyd and Bobo, w/footballs.

My god, Aud’s a genius: “The only thing that would’ve made ‘World War Z’ or ‘The Walking Dead’ scarier is if they’d used clowns.”

How You Know You’re Old as F*ck

1. You say, “We have something all three nights this weekend!” and it’s a complaint.

2. You drop your kids at carpool and go “Ahhh…” out loud as you switch to NPR Morning Edition.

3. Later that day, you realize you’ve been driving along to a John Philip Sousa march on this same station and haven’t noticed.

4. You lie to your child’s face and say there’s no milk until you’re sure there’s enough for your coffee.

5. If your daughter tries on any item of your clothing, you go ahead and give it to her, because it’s too depressing otherwise.

6. You say to your dog, in bright, baby voice, “There’s nothing bony about you but your lazy bone!” then chuckle softly.

7. Hearing that any of your favorite bands are reuniting fills you with a sense of dread.

8. You look at Facebook photos of a high school friend and snort, “Christ! He looks like he’s FIFTY!” and then you realize: he is.

9. Your college alumni magazine moves your graduating year into the “decades” section.

10. You try to look nonchalant, leaning forward and speaking sotto voce, when they ask for your date of birth in the huge line at the CVS pharmacy counter.image