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Being Mommy (Without the Kids)
Jan23

Being Mommy (Without the Kids)

“Have a good day at school, baby.” “Thanks, Mommy.” I blow him a kiss and then hang up the phone. I pray the kiss travels the 3,000 mile distance between us and plants itself on my son’s heart. I can barely keep my eyes open long enough to attach my cell phone to the charger because I had to wake up at 3 a.m. just to be sure I caught up with my two sons before they left for school. I live in Los Angeles and they live in Fort...

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‘My Mother Might Be Out of My Life, but My Kids’ Too?’
Jan23

‘My Mother Might Be Out of My Life, but My Kids’ Too?’

The last time I heard anything from my mother was when she sent me a long email a few months ago telling me that what I had done to her felt like my father rising from the dead. My abusive, alcoholic father. And that terrible thing that was causing her so much pain? My brother and I had cleaned out her near-Hoarders level house and made it livable. Actually, we made it immaculate: professionally cleaned, completely repainted and...

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My Daughter Is a Mean Girl
Jan23

My Daughter Is a Mean Girl

It’s 5:15 p.m., right about sunset here in Southern California, and I’m racing to get dinner on the table so the kids can meet up with their friends. The pasta’s boiling on the stovetop and the vegetables are roasting in the oven. I figure I’ll pop open my laptop and fire off one last work e-mail. Instead, I discover this in my inbox: Sorry to be a “downer,” but I think we all need to talk to our daughters … about the...

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Family Ties
Jan23

Family Ties

It felt like falling—riding in the car with my sister over the hills of South Dakota. The hills weren’t high, but the land below was flat, and each dip up made our stomachs heave into our throats. Jessie was driving too fast. I was smiling. A pop song about “Summertime Girls” was on the radio, and we were quiet, enjoying our freedom. That was the last time I remember feeling at ease with my sister. My sister is two years older than...

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