our legacy

This week my son, Django, went off with his dad, The Piranha, to the islands. This was a big step, I guess. Because there have been years, off and on, that the two wanted very little to do with each other. And that’s in addition to those years when I shunned The Piranha altogether, finding […]

taken

My son has his high school orientation this week. We arrive early, so I steer us to a row of side seats in the far back where I can monitor the influx of people. It’s my job as a good mother to suss out the scene and liberally narrate my findings for Django’s benefit. So I’m busy calculating […]

the beauty of being where you are

Last night was the Halloween on which my son announced it would be his final year trick-or-treating. I looked at his beautiful face. He’s developing the chiseled features he’s going to have as a man. And I’ve taken to sometimes wearing even higher heels in order to still be able to out-height him. “Your last year trick-or-treating,” […]

absentee demons

I’m having another episode. I’m never sure what to do when this happens, and at first I tend to respond by thrashing wildly. Grasping at nearby surfaces as I plummet, only to watch them loosen and break too. Far better once I recognize the hopelessness of struggle, as at least I can leave off bringing […]

helium

  Django and Lovey are thirteen now and smarter and just overall better than I was at their age. This week we go to a haunted hotel and spend a night together there. We luck out and there’s even a terrifying thunderstorm. It grows dark and ominous, and the rain pounds hard against the window […]

keeping pace

Sometimes I wonder if the way I love Django is the same way other moms love their sons. Only because it feels so much different. Or maybe it feels the same, but in a dark side of the moon way. A few weeks before Django was born, his paternal grandfather called me from Chicago. “I’m just […]

holding back

Very early on, I noticed how one side of Bruno’s mouth would draw up in a sneer when he wasn’t paying attention. For all of his carefully manicured self-possession, this was, at first, the only tell to his unrefined character. It was for the rest of that character to show up that I waited. “He’s […]

dark water

Lovey is twelve and living with her substitute family the day her period comes. It shouldn’t be a big deal, but it is. “Should we cancel the trip to the river?” Delilah, her substitute mother, asks. “Are you feeling blue?” Lovey is occasionally morose and Delilah has developed a regimen for it, in which she […]

not a player

At parent-teacher conferences, Mr. B suggests that my son, Django, explore other genres over the summer. My son is gorgeous, broad-shouldered with curly-blonde surfer hair. “Do you really think that?” he wants to know. “Or do you just have to say that because of the standards?” He’s also a sharp one. A full grade ahead […]

beach glass

Behind my eyes, a pure story is like a gazillion grains of untouched sand. Its telling a graceful sifting through open fingers. But when I open my eyes and look down life’s supposedly pristine coastline, I often find it jarring. “Hey, what’s that syringe doing there?” I have to ask. Or, “What’s with the broken […]