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Whatever You Do, Don't Give Your Family a Fish

I quit my family today. I woke up, just like every other day, at 5:30. It was dark and I was tired. I felt like I'd just shut my head off minutes ago but lo and behold, 7 hours had passed and my eyes fluttered before the alarm went off. Like every day that had proceeded this day, I put on my workout clothes and sneakers, washed my face, put in my contacts and shut myself in the laundry room. After 35 minutes of sweat and Gilmore Girls, I opened the door and walked through the house, turning on lights as I went. I checked email on my phone while feeding the pets. I packed lunches and started the coffee. I stuffed mittens and hats and scarves and sneakers into backpacks and lined the bags up along the couch with each bag owner's shoes and coat next to the bag. I turned on lights in each girls' room, said good morning, and then, "Time to Wake Up" roughly 23 times. I flipped on the computer in Caro's room and told her she had to get up. I YouTube'd a 10 min…

Should is a Stupid Word

I wish I was an octopus. I wish I had 8 tentacles and I could grab a bunch of stuff and do a bunch of stuff with my tentacles all at once. I wish I could clone myself and be in two places at once or at least be in two rooms of my house at the same time. Being a caregiver/parent requires one to be very good at multi-tasking. One must be able to bring 10 bags of groceries in from the car while carrying a toddler. One must be able to hold a child, whose nose is bleeding, while also watching a pot of pasta boiling on the stove. One must be able to relieve him or herself in the bathroom while making sure a child isn't setting the house on fire for heating macaroni in the microwave for 10 minutes. One must be able to get a good night's rest while being up all night with a sick child with a temp and a horrible cough. One must find time for him or herself while being someone else's whole universe. Being a parent and an individual human being at the same time feels like an oxymor…

To My Valentine

Met at CGP You thought I'd never get in Weird girl with tattoo. I thought you were fat, obnoxious and arrogant. Smoker. Hot Pockets. A night at the bar Our love blossomed at The Pratt. Museums and booze mixed. We became best friends Destiny. Fate. Forever. Others said we would not last. Married in the fall Surrounded by family and friends at "The Farm". We wanted so much. We bought a house and got jobs Do this together. Let's have a baby What a really great idea! Caro: life never the same. Along came Charlotte we, a family of four Full of love. No sleep. The time slips away as we figure it all out. Work, kids, each other. Sixteen years of us. Loving my life with you, Dear. Time flies when it's fun. Now we have gray hair, we are missing some teeth and fall asleep at eight. Our love is not old. Our love, instead, is timeless. Thank you, Valentine.

New Year's Peace

Almost every year I set a New Year's resolution or two. I'm a resolution kind of person because I'm a linear thinker and a goal setter. I like to set myself SMART goals- smart, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. I'm not into setting lofty goals and creating expectations for myself that I can't meet, which in turn makes me feel like a loser who can't follow through on anything. Yet, I'm going to push myself a bit because I like the challenge and the feeling I get from accomplishing a goal. I'm that person who wants to do what I say and say what I do. I want to be accountable and try to hold myself accountable.In the past few years, my goals have always included something related to running and running a marathon was one of my greatest accomplished resolutions. During each week of training, I'd write the number of miles I'd completed on my kitchen window. There, splashed in primary colors, (those kid window makers are excellent for …

Raising Children: Marriage Inequality

When Andy and I moved in together, fourteen years ago, we never talked about the division of labor in the house. We never sat down and had a direct discussion about who would mow the lawn. He mowed the lawn. When it snowed, he shoveled (and, now, he snow blows). He didn't ask me if I was ok cleaning the toilets, I just cleaned them. I made the bed. When we got married, and opened a joint bank account, he started paying the bills. I sent the Christmas cards. Yes, it seems as though all of our household tasks fell in line within traditional male and female stereotypes. It seems like I took on tasks that women have always done and he was responsible for tasks usually completed by men. Yes, it's true, we didn't talk about who would do certain tasks. You see, I am not skilled at many of those particular tasks assigned to my gender. I tried, with much effort, to cook. After many an inedible meal and much wasted food, Andy took over and we became a mid-western casserole eating …

Rage Fest

Everyone loves a good festival. There's no better way to excessively celebrate a theme than bringing a group of like-minded individuals together in observance, over a period of time- be it a day, week or even a month. Most of us have been to some sort of festival or carnival of one type or another: religious, harvest, music, movies, food, beer, wine, dance, art, fairies, comic books, etc. If there's something to celebrate, there's likely a festival for it. I'd say my first festivals were musically focused and I recall being angry that I was a bit too young to go to the revival of the ultimate music festival, Woodstock. In my younger days there was nothing better than an all day and all night celebration of music accompanied by dancing and a massive hang over. Over time I have expanded my festival attendance which is now much broader in nature. As a family, we have enjoyed art festivals in a variety of settings- art by the lake, art in the hills, art in the city. We&#…

Go Ask Alice ... About Her Bathroom Time

I wrote one of my college entrance essays about the bathroom. The prompt was, "Where is your favorite place?" On lined paper, in blue ink (I know, I'm that old, and my parents didn't buy us one of those giant word processors that some of you had then.)I wrote about how the single bathroom at our house, shared at the time by two teens and two adults, was my sanctuary. After a long and arduous day carting a 20 pound back pack up and down the high school halls, studying for pig anatomy tests, preparing presentations on the aorta (which I pronounced ahhhh-orta?)and conjugating Spanish verbs, I returned home and made a bee line for the bathroom. There, I would shed the angstful worries of a teen's day, load the tub with hot water, sprinkle in some Calgon, light a candle and read until my fingers and toes wrinkled into prunes. My parents' bathroom, like all other parts of their house, is tiny. As an adult, the sink rises only to my upper thigh. You are really prac…