Posts

The Outsiders

I have lived in small, rural northeastern towns my entire life, except for a few short stints in Boston and California and my six-month study abroad in Costa Rica. As a teenager and young adult, I wanted out of small town life. I had big dreams of joining the Peace Corps or a living in Australia, or basically as far away from home as possible. But somehow those dreams didn’t come true and instead I ended up in another small, northeastern, rural town just a few short hours away from my own hometown.I wish I could say that my geographic dreams changed but that would be a lie. To this day, I still wish I could travel the world and experience cultures very different from my own. However, over time I have grown to appreciate, and find contentment, living in a place not that much different from my home. As an adult, my home is an incredibly special place to me and always will be. When I go there, to visit my parents, I realize that, as a kid, I never appreciated how lucky I was to grow up w…

A Daughter's Life

My kids are amazing. They're finally becoming humans. I can't believe that I created these people and, under my parenting, they're thriving, interesting kids. I know in a few years I'm going to be frustrated about this but right now I'm pretty pumped that they have their own ideas and a mind of their own. Charlotte in particular, who has the gift of gab, a way of putting things, and a really uncanny ability to articulate things unlike most seven years old, entertains me daily. My kids are both definitely what I would call "characters". Since I am weird, I am particularly proud that they are, too.A lot of my parenting time is spent considering ways that we, as a family, can better support Caroline with her life goals. While it is hard, I am at peace with having a child with a disability because it has made me a better person, a stronger person and a more empathetic human being. But I'm an adult and I'm able to reflect on my life experience in a dif…

The Memo

When I was growing up, getting married and having kids were never on my to do list. I had lots of professional aspirations, and dreams of traveling the world, but not once did I think, "Oh, I hope I'll get married and be a mom." Then, it might seem like the perfect Hallmark movie plot: I met the man of my dreams. He was tall, dark (haired) and handsome and was also very charming. And being from the Midwest, he was certainly interested in getting married. As a matter of fact he'd already had marriage conversations with some of his girlfriends before he ever even entered college.At first, we were an odd couple because there I was walking around with my personal copy of the Yellow Wallpaper and my membership card to The National Organization for Women and there he was, a hybrid historian/businessman in training, who was definitely still playing the field, whose his first commitment-related question to me was whether or not, if he bought an apartment building, I would be…

I Love Otsego but I Love Andy More

Growing up, my big brother was your typical older brother. He loved to torture me and his favorite hobby was making me mad or making me cry. He took my own stuff and made me buy it back from him at a yard sale. He put dog crap in my socks and sneakers. He threw spit balls at me, pinched me and never let me win at any games. Despite his daily doses of teasing and displeasing me, I did notice that he wasn't particularly interested in other people making me mad or making me cry. I'm not saying he was ready to fight on my behalf, or ride up on a white horse to protect me, but he was pretty firm in his position as the number one bane of my existence. Despite the fact that he no longer tortures me quite like he used to, our relationship has left a lasting impression on me, long into adulthood. As a self proclaimed arm chair therapist, I take note that I have been trying to work through that relationship for years-with Andy. Poor Andy had no idea that, when we started dating, I'…

The Older Woman

The other night, while changing out of her work clothes, a woman looked in the mirror. Her hair was flattened against the side of her face. Her eye liner, slid from under her lids, resembled a raccoon. Her makeup had long faded, revealing deep creases around the edges of her eyes. The skin on her neck, like the eye liner, looked as though it had slid down her body, little rolls and folds where there used to be tight flesh. The veins on her skin popped up from her hands and feet, uncovering the wear and tear of time. Her naked body exposed years of use, of growing children, of nourishing children, of lifting children, of carrying children. Her breasts, her belly, her thighs and hips all rounder than they once were, all no longer able to fight gravity, their weight heavy on her frame. Her body had stretched and grown and given and been forgotten and neglected and loaned as a tool, as a vehicle, as a mechanism, as a means to an end and that end was giving light to others while she fell …

Socially Acceptable Avoidance Techniques for All

This morning, while in the shower, I heard the door to the other bathroom close and I cringed. At first, I thought it was odd to have such a visceral reaction to something so benign. Then, I realized why the clicking of the door closed bothers me so much. The only person in the house who actually closes the door to the bathroom is Andy and, when Andy closes the door to the bathroom, he doesn't come out for a very long time. Without getting too much into TMI, I know that the important work of the potty takes more time for some than others but NOT. THAT. LONG! After 25 minutes pass, when I can do nothing because asking if he is ok or done is awkward, I start to wonder what exactly is going on behind that door and why being in there for so long takes priority over spending time with his family. But again, it's silly of me to be sad and missing my husband while he is in the bathroom because everybody poops. In addition to time in the bathroom, Andy dedicates much of his time to w…

The Five Stages

We all know that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. We have read books about how to successfully live with someone who's from another planet. Andy, unfortunately for me, is not from Mars nor Venus, but another planet altogether. Sometimes, I find him to be so unique that I'm sure no one else lives on this planet but him. I'm not much of a astronomer but I'm also sure that all the other planets in Andy's solar system do not orbit around the sun but instead his very unique, solitary planet, or, to be scientifically accurate, his own star. The girls and I are on the lightest planet, Planet Family, which orbits the heavy hitter, the heavy weight, the brightest of them all, the star with the strongest gravitational pull- known as Andy's Sun.I'm pretty sure that Andy's Sun thinks it's characteristics mirror the Sun that the Earth orbits -near perfect, most important, responsible for all life. (Interestingly, I learned that the Sun is middle-aged…