In going through pictures for our Christmas card this year, I had a hard time finding any one image that I liked enough to make the centerpiece of our greeting. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had a good year. But there was no big family trip or event that lightened our collective spirits and captured that feeling in a single photograph. My favorite pictures, simply put, were not card-worthy. There were some candid moments where mouths were wide


The problem with hosting a big holiday meal is that there's a ton of food in the house but nothing to eat. All planning and energy is focused on the Christmas feast, so this week’s dinners get the short shrift. Yet each night, everyone -- myself included -- expectantly shows up at the kitchen table ready to eat. Last night, I made Mark Bittman’s toasted garlic with broccoli rabe over pasta which was a perfect

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Act I, sc i 4 yo: Mom, can you help me write a letter to my friend? Me: Sure, sweetheart. 4 yo: I want to say 'I love you. I hope you had fun on your birthday.' Me: (feeling proud) Oh, that's a very nice thing to say to your friend. 4 yo: Can you draw a stamp so we can mail it? Me: Of course! Good thinking. 4 yo: And, on the front, draw

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A few friends of mine, myself included, are having trouble getting into the holiday spirit this year.  I saw my first Christmas commercial on Halloween night which, if you remember, was a pretty long day as it was. Then within a week, I noticed it wasn’t just the one or two rogue families in town who put their Christmas lights out, it was one or two on every block. By Thanksgiving, trees started popping up


Act I, sc i Me: You looked great, sweetheart. You fought really hard. 12 yo: (grunts, barely acknowledges the compliment) Me: You looked even flipped him twice, right? 12 yo: ...yeah, and then got slammed on my face. Me: (grimacing) Oh yeah, that was hard to watch. 12 yo: It was hard to feel. end scene. Motherhood, lately, is not playing to my skill set. Yes, I'm an empathetic listener, a creative problem solver,


Last spring, I signed up for a writing class. It was a medium that I had never really explored before, save for clicking off quick texts intended to make my sister laugh. I was intimidated at the prospect but I signed up anyway. Truth be told, it was the only class I could find that A) didn't involve exercise and B) more or less worked within the limited hours of preschool. In the end, I


Act I, sc i 4 yo: I'm a superhero! Me: (still not looking at him) Mmmmmhmmm. 4 yo: I'm Naked-Man! Me: (looking up, I see that he is, indeed, completely naked) 4 yo: Naked-Man doesn't even wear a cape! Me: (nodding) Makes sense.... and I worry for your college years. end scene. Having more than one child means constantly resetting the bar when it comes to parenting. Multiple children with different personalities and needs dictate decisions

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Act I, sc i 4 yo: This dog is smaller than our dog. Me: Yes, he's just a puppy. 4 yo: Our dog's ears are bigger. Me: Yup. 4 yo: Our dog's paws are bigger. Me: Yes, but this puppy is still growing. (4 yo gets on floor and looks under the puppy) 4 yo: Our dog's.... Me: Let's stop right there. We've had enough of these comparisons this election year. End scene. If you plan

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Act I, sc i Trainer: Okay, ladies! We're going to do a quick jog around the studio... Me: (whispering to my friend) Crap! I don't run. Trainer: Move those arms, ladies. Pump your arms! Me: (running, panting and moving my arms) Trainer: Jen G.!!! (looking at me) What are you doing?! Me: (running, panting, moving my arms faster) Trainer: You're running, Jen, not chopping vegetables. End scene. Yesterday, I was fortunate to meet up with a few old friends for

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Act I, sc i 12 year old: (looking at cell phone) I'm following you on Instagram now. Me: I know. I saw that you "liked" my picture. Did you read my post? 12 year old: I don't understand it. Why would you post that? Why do you use those hashtags? I don't think you know how to use Instagram. Me: (picking up laundry basket) I'm confused. If you don't like my post, why would you "like" it? 12 year old: Because you're my mom. End scene. There is finally a