Passing down “Being Human”


I recently stopped drinking. I cut back in January and fell back in to the Bad Habits again by mid-February. I recognize these are, in fact, bad habits and nothing that brings me joy or helps me grow. For someone so introspective about the art of Being Human, in recent years, I’ve become unwilling to sit with what it feels like to Be Human most evenings.

As anyone who knows me would expect, since January I’ve read seven books about alcohol, alcohol addiction, quitting alcohol, motherhood and alcohol, and what alcohol does to women specifically. I have a truckload of facts I can rattle off and even many authors’ experiences I could relate to and share. This is all very fine and good, but facts and book quotes don’t take away the reality of physical addiction, unhealed emotional pain, and learned avoidance. That is where the work starts. Continue...


The ocean. The dust. The ashes. A walk.


Recently my daughter told me she isn’t afraid of death. “I think it’s your fault,” she confessed on one of our new daily walks since we entered Quarantine. It’s my favorite part of the day now, our walks together. I think she appreciates them as much. “See,” she continued, “your whole lecture about returning to the ocean and Pappa and Grandpa going back to where we came from... Well, I don’t think death is scary.”

I took it as a compliment. But barely. I think, really, I took it the way she intended it; full of fear and doubt followed up with support and love and acceptance. She witnessed two deaths last year. Two very important deaths. As hard as they were, she came out with a greater understanding of life and love and humanity. It’s all we can ever want for our children who face difficulties. We want them to come out of them as better, and more humane, humans.  Continue...


Teaching Our Daughters About Relationships


I remember my mother explaining to me the sort of man I should marry. “Leslie,” she said when I was around 12 years old and only just starting to look at boys curiously, “The sort of man that is good for marriage is one that has plants in his apartment, can’t dance well, and wears tassel shoes.”



On Raising The Future, Or The Future Raising Me


I found out a few months ago that my daughter identifies herself as bisexual, or more specifically, pansexual, but I had to look that up because I really don’t understand the difference. This information was secondary to the suicide threats and other information that flooded the front of the queue of New Things I’m Learning About My Daughter.

The beautiful thing about learning So Many New Things About My Daughter was that I could sit down with her at the table that day, iPad in hand, and look her in the eyes, all of her secrets now in my own mind and heart and still on the device between my hands and honestly tell her, “I’ve read everything you’ve said over the last few months and there is nothing here that makes me not love you. Now. Can we talk openly? Because I’m here and I’m not going anywhere and you’re not in trouble at all.” Continue...


Three Weeks Later


I don’t know about your children, but mine seem to have a very small memory for some things and an elephant-like memory for others. I look at them and wonder where this comes from but then I remember a conversation I had a few hours ago about something I’d completely forgotten while bitching about something I can’t let go of.

Let’s call this “Human.” Continue...


Teenage depression, hope, and resources for suicidal ideation


Before I go in to a long winded update, here are a few things to know immediately:

For parents: Call 9-1-1 if your teen has a plan for suicide and has a willingness to follow through and will not go with you to the ER. Do not be ashamed. None of the staff will fault you for this, in fact, they will hug you. It's ok. You're not alone. They're not alone. Ok? Ok. Now, I can let you know how our experience is, so long as everyone is safe.  Continue...


A guide to parenting a suicidal teen


When you left the hospital with your first born, you joked about how ridiculous it is they let you take this entire human home as if you have any clue what you’re doing. She seems so fragile compared to every car on the road between the hospital and home and HOW THE HELL LONG IS THIS DRIVE because it wasn’t nearly as long from the house to the hospital before.