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Surrounded by the Essence of Her

It’s an odd thing to wake up one morning and by the day’s end your family has shrunk a little. Not in a tragic way, thankfully, but by way of summer visit, a leaving for a few weeks, a vacation that I’m a little envious of. I can’t…
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On Being Their Person

“The only creatures that are evolved enough to convey pure love are dogs and infants.” ― Johnny Depp I dropped my newly-turned 8-year-old daughter off at summer camp this morning. It was in a basement, there were no windows, but they…
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A Whole Year as Three

It’s been a year. Almost. Both of my girls were conceived on my birthday. Mia came on her due date of June 21. Coraline showed up five hours after hers had passed on the 16th. They both came so fast. Mia in four hours, and born at home. Coraline…
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The Stages of Love with a Shelter Dog

It wasn’t at first sight. She shook in her outdoor kennel, next to that dog who wouldn’t stop barking. Next to the pacing Airedale with long, matted hair. No, this little red dog looked like any dog, except her whole back end quivered when…
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Make. Good. Art.

Neil Gaiman's commencement speech to the University of the Arts found me a couple of years ago. At the time, I'd just lived through the equivalent of a mother's existential dilemma. I have a scattering of essays I've tried to write about that…
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"More!" "Yay!"

Coraline turns ten months in a few days. She's standing on her own. She signs "hi" at her own appropriate times, but hardly ever when I ask if she wants to wave at a friend who's waving back. I often find her signing a combination of "more"…
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Goals–Dreams with Deadlines

Recovering from putting myself through college with a newborn was harder than I'd thought. I had no idea I'd suffer from a fear of my own mortality. I didn't think I'd be so enraptured with Coraline that months of having barely enough income to pay the bills would be worth it. But I still made progress.

"Love her, but leave her wild." –Harper Lee

I stayed up late a few nights last week, gathering old journal entries and blog posts and digging through notebooks I kept from when Mia was little. I'd forgotten such a huge part of her life. There are things that happened with her dad that…