A Portrait of Imperfection

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There is an unwritten rule in parenthood: Crisis doesn’t occur until Picture Day. Really. Ask any parent and they will tell you a story. This year, it seems, we could not escape the curse.

“Now don’t worry, but I want you to be aware…”

I dread when my husband prefaces a story involving our children in this way.

But before I could reply, I spotted it: a pink mountain of flesh had filled the entire space between my daughter’s eyes.

And this is how a mosquito sabotaged our little girl’s first school photo.

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Date Night, within Reach

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“We’ll go on a date night.”

It’s a lie we tell ourselves over and over and over again. The truth is, when our parents are in town, we get a little selfish. We, too, want attention – to be taken care of.

When you are raising your children several hours from your closest blood relative, it feels like all the hard decisions are yours to make:

Who will care for my child while I work?

Can we really afford what our family needs?

And how will I make it through the day without a backup quarterback?

In my own mothering, I have reached the danger zone: I want to give up.

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Paradise Lost

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Chipotle is where modern parenting goes to die a deliciously painful death.

Four hours into a 10-hour car ride with our toddler and infant, we stopped for dinner – in hopes that somehow, some way a full belly would translate into sanity. I am convinced that Chipotle preys upon our demographic:

Do you want to eat “healthy”? Absolutely.

Do you want to eat around others who value their own health and, well, social snobbery? Yes, I guess.

Do you want to fight with another equally exhausted mother over a high chair? Okay, I see where this is going…

All of the inconveniences, of course, are forgiven (or at least forgotten) until your child has a messy diaper and you remember that there are no changing tables.

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Grand Answers

Grand Answers

I’ll be the first to admit that I used to be one of those annoying pregnant women who believed that she could will herself into having a natural birth – no medicine, no struggle, no problem. That was, of course, my first pregnancy.

I once read that the pain associated with giving birth is comparable to several bones breaking in the body at once, and I would have to agree. Every sense and pulse in your body tells you that you might be dying (and, truthfully, you kind of wish you were), but the catch is that you must deliver a sweet, innocent, and vulnerable being that is, in ways both known and unknown, a part of you. This is the best motivation I can think of to persevere.

When my body collapsed from sheer exhaustion after seven hours of unmedicated labor, I realized that what I had secretly been denying for nearly nine months was actually true. I cannot do this alone.

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