From the category archives:

Parenting and Other Earthly Obligations

The gift of believing
Creative Commons License photo credit: Rusty Boxcars

Three years ago when my daughter was in her final year of elementary school I wrote the story below.  Much to my surprise, it holds true today.

Yes, my daughter is a rare eighth grader who still believes in Santa Claus.  Despite the naysayers at school, you see, she has proof of Santa’s existence (but you’ll have to read on to understand what it is).

As a parent it’s a rare occurrence to discover you have taught any lesson, played any role or done any job too well.  But given the season, and given the bitter-sweetness of 13, I’ll take it.  After all, you believe in Santa too, don’t you?  In my house this year, we’ve got only true believers.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and may the spirit of the season remain as alive and well in your hearts and homes as it is in mine.  Enjoy The Gift of Believing, it’s my gift to you.

The Gift of Believing

In this season of generosity my husband and I have received a most precious gift.  Our fifth-grade daughter Alexandra still believes in Santa Claus.

Those of you with children know how magical playing Santa can be.  And those of you with school age or grown children also know [click to continue…]


"Confessions of a Reluctant Mother"

I have to confess something few people know.  For most of my daughter’s life I’ve been a reluctant mother.

It’s not that I got pregnant as a teenager, knocked-up after a wild night of debauchery, or stumbled into any of the typical, tragic unexpected motherhood situations so popularized in the tabloid news.  I was “raised right”.  I was responsible.  I was married for five years before I ever in my life got pregnant, even though we weren’t trying.  And in theory, we wanted kids.  It was the “in practice” part I struggled with.

No, I was not reluctant because motherhood was thrust or forced upon me at a tender or inconvenient age.  It’s just that it was never my calling, and I did have a calling.  From a very early age I longed to be a writer.  I had bigger plans than mommyhood: novels, travel, money, and fame – maybe even transformed hearts and minds.  In my wildest dreams, a legacy that would last the ravages of history.

Plus, being a mother never looked like much fun.  Whether watching my own mother or the moms of my friends, it didn’t seem like motherhood was a very satisfying, easy or meaningful (in any kind of big, outer-world way) path. As the oldest of four kids, I witnessed my parents fulfill classic 1950’s era roles – mom stayed home, cooked, cleaned and raised the kids, and dad went to the office every day.  With four, mom had her hands full.  Imagine this juxtaposed against my daily viewing of Oprah, then just getting started in Chicago where I lived, rapidly ascending to super-womanhood and you [click to continue…]