• death,  Grief,  life,  Love,  Motherhood

    Good Grief

    Every now and then some spirit of orderliness descends upon me and I tear up some corner or cranny of our house to take an inventory and reorganize it. Today the boxes of old notes and new stationary lured me in so I pulled them out from under my bed to sort. Before long I found myself scanning through the cards and letters for her familiar marks. My mom used a heart to end exclamation points and she mixed in cursive with her rounded print. She didn’t write a ton so what I have is essentially unicorn hair. The truth is some part of me is always searching for her…

  • Family,  Grief,  life,  Love,  Motherhood

    Lipstick Legacy

    I have it now; this little blue mug that says “MOM” on it all uneven like it was mass printed and sold for last minute gift-buyers on Mother’s Day sometime in the 80s. Maybe my Dad got it for her from me, their new baby, between sleep deprived shifts at one of his several jobs and maybe it made her cry the way you do when you’ve earned something that has not been easy. Mornings were quiet in our little cabin. Dad needed to sleep after his swing shift and Mom readied herself in the early, dark hours to join the other commuters on 101 by sunrise. Sometimes she would…

  • Family,  life,  Love,  Motherhood

    When Your Children Say, "We Got You"

    I did a scary thing. I auditioned for a show in which you read the words you wrote. Like, in front of people. On a stage. And before you can do that you read it in front of the showrunners who decide if your piece fits. And when you go to do this you sit outside the audition room with your printed copies and you make small talk with the other people auditioning and you have to tell them that this is your second time trying to do it which makes you feel like a loser even though you told yourself all the right (and true) things about how rejection…

  • life,  Motherhood

    My Little Man

    I’m a new mother. Again. Because every new child makes me over – I am four babies redone now and it gets no less remarkable every time. Today as I changed one of probably 300 diapers in the past two months, I began to see my little son as who he might become. “Will you be an artist?” I asked him, “A doctor? A construction worker?” I laughed at the thought of a big hard helmet on his soft little head. But soon my thoughts landed on what I really hope for, what I will actually care about when he’s an adult. “Will you be kind? Will you love well? Will…

  • Baby Berry,  Family,  Grief,  life,  Motherhood,  Pregnancy

    It's a Boy! (dammit)

    So. I’m pregnant. And full disclosure: I really wanted another girl. I wanted our eldest to have a sister to relate to, I loved the idea of my two boys being bookmarked with a little less testosterone, but mostly? I wanted another little girl to share in the thing my mom and I had. She used to buy this terribly amazing ice cream that had actual Butterfinger swirled into it. It was like our emergency fire extinguisher: we broke the glass for mean girls and stupid boys and post-fight-make-ups and really bad period cramps. Two spoons, one tub, no shame. We’d sit in her bed with our comfort food and…

  • life,  Motherhood,  Race

    Mothering in (Racial) Tension

    This is a piece I wrote at the prompting of Motherlode – a website which features stories surrounding Motherhood. Their March Prompt is “What Now?” and there are a lot of fabulous pieces by writers trying to figure out how to navigate the crazy we are all experiencing right now. If you want to head over there, I would love it if you read and shared my piece (and as always, I would love to hear from you in the comments!), but also if you checked out what the other writers are up to! Happy reading!  One morning as I am summoning the energy to stand up, my daughter comes…

  • life,  Motherhood

    You Do Life

    You came to me so perfect. All of you. You cleared cobwebs in the spaces of my heart that forgot how gorgeous we are, how Good we can be. Because you are All Good. Things from my tradition made sense when you got here. God as a tender father, doting mother. Restoration as the only response to whatever could break between us – I would crack the world wide open if you ever dropped my love for you. I would trudge past Hades and dig it out from wherever you left it. I’d sweat blood and be made a fool if you needed me to do it so you’d believe me over whatever lie…