Is It Just Me? Why Do I Always Do This On Airplanes?

I am that lady in Seat 12B. Maybe even stuck in that middle seat of 27D. I’m that lady you’re trying to discreetly poke your travel partner. “Check out the woman over there,” you whisper. “She’s crying her eyes out.” Dear Reader, what is it about airplanes? The altitude? The recycled air? The isolation 36,000 feet above the ground? Whatever it is, I’m a goner. Just say, “Boo,” and I’ll start crying. Watching a movie, that on the ground would

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Mother’s Day Panic Button: I’m Messing Up Big Time; Help Me Fix It

You know those warm, fuzzy gushy feeling columns you read around Mother’s Day? I’ve written a few myself. (Like this and this.) Yeah, this isn’t one of those. Oh, it’s about motherhood, all right. But this one is more like hitting the motherhood panic button. A button I hit the other day while, don’t get too excited, sewing on a real button. A button that had fallen off one of my girls’ school uniforms. That’s when I realized– These children,

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My Birthmark That Wasn’t; Longing For The Mark of Greatness

I wasn’t born. This fact was relayed to me by my slightly older brother. About the time he was six and I was five. The traumatic childhood memory of this revelation came flooding back to me this week, thanks to an endearing news item I stumbled upon. I read how two parents in England who got tattoos to match their young daughter’s unique birthmark. Ah, birthmarks. They run through my family. I’m talking the port wine stain kind. They are

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Your Friend Picker–Three Lessons That Fine Tuned Mine

“How do you pick your friends?” What an awesome question I was thrilled to get recently from a certain young person in my life. Let’s talk “The Picker.” The one that selects the friends you choose to have in your life. My own Picker has been shaped and modified for the better by three wonderful friends over the years. Thank you, Gina, for explaining it all boils down to fruit. “Picking good friends is like walking through the produce aisles

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An Adoption Celebration: Motherhood Is Like A Cup of Tea

Get out the gloves and nice dresses. My daughter and I are heading to High Tea at a fancy schmancy hotel here in town. It’s what we do each year to celebrate the anniversary of our adoption. And I do mean OUR adoption, as she was 11 when we met, 13 when I married her dad. 14 when the judge made legal what was already long official in both our hearts. When a kid is a certain age, she has

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So, I Broke Up With The ‘What If?’s’

We had a crisis in our house this week. As are most crises with teenagers— This one was astronomical. Huge. Tragic. It involved, Get ready. It’s big. Our daughter losing her cell phone. Yes, I know. International relief funds have been started over tragedies smaller than this. “I think I left it behind at school,” she explained in a panic while using someone else’s phone. “I couldn’t go back and check or I’d miss the bus home.” You can imagine how this crisis

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It Takes A Village To Raise My Mom

It takes a village to raise… A parent. You and I have long known about the need of the so-called village of neighbors, friends and family to raise our kids. Today, I’m thanking the village it takes to care for my mom. My mom, who has it made it quite clear she’s not leaving our hometown where she’s spent her entire life, even if all the kids live far away. My mom, who was diagnosed with a mild form of lymphoma a few months ago and has

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My Dog Leads The Way To Joy

To chore or not to chore. That is the question. The debate between people like me. Crazy mad dog lover. And people like my husband. People who don’t get the whole dog thing. “Have you done your chores this morning?” he’ll ask. Let me translate: “Have I walked you walked the dog?” No matter how I try to explain, he just doesn’t get the concept. Walking my dog is not a chore. It is, simply, Joy. I love watching the way her tail wags to

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I’m Parenting From Another Planet

Looks like I will be turning in my American passport. I’ve been informed I’m not of this country. Oh, it ratchets up from there. Apparently, I’m not even of this planet. The notice came via a look. A look from my kids. Perhaps, Dear Reader, you’ve gotten “The Look,” as well? It comes about the time you mention celebrities or movies that were part of the fabric of your youth. “This guy reminds me of Elton John,” I remarked the other

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The Party I Never Wanted To Cancel

It is one of the most formidable values I was raised with. Right up there with The Ten Commandments and not running with scissors. Simply, I am to never cancel a party or joyous occasion. No. Matter. What. The thinking is, life has so many challenges, that when joy is on the calendar, you must embrace, cherish and protect it. Do you get that, Dear Reader? Just how seriously do we take this in my family? When my mom became

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