Category Archives: Friends & Family

Loaded Question

I read a blog post recently about asking whether there are weapons in the home before sending your child over on a playdate. (For those of you not in Seattle, two children were killed and one injured by guns in the hands of other children in the last couple of weeks.) I asked my 8-year-old son what he would do if ...

Thank You, Aliens

Aliens have abducted my husband. My Spock-like software engineer of a husband – or his alien clone – put a gratitude journal on both our phones. Who is this guy and what has he done with my husband? Every morning at 7:30 this app pops up, disrupting whatever else I happen to be doing, and I have to stop and ...

The Running Group

I had a random idea awhile back. What if I started a running group and invited people who had never run before to come with me? Running is all well and good, but I only do it for that clear, calm, washed clean feeling afterwards. There’s a lot of spaciousness in that feeling. A lot of power. What if I ...

It’s Not About You

A favorite coaching client recently received a troubling performance review. He feels paranoid: his colleagues seem to be distancing themselves, as if they somehow know. He described a coworker who used to be friendly. Now she never stops to chat. “Does she know something I don’t?” he wondered. I challenged him to ask her. That way he’d know. The next ...

Name Neurosis

I never remember names. I can know people for years and not have a clue what their name is. This has developed into a pretty rich neurosis, where I won’t say someone’s name even if I’m sure what it is, because what if it’s wrong? This is ridiculous. It inhibits my ability to connect with people. I’m distracted by an ...

Coffee Breath

I was kissing awake my 5-year-old daughter the other morning, my heart filled with love for that sweet, sleepy, warm body. From under the pillows, the most offended little voice said, “Your breath stinks.” And then, with utter disgust, “Gross.” Z keeps it real. I could feel myself flipping through the available emotions. I picked up “hurt.” I picked up ...

Being Zilly

We went camping and forgot the dog. We were 30 minutes on our way when I realized. “Any other children you’ve forgotten?” my partner asked as we turned around and drove back to the house. And there was Zilly curled up quietly in his crate. Zilly is a very polite, appreciative, quiet little dog. He’s well behaved, does what he’s ...

Flinch

I flinched. I went blonde again. It all started when I was talking to a nice couple at the playground. The guy looked vaguely familiar. We eventually figured out that we’d gone to business school together. Graduated in the same class. He didn’t recognize me. That’s a bit of a hit: I like to think I make more of an ...

The Best Thing About Mommy

I found a treasure as I was sorting through my kids’ school work. Tucked among a pile of papers was a note from my daughter. In her careful handwriting, my 5-year-old had written, “The best thing about Mommy is that she quit her job.” That’s a keeper.

The Dungeon of Spit

“Oh we don’t need stakes. It’s not going to rain.” Rookie mistake. The sound of rain pattering on the tent is a lovely sound; the sound of rain pattering inside the tent not so much. We went on our first camping trip of the summer last weekend. I’ve always wanted to go to the Dungeness Spit, a 300-foot wide spit ...

Love and Puke

My 7-year-old was up all night puking. It made me think of my dad. When I puked as a kid, my dad would hold my hair out of my face and press a cold washcloth over my forehead. I remember feeling so miserable, and so loved. As I sat on the bathroom floor at 3:30 this morning, rubbing a miserable ...

Fuck Off, Mommy Guilt

Last November, my daughter’s teacher sent out photographs of the Kindergarten Thanksgiving party. Little kids with cornucopias eating treats. I couldn’t look at the photos. I couldn’t bear it. Mommy Guilt used to ache in my heart. Aching sadness about missing great expanses of my children’s lives. Regret for the haphazard rush of our lives. It was a cost of ...

Gremlin vs Friend

I got a compliment the other day and a gremlin fell off my shoulder. In coaching language, gremlins are the little negative voices that whisper in your ear and remind you that you’re not good enough – smart enough – that you don’t have anything worth saying so you’d better keep quiet – that you better not risk it because ...

The Problem with Smart Friends

A friend of mine used the word “provenance” at a dinner party last weekend. It’s bugged me ever since. One of the kids had placed a pink foam crown on my partner’s head and my friend asked whether it was a birthday crown or a princess crown. So far so good. And then she quietly wondered about the “provenance of the crown.” ...

Anatomy of a Day

Nothing like a UTI to change your plans. It was supposed to be a writing day, all to myself, the kind of day I’ve started thinking of as a delicious day. But when my 5 year old starting crying “owwie” every time she peed (on the floor), I knew it wasn’t going to be that delicious. 12:05 a.m. Pee accident. ...