Holding it Dear

Ah, December.

My daughter’s Advent book says that this month’s name is derived from the Latin word decem, meaning ten, because it was originally the tenth month of the year in the calendar of Romulus.

But I’ve got another theory. Could it also be because everything – everything! – in the month of December is dialed all the way up to a ten? The joy! The meltdowns. The grief. The love and the pain and the regret. The absolute delight! The resentment. The hope! It all feels pressing, impossible to escape, pregnant with purpose and wonder and memories of the many things we got right and the many things we didn’t, or perhaps never will.

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Lifing Up

A noiseless patient spider, I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated, Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding, It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself, Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them. And you O my soul where you stand, Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space, Ceaselessly musing,

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We Are Not Monarchs

My daughter tells me over breakfast that certain butterflies die once they give birth. She points to a crayon drawing she’s made: a dead monarch falling down from the sky, little Xs where eyes could be. Sounds about right, I think as I grind the coffee beans. — The baby is 1 and a half

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Who We Follow

There’s a reason there are tea rings on my dining room table, tie-dye stains on my deck. There’s a reason Ken built a ramp to slide down the basements stairs and a rock climbing wall to reach the heights of our master bedroom. There’s a reason that, just a few months ago, we bought a

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A March Ago

Want to hear something crazy? I say, sliding into the corner booth. I’m pregnant! I haven’t seen my friend Shannan in months, so we meet on a sunny afternoon for Pan-Asian in a sleepy lake town. I wear overalls. We split banh bao. She sips my chamomile tea. We chat for hours – book progress,

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Party of Five

They said it would happen like this: The baby will come and you’ll never be able to imagine anything otherwise. She’ll just fit, they said. You’ll see. (They were right.) —

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Here’s what we have: me, 8 months pregnant, balancing a laptop on a burgeoning belly with two snoring dogs under a pair of propped-up feet. The clock reads 3am. It is quiet, cozy, warm. Perfect conditions for sleeping – unless, of course, you are not. (I am not.)

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This Is Your Gap Year

Months ago, when COVID-19 was still a whisper, I was interviewed by a local San Francisco news station about my homeschooling plan for kids ages 2-7. The segment was long, the questions many. How much school do kids “need”? How can working families pull it off? What’s your advice for those just getting started? Six

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