Every day, besides all this work, I try to relax a little, to spend a little downtime. If I can relax even five minutes, I figure I’ve done okay. Errands are lovely because they get me “out of the office” (out of my workspace that is) and I can practice breathing mantras and sing along to music, or have one of those incredibly valuable conversations with my teens. The boys come with me on these errands, because I make them come with me. We get groceries or a lunch, or perhaps coffee. I arrive home and maybe sit down and watch a little of some serial killer fictional drama, or read a bit. I light a candle; I find a little deeper breath on the yoga mat. (“Do I contradict myself? …” and so on).read more
I’ve pointed out before that my first sewing studio was a closet – a closet with a shag-green carpet (occasionally redolent with cat piss; joy!); and a closet I shared with my partner’s computer and with our clothes! This was in an impossibly-small studio apartment! There wasn’t even enough room for my sewing machine (a cheap plastic Kenmore my mother bought me) – I had to store it on the porch in a cabinet.
So I know all about how hard it is to “make space”.read more
Our dryer broke today but only after I had about eight loads of wet laundry waiting. I search online and find a heating element but in the meantime, we need towels and clean sheets. So at 10 PM I’m sitting on my mother’s couch waiting for a single load to finish; the rest of our wet clothing and linens are bundled into large black garbage bags and rest on her tidy laundry room floor. We always talk about world events and cultural phenomena when I visit with my mother. Tonight I mention the disturbing, disgusting tax breaks our country’s mega-rich receive and my mom interrupts me to angrily hold aloft her popsicle, “Like these! These are half as big as they used to be, and they cost twice as much! It makes me so angry!” I look down at my popsicle – lime flavor, duh! – and I realize, Sonofabitch, this damn thing is smaller. Life’s a bitch.read more
I believe I hurt someone’s feelings a little while back, when they were asking me for parenting advice. I said,
“Stop thinking of your baby as being ‘good’. Stop showing off the baby. She’s a person, not a pet. The sooner you abandon these practices the better it will be for you – and your kid.”
I’ve said this before. And if I was a bit direct – well first, I was being asked to be direct. Second: it’s nothing I didn’t learn the hard way.
I did every one of these things and lived to repent, and change my attitude. And I’ve left my own early parenting writings online – you can go back and see I made these mistakes.
Parents do these things, because we’re told to. It’s modeled to us. It’s conflated with “good” parenting.read more
Did you like what you’ve read? The above essay is excerpted from my upcoming publication: “HOW TO NOT F*CK UP YOUR KID (ANY MORE THAN THE WORLD F*CKS WITH THEM)” – working title. This zine improve your parenting efforts, but is also helpful to those of us who survived our childhoods!
This publication will be available on Kindle, pdf and reader form, and a limited-edition print run. Sign up for updates!
“I, Survivor” – a podcast
the antidote to the exploitive nature of True Crime ‘casts. Check it out!