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Every morning, my daughter wakes up and immediately asks, "What are we going to do today?" (She's the curious one in the family, the one who must be in the know. My son never asks - we can be driving down the interstate, halfway to our destination, before he wonders where we're going and what we're doing. Their personalities could not be more different.)Listen, I don't fault her for wanting to know. When you're the shortest one in the house, at the mercy of the licensed drivers and decision makers, it's only natural to be curious about what's coming next. But this summer, the question "what are we going to do today" has come to mean something entirely different.And I despise it.It means, "Mom, what fun, exciting, thrill-seeking, never-done-before activity have you spent weeks planning (and a small fortune on) for us to do?" Here's the thing. I don't subscribe to the theory that my job as a mother is to make my children's every waking moment magical. Yeah, I want them to have fun and enjoy the relaxation that summer brings, BUT. I refuse to spend every moment of my life in a carefully choreographed dance of "entertain the children"...


The other night, I had myself a little hissy fit.The house was empty except for me, so I had a good cry - the kind where it's hard to breathe and you make strange, unintelligible noises.Why?Motherhood.All I could see in those moments were my failures and shortcomings, the problems I face and the circumstances that overwhelm.My mothering life is likely different from yours. I am divorced and remarried, so custody arrangements and visitation schedules, especially during the summer, are inescapable truths. Our schedule is a finely tuned instrument requiring coordination and calendars, planning and production. And though it looks nice and neat on the calendar, it is its own special hell for me.It means that I, a mommy, am sometimes without my children. Those blue cells on the calendar represent nights, and during the summer, weeks, without those who grew within me. I cannot explain the agony.My tears were set off by a sweet night with my sisters. We - and their children - met for ice cream. But my own children weren't there, and it hurt. I just wanted to be "normal," yelling at my kids not to get too close to the road and cleaning up their ice...


After nine years in a classroom, I'm leaving education. I will walk out of my empty room on Tuesday with books packed away and memories stored in my heart, leaving behind hundreds of adolescents who walked through the door looking for what they didn't know they needed.Honestly, I don't know if I gave them anything.I tried really hard, that's for sure. I wrote curriculum and read professional books and took classes to get better.I read adolescent novels and included the classics and tried to teach them some grammar.But as far as what they got? Who really knows. That's the agonizing peculiarity of education. You never really know how you did, even with test scores and data being thrown all around. You never really know if you made an impact that will be remembered beyond the last day of school. You never really know.I sure don't.If you're looking for a diatribe against the American education system, you won't find it here. I have a lot of thoughts on our system and a lot I think needs to be changed, but I'll keep those thoughts inside until the time is right to voice them.Here's what I do know: I can't stay. Not because...


I just don't get it. It's the year 2016, people. Twenty. Sixteen.And yet here we are, with being female still being a hardship. A liability. A handicap, if you will.Today, the home page of a major news organization carried the headline, "Cheerleading Team Nixes Tryout Tips After Outcry."Here's  what this university - this institution of higher learning - values in its representatives: a "beachy glow." Hair with "volume." And don't leave out the all-important "false lashes." In other words, everything opposite of who we women really are when we wake up in the morning. Don't lose sight that the girl in the picture is also blonde and skinny. Two more traits that make a girl have the valued "look."Makes me want to puke.This week, I had a man suggest that my skirt was too short. It hit my knees. My knees. A man with whom I've had maybe two conversations in my life. A man who was bothered by the fact that my scandalous and I suppose seductive kneecaps were showing. Excuse me? First, who do you think you are? The clothes police? You have no legitimate reason to discuss anything with me, most especially the length of my skirt....