All the Time in the World

On a late spring day in 1984, I stepped out my front door into the sunshine, proudly hugging my newborn daughter to my chest in a baby carrier we had purchased at a garage sale. Her little legs dangled out oddly, but I supported her neck with deep tenderness. I loved “wearing my infant,” as …

Sassiness and Rage

“You know me, Anne,” my neighbor Phyllis confided to me from her porch. “I don’t put up with disrespect.” Phyllis’s older son, fleeing his hurricane flooded home in Texas, had just come crawling back to her in desperation after being kicked out on his last visit. He brought his mouthy girlfriend and needy young children. …

Second-Guessing God

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. — Marianne Williamson “Break my heart. Oh, break it again, so I can love more fully.” –Rumi When I was in high school my friend Bev, from a devout Italian family, suggested I pray a novena for my father to be cured of his MS. I wasn’t quite sure what a novena …

Trading Cookies for Socks in County Jail

Recently a family member spent twenty days in a northeastern Ohio county jail. Upon his release, he phoned me, and was soon overcome by anguished sobs. We wept together. I’d expected to feel pure joy at that moment. But, like him, I’d crossed through a portal I’d never wanted to enter, and the trauma couldn’t …

Being Big, Being Small

I don’t know at what point in recent U.S. history children routinely started feeling wiser than their parents. This attitude felt so normal to me in my young adulthood, I never questioned it. Mothering my feisty teen-age daughter eventually made me wonder if something was wrong. Surely the “Question Authority” button I’d once sported wasn’t …