The Boy In Our Hearts

She knows she has another brother, one she can't play with or see or talk to or torment. One who won't torment her back, the way her eldest brother does.

“He's in our heart,” she says, pointing to her chest.
“Yes, baby,” I tell her. “He's in our heart.”
“I'm not a baby,” she says forcefully. And she isn't, of course. She's four. But she doesn't only mean that she's too big to be called baby. She knows she'll always be my baby. Daddy's baby. Our baby.

Aloha, Mister B.

Already a legend before I met him on the first day of my senior year Drama class, Mr. Bright was the kind of teacher every teenager should be privileged enough to have at least once in their young lives. Demanding, encouraging, and above all filled with a genuine love of his craft and his students, he made fifth period a retreat for me during a long, difficult year.

Why We Need To Talk About Cameron Crowe's 'Aloha'

On the surface, the hullabaloo about Emma Stone's casting as hapa wahine Allison Ng in Cameron Crowe's Aloha might seem pretty ridiculous. It's only one movie, right? A fun summer love triangle rom-com set in a beautiful location and it's all just Hollywood fantasy anyway. Nobody actually thinks movies are real life, etc etc, so why is everybody so flipping angry? See also: don't we have more important things to worry about?

Today Is Another Flaming Pile Of Shit (And That's Okay)

Yesterday was a tough, busy day filled with all sorts of exciting and not-so-exciting things and I was feeling it keenly. By the time Ian got home from work I was nearly incoherent with exhaustion so he sent me to rest while he made noodles to go with the experimental dinner I threw together. (Verdict: I'll make it again.)

One Hundred Word Wednesday: The Cutest Kindness

As I made lunch I became aware of telling silence. I called her name, a suspicious question.

“Yeah?” she answered like sugar.
“Whatcha doin'?” I both wanted to and didn't want to know.
“I make the kitty stay on the couch,” she answered proudly.

That could mean a lot of things, only a few of them any good.

“Please be nice to the kitty,” I pleaded, washing my hands quick as I could.
“I am,” she bellowed.

I stepped into the living room, unsure.

Words For My Son On His Fifteenth Birthday

Tomorrow my tiny, two pound baby is turning fifteen and I honestly couldn't be happier. It's been tough, I'll admit, raising a teenager. He started high school this September and seems to be blazing down some checklist of teenage shenanigans as if he's behind schedule. But still. He's amazing and I wouldn't change him for the world (or my therapy bill).

How I Explained Mental Illness to My Kid

"It's kind of weird how long it took my dad to get over drugs," he said, not completely out of the blue. I wasn't really ready to tackle something as big and complicated as his father's addiction right at that moment, but it didn't matter. I had an opening in a shrinking adolescent window, and I had to make it count.

Jonas' dad has been in recovery for many years. He has worked really hard to get where he is, and having been there to witness most of the worst, I have a lot of opinions about it.

Sex Talks

"If you get pregnant, I'm kicking you out of the house."

This was the extent of the sex talk I got from my mother. Surprisingly, it didn't make me want to have sex any less than I already did, and I was very interested in sex. All it did was let me know that she wasn't someone I could go to for advice, help, or comfort. She was The Enemy, and I needed to be good about covering my tracks.

I was fifteen years old.

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