How do you raise a kid who can get into a good college without driving yourself crazy for 18 years?
Sometimes folks new to town mistakenly assume that San Diego has no seasons. Here are ten foolproof ways to spot "autumn."
“He’s out there again, Frank.” I said it out loud even though I knew Frank couldn’t hear me. Frank, who has been gone almost two years now.
The burger is delicious but there will be repercussions.Downward dog exposes the precarious structural integrity of my right-side-up face.Compliments come with an unspoken “for your age” hanging off the end.6am isn’t as early as it used to be. 11pm is much, much later. This could use just a pinch more salt.I don’t need reading glasses... Continue Reading →
One of the few things that brings me more pain than clutter is realizing I am a cliché. So you can imagine the emotional turmoil caused by Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up phenomenon. My love of organization has deep roots. I grew up in a tools-on-a-pegboard, boxes-as-drawer-organizers house. In elementary school, I set aside entire Saturdays... Continue Reading →
Growing up in Southern California in the ‘80s, I learned that there were three categories of people: boys who played sports and liked girls, girls who wore Bonnie Bell lip gloss and liked boys, and everyone else, who we lumped into a catch-all category labeled “gay.” This “gay” bucket included everyone from Martina Navratilova to... Continue Reading →
This month's flashback post brought to you in honor of Let's Talk month. Dear World’s Okayest Mom, It’s happened. My daughter came home from school and asked me where babies come from. She’s only nine! What do I tell her?! I don’t want to freak her out, but I know I’m supposed to talk about... Continue Reading →
Dear WOM, My ten-year-old got in trouble searching “porn” on a school computer. I’m not even sure he knows what porn is yet. How do I handle this? Sincerely, Perv’s Dad? Dear Perv’s Dad?, You are not the first one to ask me this. In fact, you’re the fourth friend/neighbor/random stranger to bring up this... Continue Reading →
The first time it happened, we were at In-n-Out waiting for our burgers. In front of us was man in full Army uniform, missing a leg. “Mommy,” my daughter whisper-screamed as only a toddler can do. “Where’s his leg? Why doesn’t he have a leg?” I reacted like many new parents who also lack social... Continue Reading →
Dear World’s Okayest Mom, I kind of hate my 12-year-old daughter right now. Everything is overly dramatic and I haven’t heard a civil word from her in months. Last week, for example, we voted as a family on where to get takeout for dinner and she lost. She stomped out of the room and slammed... Continue Reading →
I can’t be the only parent who rates her children’s activities based on the relative torturous-ness of their associated events. My personal scale runs from 0 to weekend-long-soccer-tournament-in-Orange-County. Lacrosse games and children’s theater are about 3; high school improv is a 5. Last night’s two-hour middle school band and orchestra concert was a 7, primarily... Continue Reading →
My daughter spent seven years in a kids’ theater program in our neighborhood, starting as the baker/spoon/villager-with-pitchfork in Beauty and the Beast and working her way up to Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz. After the final show in the spring of their eighth-grade year, the director shared anecdotes about each of the kids graduating... Continue Reading →
Dear Apple, As much as moms love their runny scrambled eggs, burnt toast and handmade construction paper cards, I had some ideas of what we really want for Mother’s Day. Can you put your engineers on it and release something by Mother’s Day next year? A device that accurately translates what’s happening in our kids’... Continue Reading →
Dear World’s Okayest Mom, My nephew is seven and a really nice kid, but sort of odd and sensitive. He’s going to have a pretty hard time of it in the world of boys. And he has long hair, which is only going to make it worse. What’s the best way to tell his parents... Continue Reading →
When my daughter was a newborn, she flipped off the changing table onto the floor. I was across the room at the time, forlornly surfing Facebook to see what normal people with normal lives were doing, those lucky souls who weren’t trapped in the eternal twilight of breast-feeding, Sex in the City reruns and diaper... Continue Reading →
Here is the full text of the letter my daughter left on the dining room table after I forgot to pick her up at ballet lessons for the third time: Mommy and Daddy, It is the second time I’ve cried after ballet. It is the 8th time you’ve been late. It is the 83rd time... Continue Reading →
This is part of a new series that I'm calling "Rejected by McSweeney's." It will feature pieces written in sarcasm font (not yet available on Mac or OS platforms) that the editors of McSweeney's deem not quite funny enough for them. Someday, I'll post a link to something they actually publish, but until then, enjoy... Continue Reading →
“How was Cuba?” they ask. “What was it like?” And I struggle because I can’t distill the trip into a brief and pithy summary suitable for cocktail conversation or breakroom chitchat. Because now, even a few weeks later, Cuba is still a mosaic of discrete moments and images that I cannot make a story out... Continue Reading →
There’s a woman my age staying in our AirBnB this weekend, in town to visit her son at college. I can see them sitting on the deck in the sun. She’s handed him a plastic grocery bag, crumpled from her luggage, and he’s pulling things out one at a time: a Toblerone bar, Pocky sticks,... Continue Reading →
“My son is so emotional all the time. He’s angry, then he’s sad, then he’s excited. I can’t keep up,” said one friend. “I’m wondering if he needs therapy.” “My daughter spends most of her time reading in her room,” said a different friend on a different day. “Do you think she’s okay? Should I... Continue Reading →