A summer dinner.

Rise early, and head to the farmers market so you'll have the best pick of produce. Or, alternately, sleep in and head to the market when you're awake and have had some coffee. Don't like farmers markets? Fine. But know that you'll need tomatoes for this dinner, and grocery tomatoes will not do. Buy loads … Continue reading A summer dinner.

Summer: the book report.

Ah, summer reading, the special torture devised by teachers to deprive children of a carefree break from school. I hated summer reading. I'm a slow reader, for one thing, and, for another thing, I have always had a penchant for reading junk fiction. My teachers didn't care. They never, not once, assigned a Ken Follet … Continue reading Summer: the book report.

Life, without instructions.

From age 12 to age 19, I made a fortune babysitting. Terminally responsible and usually available, I was the go-to Saturday night supervisor of people only five or six years my junior, people who are now my good sources of parenting tips on Facebook. The handful of families on my A list kept me flush … Continue reading Life, without instructions.

If Laura and Hillary were pals.

I've been thinking about the war among women and our deepening factions. We who question Jill Abramson's firing. We who think women belong at home. We #YesAllWomen sign carriers. We who snap photos of other mothers' bad parenting and send them to police hotlines. We who are pro life, and we pro choice. Anne Lamott … Continue reading If Laura and Hillary were pals.

An embarrassment of parents.

I dreaded the mornings when my father drove my third grade carpool. Daddy, whose one-time party boy reputation was unknown to me at the time, insisted on listening to WEZI, the easy listening station that played nothing more radical than instrumental Perry Como covers. He would hum along, occasionally opening the window to spit, the … Continue reading An embarrassment of parents.

Shouldering the weight of the words.

"Roots and wings," my mother said at least 4,000 times when Margaret and I were growing up (and by "growing up" I mean our entire lives). The wings part was always directed toward me, as I was apparently timid and lacking independence in my early years (swear to God). Roots was aimed at my sister, … Continue reading Shouldering the weight of the words.