My then-shaggy boys in the Mojave desert where I grew up, December 2014
Sometimes I fear that I'm doing my kids' childhood all wrong.
Not enough forts, for instance.
When I was a kid, we had a corner of the living room devoted frequently to forts. There was a living and a family room. Plenty of space for forts.
Our house here in Berkeley is little. We make forts, though we haven't made one in a while. The giant camo blanket, lightweight with strings sewn into the edges, is perfect for fort-making. We tie the strings to chairs and the iron handles on the heavy bench that used to be the shoe bench and now is the coffee table.
I'm sure my mother worried sometimes that she was not doing our childhood right. It must have been so different from how she grew up, in a small town just outside Newark, shouting distance from the airport I've been flying into since childhood. She and my dad both grew up in the same town, Hillside, one mile square. I was born in upstate New York, land of gray sky, and then they moved to the desert ... more
Kauai, February 2015
When a day gets sloggy, or I've got too much to do, or I'm stressed, my kids are used to me saying, "I want to go to Hawaii."
It's also my go-to line whenever the whining gets a little much.
Them: "I wanna have some [INSERT NAME OF SUGARY TREAT HERE]. I really really really want it!"
Me: "I want to go to Hawaii."
Them: "I want to watch [INSERT NAME OF FAVORITE SHOW-OF-THE-MOMENT HERE]. I HAVE TO HAVE TO HAVE TO watch it!"
Me: "I want to go to Hawaii."
And ... more
Eugenia with Emry, November 2010
Next weekend we are heading to Point Reyes for a memorial for Mikhail's grandma Eugenia. Known as Granny or Great-Granny, depending on who you ask.
When I think of Eugenia, I think first of her incredible green-blue eyes. Not only remarkably bright, but so open to the world, so interested and engaged.
Eugenia with Elan, February 2007
She had the power of listening and a curiosity about the world that I find inspiring.
She was a welcoming matriarch to those of us who married in. I always felt brought into the ... more
My grandpa, Matty Brams, would have been 94 today.We miss you and love you, Grandpa.Grandpa Matty with Emry, May 2011
Grandpa taught me that it’s important to keep moving. When I close my eyes, I can see him walking down the beach. His wide stance, his loose gait, slightly bowlegged. He would show us the prints his flat feet made in the sand.
I remember him stopping, leaning down to pick up a rock, probably another for his collection to line the bottom of the fence. He was so purposeful. But ... more
Bernard Matthew Mann, March 2013. Photo by Jamie Street
Meet my new nephew.
Okay, so he's nearing 3 months old already, but that's still pretty darn new in the scheme of things.
Photo by Jamie Street
I like to call him Bernard.
Though his official nickname is Bowie.
Every time I see this baby, in pictures or in person, I just have to say, "Bernard, you're ridiculous."
I don't know why. I blame the funny faces he makes.
And how absolutely tiny and skinny he was when he was first born.
Laura & ... more
When Emry was born, I had three living grandparents. Now, as he approaches his second birthday, I have one.
Emry and my Grandma Syl, New Jersey, June 2012
I was doing a puzzle with Elan this morning, remembering when he first started liking puzzles two years ago. He was six inches shorter then.
At the end of a 7-hour flight just me & my boys, June 2012
When Elan was Emry’s age, he had the same gorgeous wispy-curled blonde hair as Emry ... more
View on this morning's run, Birch Bay, Washington, August 2012My father is a runner. My mother is a runner. My sister is a runner. My grandfather was a long-distance runner. Running is in my blood.But, up until about six weeks ago, I thought I hated running. My dad used to run track, and he wanted me to run in high school. "Do something with a finish line, something that's not so subjective," my dad said to his dancer daughter. Envious of my Mother/Father/Sister's obvious post-run ... more
Okay, so these aren't fireflies.Have you ever tried to take pictures of fireflies? Butterflies, Turtle Back Zoo, New Jersey
We went to Costa Rica.
We came home.
Mikhail went on a business trip.
We went on an overnight camping trip with Elan's preschool camping trip.
A giant owl buzzed my windshield.
Mikhail went on another business trip.
My mother-in-law came to rescue me from the horrors of double-bedtime-alone duty.
Mikhail came home.
Elan graduated from preschool.
Just a little.
I got on a plane with my two boys and came to New Jersey ... more
Popa Al in June 2008, at my sister's wedding
It was one year ago today that my Popa Al passed away. I just scrolled through the post I wrote about him that day. It was good to look at the pictures and think about him.
I am glad to be able to say that I remember him often, not just on anniversaries. Part of this is because Emry reminds me so much of my grandfather - his blue eyes, the way his little face is ... more
Family photos at Bodega Bay in the fog, August 2011I absolutely loved taking a week offline. We were in Colorado for a family reunion, so there were lots of other computers around and people to look up useful information like the location of public pools in Boulder, where it was in the 90s (which we loved after camping in the 60-degree Bodega Bay fog earlier in the month). I wasn't trying to get away from the practical aspect ... more