Stories of surviving being a single parent to four children while maintaining your sanity.

The Family Bed Holds More Than a Biological Family

In the early 1980s, my pediatrician urged my then-husband and me to never allow our children into our bed at night. It was deemed physically and emotionally unhealthy for all parties concerned. But as a woman who rarely did what she was told to do, I didn’t heed the warning even when craving much-needed sleep. Truth be told, I couldn’t stand to be apart from my babies any longer than necessary. I loved the feeling of a tiny body spooning mine at 3:00 am […]

Freedom is Found in Different Ways

 Listening to my child sob hysterically on the other end of the phone, I instantly transformed into Mom, the Helicopter Goddess, my alter ego; the warrior for my children’s happiness. With mighty engines revved, I prepared to swoop in and make everything alright.

Two hours later, I hung up the phone exhausted after I successfully completed my super hero duties once again. But as I placed the receiver on the hook, I wondered, “did my mother do this for me?”

Even though I was beginning to […]

Come Back as My Children

Waving goodbye to my daughters as they boarded a plane for three weeks on an all expenses paid trip to visit their brother in Barcelona, I couldn’t help but think, “I want to die and come back as my kids.” Oh, the privileged life they’ve lived and the places they’ve traveled — and much on my dime.
When I was young in the 1950s and 60s, times were hard. Children in our sleepy town of San Carlos, CA had to trudge ten miles in the snow to […]

Born to Be

“Jackie, you have to leave,” the kindergarten teacher whispered, gently nudging me out the classroom door. “You’re scaring the children .”

It was 1993, and my baby, Timmy, was about to begin his illustrious school career at St. Simon Catholic Grammar School. Looking like a happy-go-lucky Smurf in his tiny blue uniform, blond curls dancing merrily in the wind, he bravely escaped my vice-like grip and ran straight for the book corner. Watching him fly off to the great unknown and be one with twenty-five other […]

The Critic

With a look of absolute horror in her rich, mahogany-colored eyes, my 13-year-old daughter Lauren stared at me, mouth wide open.

“You’re not going looking like THAT are you?”

The year was 1998, and my precious baby girl was not happy with my appearance. Apparently, she deemed my attire inappropriate for her confirmation at St. Simon Church.

Turning back to the mirror, I couldn’t imagine what was wrong. My hair was styled to perfection and make-up understated. The dangling earrings definitely made a fashion statement but weren’t […]

Don’t Wish it Away

Like a five-year-old child waiting to dive into a sea of birthday presents, I stared out the window in overzealous anticipation for the arrival of my daughter, Jenni.

Eight years ago, my second child decided to make a pit stop in San Diego on her way home from the University of Arizona. Instead of just visiting, she chose to grow roots, and became firmly planted. Fortunately, she saw the light and decided to move back to be with the ones who love her most– namely […]