This Old Mom - Race Relations

Race Relations: Our Transracial family

Posted: February 5, 2015

As an Irish Catholic-German Jew hybrid,  I’m so pale some parts of me are as see through as a Vietnamese Spring Roll.  I don’t burn, I blister.  I’ve elevated avoiding the sun to an artisanal craft, worthy of a weekend workshop. My husband (also a whitey-mcwhite) and I are the ecstatic parents of our black daughter.  And our use of the word ‘black’ to describe…

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This Old Mom - What NOT To Say When Someone Dies

What NOT To Say When Someone Dies

Posted: September 20, 2017

My sisters and I had to learn on the job just how much work goes into bereavement. Suddenly we were not only grieving our mother but making gnarly decisions- flying family members from Europe, college and California, coordinating pick ups, texting husbands lunchbox menus while composing obituaries, choosing the quintessential prayer card image that perfectly sums up ‘Mom’ (sunset on beach or sunrise?), psalms, readings,…

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This Old Mom - Wingman For My 5 Year Old

Wingman for My 5 Year Old

Posted: September 20, 2017

As a kid, I was such an arts n’ crafts nerd, I thought that emphasizing the ‘n’ in ‘arts n’ crafts’ made it sound way cooler than it already was. Spirograph was my gateway drug into rug hooking kits (6 inch square rugs, mind you). Craving a harder high, rock tumbling fed my Irish Catholic/German Jew propensity to martyr myself by turning dirty rocks for…

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This Old Mom - Happy Interdependence Day

Happy Interdependence Day

Posted: July 3, 2017

Just this morning Grace passionately apologized to her Olaf crayon when she broke his tip off. (She tends to color hard.) GRACE: Olaf. I am sorry I broke you because I love you Olaf. (Whispers to her Olaf crayon) You are my favorite. More than that reindeer. ME: Why do you like Olaf so much? GRACE: Because he’s white. And because the one thing he…

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This Old Mom - Hide the Knives

Hide the Knives

Posted: March 1, 2017

Our first clues that fostering a teenager would be absurdly terrifying occurred while Canada and I were fingerprinted. Absurd? The fingerprinting form had two sections, the top for adopting an animal and the bottom for adopting a human. Our finger-printer was an exhausted, distracted woman who paled when her cellphone rang. She apologized as she answered. FINGER-PRINTER: I have to answer. My son’s been missing…

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This Old Mom - But He Doesn't Like Brown Skin

But He Doesn’t Like Brown Skin

Posted: November 22, 2016

Grace is the only one able to speak as the adults watch Florida sink from a pale hopeful pink into Shark Week red in it’s haste to elect the reality star of White Male Privilege. Grace: But Donald Trump doesn’t like brown people. While Canada (my husband, personal salvation and possible new address) tries to soothe Grace about her skin color being wrong for our…

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This Old Mom - Hypochondria, Part Deux

Hypochondria, Part Deux

Posted: October 25, 2016

While losing my already threadbare patience over Grace’s mourning the loss of an entire hand due to a hangnail, I can’t help wonder if she somehow caught hypochondria (My Hypochondriac, Myself) from me. Around age 6 I became convinced something was terribly wrong with me, despite what doctors and everyone else said. Undeterred, armed with stacks of Ladies Home Journal, People and Redbook, it was…

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This Old Mom - Three Days of Labor

Three Days of Labor

Posted: October 10, 2016

I’m unpregnant, but my labor will last 72 hours. “All you can do is wait”, Nurse Trish advises. When waiting in a 6 by 8 foot Maternity Ward bonding room, with your husband, mother, sister, another woman’s newborn and a rotation of cheerfully Republican nurses, while BabyMama has three days to decide if she can give her newborn up, one might like to advise waiting…

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This Old Mom - Botox for Babymomma

Botox For My BabyMama

Posted: August 4, 2016

Dear Reader: This is the origin story of This Old Mom, and happened in 2012. Since I’ve been blogging on Huffington Post, I’ve been going back to the beginning, before two kids took over my life. Clarification: Babymama is NOT my biological mother, but a birth mother we met two days before she gave birth to the infant we hoped to adopt. While chatting up…

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This Old Mom - A Hopeful Citizen of Color

A Hopeful Citizen of Color

Posted: July 28, 2016

This post was an email response to my last post- I Don’t Look Like This Place– by an acquaintance who asked to remain anonymous. Dear This Old Mom, It is a tough reality check when your child begins to learn that their brown skin may not be as good as the kid with the yellow hair. The memories came flooding back as you were describing…

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This Old Mom - I Don't Look Like This Place

I Don’t Look Like This Place

Posted: July 22, 2016

Despite my well intentioned white ignorance, Grace’s hair is growing in beautifully. For a year we’ve been dutifully massaging Jamaican Black Castor Oil and Oyin Hair Dew into Grace’s hair every morning. Also, Grace has been taking castor oil vitamins without complaint, which is mighty brave of her. I am more proud of Grace’s five inches of curly resilient hair than my marriage. Even better,…

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