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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This Old Mom - My Hypochondriac, Myself

My Hypochondriac, Myself

Posted: July 7, 2016

Do all mothers Gypsy-Curse their kids? My mother, who I miss thoroughly, Gypsy-Cursed me when I was a wee raging ball of eczema and dozens more inflated or imaginary medical symptoms. When I was seven, I’d routinely wake up at 4am, screaming from a charley horse, which if you are not a child or a hypochondriac, is a spasming calf muscle. ME: I HAVE POLIO!!!!!…

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This Old Man - The Long Game

The Long Game (of Parenting)

Posted: June 28, 2016

What we’ve taught our four year old (so far): We don’t clean rocks in our mouth (even pretty rocks). We don’t blow our noses in our shirts, unless Mom forgot Kleenex (which is often). We don’t NOT wipe our butts because we need to resume playing. How to snap (her fingers). What I’ve learned? Kids teach us much more. If we let them. Filled with…

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This Old Mom - Lost and Foundling

Lost and Foundling

Posted: May 31, 2016

Since I’m old and sometimes lose the plot of my own stories, let’s start with the end of this story: When you turn fifty, don’t hide anything. Because you will never ever find it again. Upon turning 50, I bought myself a simple gold bar earring made by the exquisite minimalist, Kathleen Whitaker. I was content to buy only one, not only because it was…

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This Old Mom - I made a Black Friend

I Made A Black Friend! (trigger warning: irony)

Posted: May 19, 2016

Words cannot fully convey the embarrassment, shame and helplessness one feels when adoption lawyers, social workers and even one’s own mother urges one to ‘make black friends’. Of course, one does know black people and consider them friends, or friend-ish… and one has phone numbers and emails and Instagram and Twitter accounts to back this assertion up, but when one examines one’s soul, especially after…

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This Old Mom - The Circle of Life Isn't

The Circle of Life Isn’t

Posted: May 12, 2016

Why does every teachable moment in my poor kid’s life begin with This Old Mom making a ginormous mistake? Either I’m not listening or listening while multi-tasking which is basically not listening or it’s impossible to understand what Grace is saying because her current stabs at English give her an accent that veers from Brooklyn to Boston to Creole- sometimes in the same word. One…

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This Old Mom Kneeling in Ethnic

Kneeling in Ethnic

Posted: April 27, 2016

It’s the aisle I’ve never been in before. Actually it’s not even a whole aisle. Somewhere after the Do-Rags, one is suddenly intently staring at replacement wiper blades. Odd how abruptly Ethnic morphs into Automotive. I’m kneeling in the Ethnic Aisle because my mother cursed me, long ago. As a kid, I begged my mom to let my limp, fine hair grow long like the…

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This Old Mom - The Game of Life

The Game Of Life (by Milton Bradley)

Posted: April 20, 2016

Life is easily divided up into who you are before kids and after. This was written long before my kid changed my life. Thank God she has no Bad Aunts. My sister went into labor early so I thought it best to get the hell out of Dodge, aka, suburban Connecticut. I was packed and ready to train it to JFK, but the nanny who…

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This Old Mom - Battle Hymn of The Tired Mother

Battle Hymn of The Tired Mother

Posted: April 7, 2016

Who knew that Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother was written as a comic memoir? A quick visit to Amy Chua’s website reveals she wrote Tiger Mother as a self deprecating confessional of just how utterly she failed at raising her kids in the same strict, no-nonsense Chinese way her immigrant parents raised her. But when the book was released, something was lost in translation….

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