Grief, and When Our Children Show Us the Way Out

As I type this, there is an estate sale company in my mother’s house, sorting through her belongings. The estate manager called me from where she stood in my parents’ dining room this morning to ask me some questions, and when she looked outside, she paused our conversation. “It’s just beautiful here!” she said. “This is a lovely home.” I hung up and cried. I need to tell you about this past weekend. We’d decided to do some sort of Fun Family Fall Activity, and Quinlan really wanted to go to a place with a corn maze, so after we finished cleaning the house Saturday morning (Cian: “Why do we hafta keep cleaning the house all the time? It’s just going to have to get cleaned AGAIN.”), we drove to an apple orchard about thirty minutes south of us. We handed over the bonkers-expensive entrance fee, donned our masks, and made our way to the corn maze after dodging a small handful of social media influencers in their Instagram Hats as they teetered out of a pumpkin patch. All Quinlan wanted to do was…

Leah Cooks Slow-Roasted Tomatoes with Coriander by Molly Wizenberg

I know you have a bunch of tomatoes sitting on your kitchen counter right now, making you feel guilty each time you walk by them as they slowly soften into spotty mush. Unless, wait: am I the only one who does that? Tomato Season (it deserves to be capitalized) is my favorite season, right behind my beloved Strawberry Season (also capitalized, because duh). Our dad kept a garden when we were growing up, and every August and early September, we’d find tomato-onion-and-mayo sandwiches on the table for lunch, and often sat down to quick BLTs for dinner. When our countertops would begin to teem with them, Dad would give tomatoes away to neighbors with pride, knowing they’d be just as precious to them. There was nothing my parents looked forward to more in the summers than those sun-warmed tomatoes, freshly picked, sliced open and sprinkled with salt. It rubbed off on us. I had a garden in our last house, a good-sized one with tomatoes every year that the backyard groundhog and I would fight to get to first. I’ve yet to plant one here, though, so I rely…

This is Seven Years Old, but at 6:15 a.m.

I shared this to my personal Facebook page on a whim the other day, but this is something I want to remember, so here we go, blogged for all posterity (er, or just for my archives): The other morning, I woke Cian up for school, as usual, at 6:15. He opened one eye. “What’s for breakfast?” he asked. I told him, and he nodded with approval. Then: “What’s for lunch?” I told him, and he nodded again. There was a final follow-up question: “What’s for dinner?” I told him, and this time I got a smile in return. He opened the other eye and motioned me off his bed. “Okay,” he said, this time with a sigh. “I’ll get up.” I’m still wondering what would’ve happened if he hadn’t liked what he heard…