Author: Anissa Berasi

Scenes from a Thanksgiving Past

Three women sit at a bar height table in a suburban tavern. Chatting about imminent Thanksgiving preparations and exchanging sentiments of disbelief that Christmas and the end of 2012 are right around the corner. It’s been a year of adventures – a new pre-school for some and new home for one – they all agree: the only thing that is constant in this life is change. The night winds down. One of the women is a little more flushed than the others. She is refreshed by the cold, contrasting November air that hits her face as she leaves the tavern. Quick hugs good bye and an even quicker walk to her car. She smiles to herself as she has a hunch. She sleeps quickly knowing it will have to be morning before she can confirm it. She wakes up with anticipation, takes the test as planned, and is faced with the results she was expecting. Validation. She silently guards her secret; only acknowledging the emerging soul inside her with the hopes and prayers she throws toward the sky; hopeful that they reach their destination.  The words:  “I’m pregnant.” don’t cross her lips. The next day she takes another test. She feels confident. Fortunate. Thankful. Another workday passes and she decides that she can no longer keep this secret to herself. After all, it is not hers alone to keep. She gathers...

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Where my girls at?!

The love I have for my friends runs deep.  I grew up with a tight knit group that originated in a kindergarten class room.  We spent countless hours creating memories.  From girl scouts to soccer games and from sleepovers to proms, the only thing on our schedules was each other.  Similarly, in college, I was lucky enough to bond with a group of women during the first weeks of freshman year and we never left each other’s sides throughout our four years together.  Once I entered the “real world”, it was a little daunting to put myself out there to new people given my history of long term friendships.  I was unfamiliar with the concept that some friendships only last a season and I wondered whether or not it was even possible to make new friends as a grown up because – – is that even something adults do?!  As the dynamics of my adolescent friendships changed, almost entirely because of the physical distance between us, I was lonely.  I missed my girls!  I found myself having no choice but to branch out and build a new support network. My network expanded further when I became a mom.  I had an insatiable need to talk about the ins and outs of motherhood.  My babies actually made it easier for me to make friends.  As a mom,it was less intimidating, for me, to...

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Everyday I’m Shuffling

I don’t remember where I first heard the phrase “Afterschool Shuffle”. It was somewhere along the play date/Mommy and Me event circuits. The Afterschool Shuffle is what I like to refer to as the time between day care/school pick up and dinner. This phrase has always stuck with me as a perfect description of the time of day when a mom is most consistently in a constant head spinning, side stepping routine from one backpack to the next. When my oldest entered a full time pre-school program 30 minutes outside of town that followed an actual school district calendar complete with aftercare and snow days I was frankly in shock. Like, is this real life?!?! The commuting to multiple locations, the car ride snack requirements, the WHINING….. That was three years ago. Now, I have grown to know and understand The Afterschool Shuffle. We are not friends, but we are no longer enemies. I have come to respect that although it seems like it’s every man, woman, and child for themselves during this 2-4 hour span, in reality, we are all working towards the same goal of getting the hell home and in our comfy clothes! Everyone’s Afternoon Shuffle may look a little different, but I would argue that they all feel the same. What do you mean? , you ask. How does the Afternoon Shuffle feel?, you ask....

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Stuck in the Middle with You

At the beginning of this year I made a promise to myself to take each of my kids on a one on one “date” every month.  A date doesn’t have to be planned or elaborate, just time enough to reconnect and rebalance letting each other know that:  I am here and I love you. Life was happening so fast and it was apparent to me how important it was to make time and space for our individual relationships to develop.  Not only for them, but for me.  I know that soon enough my babies will be grown up and have grown out of my arms. Their schedules and social lives will trump my desire to spend time with them. The urgency is even further compounded now that the two oldest are in school five days a week. The onus is on me to create the alone time. This past month I was two thirds successful.  My oldest and I have been spending most Thursday evenings together as part of my responsibility to chauffeur him to his art class.  I read or write in the adjacent studio while he draws and paints.  It’s a rare open window into how he interacts with his peers and the feedback he gives the instructor.  (Technically it’s a “drop off” class, but he hasn’t quite embraced that concept yet. And if you insist on being even more technical,...

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Progress, not Perfection

I used to be really good at creating an illusion of perfection. For example, when I hosted play dates, my house could easily be mistaken for a model home. Shining, clutter free counter tops with a seasonal Yankee Candle burning for ambience. Swept floors. Organized play room. Craft station set up with toddler sized smocks (Pumpkin painting, I’m talking about YOU!) Festive snacks prepared and presented on a wicker tray. Sweet little boys with matching outfits. Reputation management at its finest. Kind of obnoxious, right? I would bet I made my guests feel more uncomfortable than welcome. If I’m being completely honest, I made myself frenetic with all the beforehand straightening, arranging, and ordering, but in a lot of ways, having everything picture-perfect felt so normal. So necessary. Almost immediately after I had my daughter, I felt the Earth shift a bit too quickly under my feet. I completely lost my footing and with every tortured effort to keep up, to keep moving forward, reality as I knew it slipped further and further away. I was filled to the brim with feelings of excitement and anxiousness, joy and sadness. I was eager to participate in life and at the same time wanting to retreat under my covers. Forget perfection. I was learning how to breathe again. It was at that point I forced myself to reevaluate how I was...

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