Author: Sarah Herrick

Picture Day Confession

I have a confession to make. I’m that mom. I’m pretty sure my kids come in for picture day and the school staff wonders if they should call us and remind us that it’s picture day so we can drive over with a change of clothes.

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The Art of the Unplanned Birthday Party

The birthday parties we planned were on an epic scale, and because we didn’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a birthday party, they involved a lot of party preparation, time, and creativity. I had a great time doing it but by the end, I was exhausted.

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Mother’s Day Is Not a Tradition

Mother’s Day is not a tradition in my life. Mother’s Day a living, evolving event that ties the years together with the various mother figures in my life. It’s a dance, a celebration, and at times, an apology. When I was a child, Mother’s Day meant making a card for my mother and grandmothers — and until I was 10, my great-grandmother, who lived with one of my grandmas and taught me how to cheat at solitaire. The cards started with crayon squiggles and eventually turned into little poems and drawings in my childish scrawl, all funky letters and elaborate curlicues. Gifts of sparkly rocks and flowers from the yard turned into macaroni necklaces made at school and then into earnest craft projects that, bless my heart, I was convinced were High Art. My mother was very kind about my efforts. My dad would help my sister and me put together bouquets of flowers from my mother’s garden and we’d bring them to the grandmas, and my parents would give their mothers gifts and cards and flowers, too. As a teen, Mother’s Day started to mean saving up my allowance for a little something from the local gardening store, store bought cards, and remembering to write MOTHER’S DAY on my calendar so I wouldn’t get the date wrong. I got busy with my own life, but we still celebrated...

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the unnecessary essentials

I don’t think we ever outgrow having pacifiers. They change shape, but we all have that one thing that we feel most comfortable having with us. Might be wearing makeup. Or having a cell phone in your pocket. A certain necklace. A photo of your family tucked in your wallet. I can’t leave home without a book. I know perfectly well that I will not shrivel up and die if I don’t have a book with me. I will, in fact, still be able to function just fine and get everything done that I need to do, and go where I need to go. But, darn it, I won’t be as comfortable as I am when I have a book with me. A book in my purse means I will never be bored. No matter how my plans change, how long I end up stuck in that waiting room, how long the start of a meeting is delayed, how many minutes it takes that tow truck to reach me, how many eons it takes my kids’ activities to wrap up while I sit in the parking lot, I will always have something entertaining to do. It’s my alone time even when I’m in a crowd of people. I’ll just read. I was that kid, back when it was okay to call a kid with glasses “four-eyes” and a kid...

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