Why 13 is Better than 3

Sure, there were some lovely things about the preschool years, but there’s also beauty in the early teens. Among my friends, it’s become something of a sport to gripe about our young teens. The sullen faces. The eye-rolls. The sinus-searing scent of their shoes. One dad I know, in the middle of a tirade about…

Worst-Case Scenarios

In honor of the one(ish) year anniversary of Eric’s free-diving accident, here is the full(er) story. I am in a taxi on my way to Hospital Mar Caribe.  It took longer than usual to find a taxi because it’s Good Friday, which appears to be a shut-the-city-down kind of holiday in Colombia.  The beaches have…

Pinterest Porn and the Pursuit of Perfect

I’ve always enjoyed my life porn.  Sunset.  Real Simple.  Pottery Barn’s catalog.  I cancel plans on the day that Ikea’s annual idea book arrives.  At points in my life, even the Dixieline Lumber circular or that one catalog full of drapey clothes and Buddha-themed wall plaques has scratched my itch.  And now there’s Pinterest, a life-porn…

The Cult of Efficiency

Once, years ago, my friend Natalie asked me, “You always say you’re too busy for stuff.  What are you doing with your time?”  There was an awkward, confused silence, because my every waking moment felt crammed with non-discretionary activity, stuff I had to do and do well.  I felt like I barely had time to…

Red Flags and Inertia

I did something incredibly brave.  And terrifying.  I submitted a piece I (re-)wrote to So Say We All, and it was chosen and last night I stood up in front of a huge crowd of people and read it out loud to them.  And I didn’t throw up or anything. What was most interesting is how…

Some Advice to My Past Self

Dear January 1st Becca, Tomorrow you leave on a six-month trip to Colombia.  I know you are both heart-poundingly excited and sleepless with anxiety.  What will Colombia be like?  How will traveling as a family go?  Will you be able to write?  You have conflicting visions of how this crazy plan will go down. In…

Old Life, New Eyes

“As surely as there is a voyage away, there is a journey home.”  — John Kabat-Zinn One of my most vivid memories of my college summer in Russia didn’t occur in Russia at all, but instead on my first day back in the United States.  I had flown straight back to my unfurnished apartment and…