Twenty years ago, as  college senior, I sat alone in my dorm room just before the Jewish High Holidays, and came out.

I had been musing about it in my journal for a couple of years, wondering…worrying. But that September, I took a class with a professor whom I had only heard about, but had never met, and when she walked into the classroom on the first day, I was certain. There she was. She walked into the room and I knew. I went back to my room right after class and started writing and an hour later, once I finally stopped furiously tapping away at the keys on my old PC, I was out. I looked at all the words I had written — pages of memories — all the things I had said and done, beginning in childhood, that had led me to the moment I was in right then. All the words, all the thoughts, all the tucked away, buried feelings and when I was finished, I was out.

The next morning, I brought the stapled pages to the office mailbox of my [out, gay] Creative Writing professor and went home to my family for the holidays. From that moment forward, it was a continuous stream of coming-out experiences. Over the course of that final year of undergrad, I came out to several friends, co-workers, and family members. Each experience was different, but none was as hard as I had feared. Friends, for the most part, were nonchalant. Some even said they had wondered about me themselves over the years. Family was slightly more challenging. But by and large, my coming out experience was (and is — I still out myself regularly) easy. It was supported, kind, loving, peaceful. This is not to say that these were always the feelings I had as I came out; I was regularly terrified, defiant, defensive, scared, and embarrassed during those first several months, but I know how the experience can be for people. I know that people are disowned by their families, beaten, shamed, and worse. And, luckily, this was not my story.

That was 1995. I came out twenty years ago and it’s amazing to me what a different world it is today. Tonight, I read a book to The Who called The Zero Dads Club and in it, families with two moms, transmoms, and butch moms are represented. And on the page that reads, “I love having a Mom and a Mama,” The Who said, quietly, “I do, too. It’s the best.” A different world indeed.

I am so grateful for the people who stood by my side twenty years ago. And for all the people who stood by the side of all the queers who came out before then and who have since. And I love that in 2015, teenagers think that coming out as a college senior is incredibly late in the game. I actually look forward to a time twenty years from now where “coming out” isn’t even a thing anymore. Where we all just are. Out. In. Beside. Among. All of us.

In the meantime, though: Happy Coming Out Day. To those who have done it, to those who will, and especially to those who feel that they can’t. So much love.


  • This is the second time we have tried to attend a “New Members Shabbat” and failed. The first time it was because I crashed into a car on our way home from the United States Mint. This time, it was because I was being an excellent parent. (Boundaries set, limits warned, deadlines missed, sadness held.)
  • Sadness held: that’s really all it takes. It’s so simple that it sometimes feels impossible. He was distraught — truly — when I said we couldn’t go because he hadn’t held up his end of the bargain in the allotted time. But once the decision was made and his initial explosion of tears had subsided, he buried his head into my shoulder for at least twenty minutes, intermittently weeping and talking about how very, very, very sad he was (not angry, not frustrated, just really sad.) And when it was over, it was over. And the two of us sat together and designed a map of the ultimate aquarium before agreeably heading upstairs to read stories and go to bed.

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  • I was scolded this afternoon when I chose to go see a movie instead of finish my submission for my writing group. I had been sitting and working on it for hours, but I kept getting caught up in this impenetrable web of…what? Emotions? Maybe. I’m realizing that trying to write about the same topic you’re trying to tackle in therapy is maybe not the best idea. I had to check out and go watch the story of Whitey Bulger — let myself be held by two hours of decadently accurate Boston accents.
  • I came home, though, and once everyone was else was in bed, I got back to it. Eked out five pages before midnight. That has to count for something, right?

Love it.

I drive a Prius. A little, cute Prius that comes with with excellent gas mileage and a decent amount of self-righteousness about my middle-aged mom tree-hugger social status. It doesn’t take up much space. It’s super quiet. Its interior cloth seats and manual controls are unassuming and polite. It is the exact polar opposite of what I am driving this week and although I am a little embarrassed about how much I love this rental, I really love this rental.

Oh, hi, Tahoe. I didn't see you there. Just kidding. I saw you there. In fact, I can see you from my dining room. And probably from the neighbor's house, too.

Oh, hi, Tahoe. I didn’t see you there. Just kidding. I saw you there. In fact, I can see you from my dining room. And probably from the neighbor’s house, too.

You guys. This is like a small apartment. In fact, I am sitting in it right now, my laptop plugged in and charging and resting on a center console that is as big as my lap. I have to climb into this monstrosity.

I love it.

(Have I mentioned yet how much I love it?)

It’s also pretty tricked out, as big suburban trucks can sometimes be. It’s got an all-leather interior and power-everything. It’s like a car of the future. All power outlets and blinking lights. It vibrates when I’m about to collide into something in front of me (I could use this on every car I drive) and it has air conditioned seats. So my precious backside can stay cool in summer. Apparently this car rents for close to $200 per day and I don’t even want to think about how much gas costs. Despite really wanting to drive this across the whole country, I plan to stick pretty close to home this week. It’s my good fortune that the other rental I was driving (a modest and boring Malibu) got ticketed today while I was teaching because it had an expired inspection sticker. And that the guy working at the rental place was finishing out his last day at the company. So, when I joked that he might upgrade me for my “pain and suffering” at having to find time in my day to come exchange the car for one that wouldn’t get tickets while parked on city streets, he jokingly said, “well, I have this Tahoe…” And then I not-so-jokingly said, “I’ll take it.”

So, here I am in this boat of a vehicle, feeling slightly guilty about my emissions (although not as guilty as if I were driving a Volkswagen — jeez, VW. You kind of suck.) but also sort of loving it.

(I mentioned that I love it, right?)

The Who loves it too. "I can walk around in here!" he shouted from the waaaaaaay baaaaaaack.

The Who loves it too. “I can walk around in here!” he shouted from the waaaaaaay baaaaaaack.



There are a handful of things that result in my extreme frustration/aggravation/anger/impatience. I’m thinking that maybe, if I list the things, seeing them on paper will help me find common denominators or reasons behind them — or more likely, things in me that get triggered during these behaviors. If you have any insight to share, please please do. I’m really hoping I can figure it out and stop being so annoyed all the time. (Caveat: I know a lot of this is just typical 6-7 year old stuff, which is why I am trying to think about what is activated in me so I can work with it.)

  1. When he gets really silly. 
  2. When he touches me on my face, takes my glasses off, or repeatedly makes small movements (finger or toe wiggles, usually) against my body. 
  3. When he leaves pillows and blankets on the floor. 
  4. When he screams, “ok!” after I’ve gotten frustrated at him and told him so. 
  5. When he doesn’t eat. 
  6. When he fidgets with crumbs of food, a straw, or a cup at mealtime. 
  7. When he takes a game or a joke too far or too long past fun or funny. 
  8. When he is selfish with his friends. 
  9. When he talks nonsense or asks nonsense questions. 
  10. When he asks “why” without thinking first. 


I just spent two frustrating hours trying to resize and clean up scanned coloring book images. In fewer than ten minutes, I will have to gather my patience and help The Who come to terms with the fact that the time has come to take off his bandage. (Never a willing bandage-remover, our Who.) When that is done, I need to make a grocery list and either put in an online order or go to the store. This is not shaping up to be a very satisfying Saturday.



There is no way to say this in beautiful prose or pithy little parenthetical sentences:

The situation with the [complete fucking lack of] gun control in this country is disgusting and terrifying. 

In the past two days, I have heard two stories that have made me not want to leave my house with my child. One story about playing at a playground that I wouldn’t give a second thought to playing at, only to have the playing cut short by a cascade of nearby gunshots. And another story about suburban newscasters shot dead on camera, live, in front of a fucking shopping mall. 

Y’know, sometimes when The Who is doing something he knows he shouldn’t be doing, he goes and does it right under my nose to be sure I know that he is testing the boundary. He is looking for me to tell him when enough is enough. 

Apparently no one is cares enough about people shooting at unarmed young black boys wearing hoodies or members of the trans community. Apparently, they haven’t hit our limit yet, so the unmonitored gun-carriers had to go and shoot out a storefront next to a playground.  And go shoot two white twentysomethings on THE FREAKING LIVE LOCAL NEWS.

Did they find the limit yet? Can you see me now, Mama? Are you gonna let me keep doing this, Mama? I’m right here in front of you, Mama. 

Jesus. I hear the message loud and clear. Why don’t we all? 


There are days that you anticipate for so long — look forward to, but dread at the same time. And it’s hard leading up to those kinds of days. Wanting them to hurry up and arrive and also never to happen at all.

Since The Who was about two and I knew for sure that his cute little outie belly button was in fact a hernia, I’ve been waiting for the day to come where it had to be repaired — mostly because I like neat bundles. I like concrete solutions. And I don’t like waiting. So, as soon as he turned 6 and his pediatrician confirmed that it wasn’t going to close on his own, we started the process that led us to this day.

Here is where I give the disclaimer that I know that this surgery was incredibly easy, incredibly mild, incredibly short, and incredibly low-risk. I know there are children and parents all over the world that contend with much bigger medical issues. We don’t. And don’t think for a second that I am not acutely aware of that all the time or that I’m not incredibly grateful for our good fortune.

With that said, as today approached, I sort of came undone. Last night, I believe I actually made myself sick with worry, as I sat under blankets on the couch, shivering and sniffling, certain I had a fever. (By morning, I was completely fine. Astounding what the subconscious can manifest.)

The thing that had me most in a tailspin was The Who’s fear and how the best I could do to assuage it was to stroke his hair and remind him of the doctor’s credentials and confidence (The Who, being The Who, is pretty comforted by those sorts of things.) But I know what it feels like to be rolled away from your people, alone into a cold operating room, and I did not want him to have to feel that. (All the things about understanding that life is about experiencing a range of emotions can be inserted here. I get it. But my heart hurt for him. If I could have gone in his place, I gladly would have.)

He woke up in the middle of the night last night, slurring that he was scared. And then again this morning, as we leaned in for our last kisses, he whispered it again: “I’m scared. I’m so scared.”

As it turned out, and as we all suspected when we were thinking rationally, it went off beautifully. He felt no pain, he lost no blood, he didn’t wake up nauseated (though later he did develop a migraine, classically accompanied by vomit) and we couldn’t have been treated more kindly or respectfully by the doctors, nurses, and staff. They all spoke directly to The Who, explaining everything, they let him move at his own pace, and they were incredibly mindful of his “queerspawn” status, referring often to his “moms” and never once asking to whom he belonged biologically and giving us both equal regard when it came to authority and consent.

While this was certainly one of the hardest lead-ups, it actually turned out to be one of the best days we have all had together in a long time, reminding me of how well we often function as a family unit and how lucky we all are, individually and as a team.

Go team.