Chasing Waves

It is a dangerous business, as a parent, to try to recreate perfection.  Invariably it leads to disappointment, because any moment is really the sum of its parts: how well everyone slept (or didn't), how hungry they are, how much they really just wanted to stay home and chill quietly with that new book, who has a tummy trouble or a hangnail...I mean, these are little things but when you travel as a pack -- as families and friends so often do -- you may be dealing with all, or nothing.  It's a delicate balance. I almost went back and deleted that word, perfection, because obviously nothing ... [READ MORE]

Making Cake out of Beans (because we do crazy things like that in San Francisco)

On Saturday my sister and her girls came to town for the day (they live about 90 minutes north of here, on a bucolic hilltop in Santa Rosa).  We took a chilly morning walk along the Embarcadero with our strollers and ended up at the South Beach Marina playground for a spell, where Babygirl and my older niece took turns trying to get injured on the merry-go-round (aka, the Wheel of Pain and Tears).  My brother-in-law would be working for the next, oooh, twelve hours or so, and like any self-respecting mother of two toddlers facing an entire day of activity planning solo, my sister looked ... [READ MORE]

The Explorers

A few days before the Airport Fiasco we had pretty much the best day ever.  Parenting high-fives all over the place. It wasn't perfect -- there were tantrums, and certain parties were bored and starving and exhausted at various points throughout the day -- but on the balance?  Whoa, it was a winner. First off, we did something that we have NEVER DONE BEFORE.  This is a rare occurrence.  We know what we like and we have our routines...but sometimes, and long weekends in particular, just beg for a break from the norm.  Also, it stopped raining for ten minutes which meant we absolutely had ... [READ MORE]

Joy

I just folded a pile of laundry that felt like digging a tunnel to China from my own backyard (if I had one).  Like, that load of laundry was NEVER-ENDING.  You know how sometimes the laundry pile is all, Oh, it looks like a lot but really it's all sheets and towels and there's only about five things to fold?  This was not that laundry pile.  This was literally.  Every.  Single.  Item.  Of.  Clothing.  In.  Our.  Household. One Peanuts holiday special ended and another began and my husband got home (at last) from super late night at the office and I was STILL folding laundry.  And drinking ... [READ MORE]

Green Goddess Dressing and Mac and Cheese

My first year out of college I was a Kindergarten teaching assistant at an all-girls' school in San Francisco (which also happened to be my alma mater).  It was a job I landed somewhat by default, the result of being an alumna, and of having chased love and family over a budding career on the NYC magazine publishing scene.  (There was no magazine publishing scene in San Francisco in the early 2000s; there was a tech scene.  This lover of print had no West Coast prospects.) That said, in retrospect it was a beautiful year of self-discovery, in large part because of the amount of free time my ... [READ MORE]

Swim School Mondays

Five years ago, on the Fourth of July when LittleMan was just shy of two years old, we attended a lovely baby shower in the guise of a backyard barbecue at a home with a big old pool out back.  I don't remember much about the party, though, because I spent the entire day in abject terror that if I took my eyes off LittleMan for even one second he would DROWN. My fear was not entirely misplaced.  LittleMan was chasing around a soccer ball at one point, and where did that soccer ball wind up?  IN THE POOL, with LittleMan teetering on the edge in pursuit.  There were some fascinating big kids ... [READ MORE]

Summer Coming

Our closest neighbors are a colony of wild parrots.  Actually, the city is dotted with several of these colonies -- yet one more point to add to the quirky, rebellious urbanity that is San Francisco.  Only here would thousands of tropical birds mate and multiply and stake their claim on a city park.  I can imagine the initial turf war between the parrots and the pigeons, these flamboyantly feathered friends dropping in on their drab, dirty cousins and declaring: This is San Francisco, bitches.  Step aside.   The parrots hunt -- as parrots do, I suppose -- at dawn and at dusk: rising like a ... [READ MORE]