Do You Love Your Face?

I was in the kitchen while my two daughters—ages 2 and 4—sat in front of me eating breakfast. Always curious about what happens in their little minds, I stayed quiet to give space for them to share their thoughts, knowing something conversation-worthy would arise. My oldest soon spoke up.  “Mom, do you love your face?”

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Opening the Door

I, like many others, get by with a little help from my therapist. Each week, I find a quiet space to meet with her online, and I close the door. Sometimes it’s my car door as it sits in the driveway, sometimes it’s the door to my daughter’s bedroom while she’s at daycare. A quiet…

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The Remaining 89 Seconds

I was a senior in high school, waiting to begin what could potentially be my final balance beam routine in my final competition of my 10-year gymnastics career. If I scored high enough on the beam—my strongest event—I would advance to the state competition. If not, my decade-long involvement in the sport would come to…

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At Home with Myself

Ever since I was a little girl, I have been a sucker for artificial grass. (Clearly it didn’t take much to thrill me!) I was mesmerized by it—so green and life-like! I called it “inside-outside grass,” and I wanted it everywhere, both in and outside of my childhood home. Thankfully, my parents politely declined my…

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Hip, Hip, Hooray

“Hip, hip, hooray, Mommy saves the day!” My four-year-old daughter runs through the living room, quite literally singing my praises. I laugh as she jumps up and down, her socks pulled up high on her ankles. I had helped put those socks on, a task that, on this particular morning, had been frustrating my incredibly…

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My Queena

A few months into our relationship, my high school boyfriend started calling me, “Mallorina, my Queena.” As a 16-year-old, I’m not sure there was a nickname more flattering than this one. Actually, 38-year-old Mallory really wouldn’t mind answering to it, either. It was young love, but I knew my boyfriend adored me and went out…

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Embracing the Maiden

There was one Halloween in elementary school when I dressed up as a bride. I had a long white dress and a lace veil covering my face, though nothing about my costume could cover the beauty I felt while walking down the concrete aisle to every front door in my neighborhood, building myself a candy…

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The Vigil Holder

A few nights ago, my three-and-a-half year-old daughter, steeped in curiosity, approached me with yet another one of her earnest questions. “Mom,” she said, her big blue eyes looking up at me, “What’s a mother?” Familiar only with the more casual “Mom,” “Mama,” or “Mommy,” she had heard the word “mother” somewhere and found it…

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Toss and Turn

It’s 3 a.m., and I’m wide awake, tossing and turning like it’s my own signature dance move, all to the tune of grief and fear. Back and forth I spin on the deep gray sheets that prove there is no thread count that can stop my midnight moves. That tune is just too loud.  The…

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Pandemic-Era Parenting

It was dinnertime on a Sunday, which means the countdown to bedtime had started a little early and was slightly more enthusiastic than normal. I had been craving cauliflower for a while, which isn’t something I’m particularly proud of, but here we were. My husband and two daughters looked on as I picked up the…

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