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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

Tailor-Made Grace

I hadn’t met her before this cold January night when we were sitting in a terribly outdated conference room on the fourth floor of a downtown hospital. She kept fidgeting with her hands, and her eyes darted between her text messages and the clock on the wall. Her bright red sweatshirt was the loudest color…

Read More

Bitter/Sweet

Almost every day my oldest daughter drinks a chocolate shake out of her green Paw Patrol bottle—one she loves for the dogs, not the characters. This shake is, of course, not just any chocolate shake. It’s packed full of various greens and nutrients, with a couple of vitamins crushed into it because I’m an opportunist.

Read More