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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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I hadn’t met her before this cold January night when we were sitting in a terribly outdated conference room on the fourth floor of a downtown hospital.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…

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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.

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“Mad, Mad, Mad. It Helps to Say I’m Mad.”

I often find myself looking at my two girls and longing for the level of ignorance they are afforded at the ages of 2 and under. There’s so much they are protected from, so many worries and responsibilities they don’t have to engage. What do they have to be stressed about?

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Naming

“Mally!” He said, excitedly, “It’s a girl!” My husband broke the news to me after delivering our baby himself as the doctor stood a step away, coaching him on what to do. I couldn’t believe it; a second girl!  Almost exactly 19 months earlier, I had given birth to our oldest daughter. We knew her…

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