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December 2015 Issue

Dec 2015 CoverIllustration by Cathy Nichols

Table of Contents


Essay: The Real Mother

By Teri Carter

I’ve barely been at this stepmother thing six months, but I’ve already learned an important lesson: there is always someone to remind me who I am not.

Essay: A Drowning

By Alisa A. Gaston-Linn

Illustrated by Ruth Sora Lee

It is not my dogs who are in danger. I am the one sinking to the lower-density stratifying waters, the upper surface trying to freeze while I am trying to prevent the hardening. There is something wrong with me. I feel it through the tips of my nerves,

Essay: Found in Translation

By Annika Paradise

Summer has come to Boulder, Colorado when we return home from China in June 2010. My two biological children are in the garden, barefoot finding the irises, peonies and helping weed the vegetable garden. Lucy screams from the doorway. She cries when the tall grass touches her arms, cries when any dirt gets onto her clothes. As we look through the photos from the orphanage, we realize that her world had been paved.   The playground was cement, the courtyard tiled a…we conclude that she has probably never touched grass in her life.

Essay: Explorers

By Alicia Rebecca Myers

Because pregnancy requires the ultimate relinquishing of control, because I had suffered three early miscarriages, it made sense, this need to wrangle my labor into the Platonic ideal of labor.

Fiction: What Good Moms Do

By Marie Anderson

“My mother,” Francesca was saying, “helped me make most of those ornaments on the tree. When your sister’s older, I’ll teach her how to make ornaments like my mother taught me.

Debate: Did You Choose Traditional Names For Your Children?

NO   I Gave My Children Uncommon Names, By Dina Relles

YES   I Gave My Children Traditional Names, By Antonia Malchik

Motherwit: To Do

12:24 PM Try and act normal in front of the ridiculously hot pharmacist. Maybe he doesn’t know that the prescription is for worms. He totally knows. Ask if you should give the medication with food. Laugh inappropriately loudly and suggest you could always hide the tablet in peanut butter ‘like we do with the dogs’.  Stare at the counter in horror.

Book Review: On Becoming an Adolescent

So how can we prepare our children, and ourselves, to handle these bodily and life changes with grace? Four books help show us the way, all with a different focus but in the service of helping adolescents develop a healthy relationship with their own bodies and with others.


Illustration:  Cathy Nichols

Cathy began her career as a young artist in Venice, CA where her heartfelt encaustic work showed on Abbot Kinney Blvd. and charmed collectors such as Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson.  After moving to New York in 2005, Cathy continued to exhibit her work Cathy currently lives in the artsy, mountain town of Asheville, North Carolina, where she paints her colorful “stories in wax” to a soundtrack of her boyfriend’s music and children’s voices.

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