Young Love is Real Love

By Jennifer Berney My seven-year-old son might be in love. I can’t tell you for sure because I’m determined not to ask him, and even if I did, I’m not sure that he could answer. But I can tell you what I’ve seen. Yesterday afternoon, when I arrived in his classroom to volunte -

Experiments in Radical Self Care

By Jennifer Berney Before I was a parent, I thought that I was a skilled at self care. In the hours I spent alone, I took pleasure in serving my body’s needs. I went for long runs; I cooked elaborate meals; if I was feeling low I put myself to bed early with a cup of mint tea and a hot water b -

When I Said Goodbye to Nursing

By Jennifer Berney Some months ago, after enduring four hours of dental surgery, my toddler emerged from anesthesia groggy and pissed off. He punched at my ear and my jaw as I carried him to the car, and then he cried the whole ride home. I brought him to the kitchen where he clung to me and threade -

Making Room for Joy

By Jennifer Berney I don’t participate in my children’s fun or even bear witness to it. Instead, I make myself joy’s adversary. I’m trying to change that. Too often when my children are full of joy, I take it as my job to curb it. Take the following scene, for instance: ̶ -

On Infertility and Magical Thinking

By Jennifer Berney Infertility is a solitary pain. The body, alone, remains alone.   When I first began trying to conceive, I believed that I’d be pregnant within a month. For one thing I was only twenty-eight years old. Because I’m a lesbian, I had already worked out all of the log -

Learning to Get Out of the Way

By Jennifer Berney What I had failed to realize during my first four years of parenting was that my son doesn’t need me to find his passion for him.   For the six years that I’ve been a parent, I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to enrich my child. When he was a baby, I hov -

Editors’ Picks: Some of Our Favorite Blog Posts from 2015

Part-Time Mother By Lauren Apfel It’s not enough anymore to fill my days only with theirs. I am half of one thing and half of another.       What is a Teenage Boy By Rachel Pieh Jones A teenage boy is an almost-man’s body with an almost-but-not-quite man’s voice. &nb -

When We See Our Kids For Who They Are

By Jennifer Berney The basic need that my son was expressing was apparently the one that was most urgent to him: he wanted to be witnessed, to be seen.   At two years old, when my younger son began putting words together, his first complete sentences were all variations on a theme. “Watch -

That Impossible R: On Speech Delays and Self-Confidence

By Jennifer Berney This wasn’t the first time that someone had trouble understanding my son. Other grown-ups, charmed by his pronunciation, often chuckled and mimicked key phrases.   My son was four years old when he first expressed embarrassment about the way he talked. It happened one m -

Terrible Twos and Life Out of Balance

By Jennifer Berney This time around two-and-a-half is pushing me so far beyond my comfort zone that I am sometimes frightened. In my darker moments, I wonder: what if I wake up one morning and I just can’t do it anymore?   My son, who is two-and-a-half, has perfected the art of resistance -

My Bikini Body

By Jennifer Berney In front of the dressing room mirror, I tried to decide between two versions of the same swimsuit: the one-piece or the bikini. The one-piece resembled the swimsuits that both my mother and grandmother wore throughout my childhood, the kind of suit that safely covers the entire bo -

What a Summer Should Be

By Jennifer Berney Because isn’t it true that on a warm summer evening it’s easy to like whomever you’re with?   When I was eight years old, in 1985, summer had long arms. I woke long after the sun had risen to a day that no one had mapped out for me. It was my job to map it, -

Explaining Gay Marriage to the Boy with Two Moms

By Jennifer Berney “Ralph says that boys can’t marry boys,” my son said to me as I drove him home from preschool. Ralph, who sported a buzz cut and freckles, was a longtime friend of my son’s. More than once I’d heard him voicing his mother’s opinions to an audien -