My College Student

I was just thinking back on the years of my son’s childhood. Of the countless times I curled up with my toddler, reading dinosaur encyclopedias again and again, when we would reach the last page and he would say “again, Mommy”. Of reading by flashlight under fabric tents we constructed across the living room. Of having dinner with my teenager at 11pm, 5 nights a week, so we could eat together when he returned from basketball practice or the gym. Of the history books I read as an adult to gain knowledge of a subject that I had avoided all of my life, so I could share in what he was learning. Of stepping off the edge to rappel down ropes, through tears and fear of heights, to share his sense of adventure. I was thinking back on all of the love, laughter, activities, and experiences that we shared together. Continue reading

A Genetic Tie — Does It Matter?

I was lying in bed this morning in the pre-dawn light, gazing at my son and thinking like a million women have thought before me, “Wow. I made that!” And then I remember that technically I didn’t. I didn’t contribute eggs or womb to the final product. But the final product is so much more than a complex collection of cells. He did not inherit those curls from me, but it is because of my care they hang soft and shiny in ringlets. He did not get that golden skin from me, but it is so golden and plump because of the care I give to his diet. And that’s the physical.

If I were not his mother would he still be obsessed with elephants? Would he laugh so much that in time that will effect the musculature of his face and therefore even how he looks. I have said … Continue reading

Happy Fourth Birthday

Debbie OberlanderFour years ago today, I held my beautiful little boy for the first time.  The nurse escorted me to the operating room at noon for a scheduled c-section, and by 12:45 I had become a mother. I felt the warm skin and tender breath of my son, as his grandma held him to my chest.  Amazed at how quickly and efficiently the delivery took place, I reflected that in less time than I have spent going to the post office and waiting in line to mail a package, I had a baby.   I was not prepared for the next four years to pass just as quickly.  The happiest and most fulfilling days of my life were those four months of maternity leave when my days and nights revolved totally around my newborn love.  Even through the sleep-deprived and chaotic early weeks, I felt an inner peace and contentment.  How quickly … Continue reading

Coming Back

What a time.  At the end of 2020 I arranged for childcare for my first New Year’s Eve “out” at a Masquerade Ball with a friend. When that fell through at the eleventh hour, I desperately scrambled for a back up…miraculously begging and bribing my way to childcare that night.

We rang in 2020 in decorative masks.

Masks.

Who knew 2020 would bring so many more masks?

Masks on the outside and masks on the inside as I tried to fight the immeasurable sadness our beloved cat’s death wrought inside me. It has left me raw and broken, and with my two young children dependent on me during a pandemic.

How do I share amusing anecdotes under these circumstances?

And, now, my little girl has just started kindergarten and seems so much older than a mere two months ago. My son is a confident second grader. And, they are back … Continue reading

Would I Have Another Child? No Idea.

Living in LA BlogIn the mail last week, I received a storage invoice for cord blood from Elliot’s birth. In a few months, I’ll get one for the embryos I have on ice at the fertility place. They’re stored there, safe and sound. Three of them. I don’t think about it often, but when I am asked if I’ll have another child, of course it sends me into thoughts of what could be. My initial thought is no way, absolutely not. I’ve said it so many times that I have all my love in the world to give to a baby, but I have 1 set of hands- two children would be too much for me to handle on my own. Physically, financially, mentally, logistically.

But I sure am curious to know what would happen if I did. What the potential of that child could be in this world. I loved being pregnant. … Continue reading

One Thing

Bringing a child into this world is such a daunting task itself. And even more nerve-wracking when you’re doing it alone. But I feel good about my decision and the support that I have received. I know it will not be easy but I am up for the challenge!

However, if I am being honest for a second… There is one thing that scares me the most about bringing a child into this world. And that thing which scares me the most about it is ensuring their safety! Especially in the wake of the trial of one police officer charged with killing a Black man and now the shooting of another Black man by police, this has been heavy on my mind.

As an African American woman, I will be raising a Black child in these times. Parents of Black children have to protect their kids from the usual dangers

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The Choice to Become a Single Mother

Though I have been thinking about this often, I am finally forcing myself to sit down and write about it. I am (pause pause pause) giving up on the idea of (no that isn’t right) choosing to move forward with my life by (here goes, breathe) having a baby on my own. There I said it. Technically, I am choosing an anonymous sperm donor, buying vials of sperm that will then be put up into my uterus by a doctor. No sex. No relationship. No man. No wedding. No. Just me.

This coming to terms with the fact that I am doing all of this solo is making me cry presently, sitting at a table with a giant latte on a rainy, winter Sunday in LA. Wonder if they have Baileys here. Kidding. Kindof.

Back to the point. It is devastatingly difficult for me to admit to myself that this … Continue reading

Life Right Now

These are strange times. It’s the peak (here’s hoping) of the pandemic and we’re in the days between the (second) impeachment and the inauguration. (As someone on Twitter said, “I can’t believe it’s time for another impeachment already–I feel like I just took down my decorations from the last one.”)

I wanted to try to capture what life feels like right now, because I know I’m not the only one feeling this weird mix of emotions.

In the past two months, we have an effective vaccine and I already know many people who’ve been vaccinated and/or have an appointment (including my parents!!).

There’s so much to celebrate and lots of reasons to be hopeful.

But but but. This is all happening against a backdrop of thousands of deaths per day, so many people (everyone?) stressed and/or sick, and then: a horrifying attack by white supremacists on the U.S. Capitol.

As … Continue reading

Love in the Age of Coronavirus – Part Three

It’s hard to express what it feels like to go from being a devoted Single Mother by Choice to being a committed family of four.

I feel a sense of surprise every day of my life, although it is gradually lessening.

It was really, really hard for me to ask for and even expect help. But when the kids were home from school last spring, I had to depend on him so that I could work. To my amazement, they quickly grew to adore mornings out with Sergio. He took the children and his mother to their school campus (no one else was around) to play. After a week, my reserved Sage asked if he could call his mother “Grandma Carmen.” Both children asked if Sergio could stay home with them so I could go out alone on date nights!

When Lorelei fell ill with an ear infection in the

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Love in the Time of Coronavirus – Part Two

Just a couple of weeks later, I changed my mind about having a potential suitor wait six months to meet my children. Despite my desire to protect them, I didn’t want to commit six months to this relationship, only to have their meeting be a disaster. We  planned for just a quick ice cream outing, nothing too ambitious. Short and sweet.

The day of our date, he knocked on the door as we were doing chores. Sage had been told to wash dishes but was dragging her feet. He went to the kitchen and quietly offered to help. Wordlessly, she handed him a sponge. They washed the dishes together. And by the end of the day, my shy girl was hanging all over him.

Lorelei was even easier. She was instantly smitten, and thrilled to command his attention. Walking home afterwards, she climbed into his arms and laid her tired … Continue reading

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