Mom, You Could Have Said Your Son Has A Vagina

My son Archie is comfortable with the fact that he’s rockin a vagina.

I told Archie about a conversation I recently had with a stranger. She made a comment that teens will blame their parents for their problems and hate them etc…etc….

My response was, “I have 4 boys, and am pretty close to all of them.”

That spurred her on to rant about how it’s only because I have boys I’m close to them and they have to individuate. If my children were all girls they’d dislike me, so on and so forth.

Archie’s response, “Mom, you should have fucked with her head and told her one of your sons has a vagina.”

There’s a million and one reasons to love Archie. He’s a trans man fully comfortable in his own skin. Embracing the journey as testosterone deepens his voice, thins his hair, and catapults him simultaneously through menopause and puberty. Gone are the days of wearing a binder to flatten his breasts. The grace with which he evolves humbles me.

He’s the bravest fucking person I know.

How did I get the privilege of being his mom? I swear he popped out of my vag wise beyond his years. I feel like I barely had to parent him. He came with inherent goodness oozing out of his soul.

No, I am not biased because I’m his mother.

I remember meeting his 5th grade teacher for the first time. In tears I told her “this child is special. I know every mother believes this, but this one, this one is truly special.”

A few months later I received an email telling me how incredibly off the charts this kid was.

In 3rd grade he said “Mom, I want to the play the oboe”

Me on the inside “Holy fuck, what’s an oboe.” ………..on the outside “sure, you can play the oboe.”

I’ve now been to Carnegie Hall twice to see the kid play. Seriously.

He plays other instruments and sings. This is one of my favorites. His voice is even deeper now

He’s in school for music therapy. Yes, to help people. You see this kid has ginormous amounts of anxiety and depression. Does that stop him, no. He makes all his own therapy appointments and takes the medication bull by the horns.

In fact I didn’t know what anxiety was. He is the one who came to me one day after he sought treatment for his and said “Mom, I figured all these years you just chose to live with your anxiety untreated.”

Talk about feeling like a fuck up as a parent.

The top photo was taken yesterday before his flight back out. I knew the hike and then the drive to the airport would land me in bed today, but it was well worth it.

What could be better than laying in bed, drinking a milk stout, blogging about one of your kids while Jase entertains the rest of the brood at the climbing gym?

Sure my muscles and joints feel like they’re fresh off the grill, I’m slurring my speech from exhaustion and thoughts feel furry like my teeth after too much sugar, but you do what you can.

I’m thankful for the distraction of blogging and that Archie’s comfortable with his vagina.

Sleep Time Lumpy

Emotions are messy. They blow up like the kitchen after a meal and a baked potato fight.

Yes, Jase and I had an Olympic potato toss with the kids last night. Pure impromptu impulsivity.

The best kind.

Fucked up emotions have a way of hitting you in the gut like a flying potato. Completely unexpected.

I’m doped up on Klonopin ready to sleep off the muck of the day. Yes, klonopin, the forbidden drug. Sadly the only drug that makes me feel human. They won’t give me a prescription. It’s too dangerous.

So sorry something works for you: takes away all the body pain, stops anxiety in it’s tracks, depression heads for the hills and you sleep like a fucking champ.


Can’t have it.

I have a question for you. Say you have a child who is 20. They have tried at least 5 anti anxiety/depression meds to no avail. A wee bit of pot smoking eases all their symptoms. Would you buy it for them?

I sure would and I did. Why the needless suffering? Also we’ve seen too many kids who had to hide the fact that pot helped from their parents. Most are now dead or in jail………..what do you make of that?

I’m curious.

The Decorated Carcass In The Room

Meet Lucy.

Came with the house. Diamonds is on the other side of the room. Our landlord is a hunter.

Lucy stares at me from my corner on the couch. Comforting in a morbid sort of way.

There’s a decorated carcass in the room.

So many directions to run with this idea……..the things in life we need to let go of but refuse to ……… the masks we wear…..the addictions we have “under control”……..etc….etc…etc….

Get’s me wondering how many decorated carcasses are showing up at holiday parties across the globe.

“Honey, please put a different tie/dress on your carcass so it blends in better, Uncle Frank will be there, you know how he gets.”

No matter how you cut it or slice it and pare life down to a minimum, there’s a carcass in the room.

I’ve got my own this year. I have one gift a piece for each of my 4 children. Had to use my credit card so I can pay rent. I can’t shake the fucking carcass of Holiday’s past, even though I have changed, my beliefs have changed, and my children have changed.

They are so excited to be here, all TOGETHER. Here for each other and for us. My 2 oldest live an hour from us and they asked to spend the night X-mas eve.

Excited to meet Jase’s girls for the first time. Our first blended family Christmas. All 9 of us.

News flash Mare, they don’t give a rip about gifts or that you didn’t bake cookies.

Let go of the carcass. Put both feet in the present. Show up as your vulnerable authentic self. Lucy is there reminding you to be free…………

When Christmas Hits Like A Brick: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

We don’t own a bed.

We are minimalists who rent fully furnished.

Christmas is next week.

Our blended family has 6 children. They are ALL coming for the holiday.

Well, that’s a brick in the gut.

Jase’s girls are 9 and 11. Oh me oh my! My boys are 25, 23, 20, and 15……….been there done that………

Time to raid the shed.


We found the mother load. We are all about a recycled Holiday. Thank you landlord.

The only thing absent is a tree. We live in a fucking forest on the side of a mountain.

Now comes the ethical decision.

To kill or not to kill. To look for a seedling in the name of forest thinning.

I appreciate the shift in perspective as we age. My thoughts are with Jase’s girls and their upbringing. Too young to understand the outrageousness that Christmas has become.

Their holiday is in our hands.

It’s too soon to lay the burden of the illusion of life on these young souls.

In the end we will kill a small tree. We will honor it and thank it for giving two girls another year of innocence, wonder and magic.

Their time of awakening has not yet come.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

The truth is, we are all doing our best with what we’ve been given.

Fuck The Bike

There are days, oh there are days.

You don’t have to get back on the bike.

Admit you’re too tired to pedal.

You’ve gone as far as you can.

Abandon the fucking bike.

It’s 3 am. I’m holding vigil, what ever that means. Really I’m freaking in, worried sick and at the same time grateful.

My son checked himself in yesterday with the help of his older brother. I remember when they were the cutest little shits and I could make it all better with a snoopy band-aid, a hug and a freezy pop.

The days of all 4 boys running around without a care. Skinned knees, bloody noses, snotty tears………

Fuck you life. Fuck you and the heavy burden you place on the youth today.

I think of friends and family members with struggling children. What are we supposed to do?

I am reminded of funerals attended. Friends of the boys who succeeded in snuffing out their lives.

We are no stranger to this thing called depression. It has been an uninvited visitor many times.

Where the hell did I leave my roll of bubble wrap? You know, the one you keep hidden in the closet. You’re sure you’ve wrapped the kids in at least 10 layers.

Honey, there’s a gaping hole in your bubble wrap. Please let me fix it. I’ll have it patched up in no time.

If only it were enough………………if only………I forgot, you’re an adult now. My magic bubble wrap became invisible…..

Fuck you life.

Remember How Strong You Are

There are times you need to look back to remember your strength. To remember where you came from and how far you’ve made it.

To remember that things work out in unexpected ways.

These photos are from 3.5 years ago. I had been divorced for a full year, living in Wisconsin in my first apartment ever after 4 children and 20 years of marriage.

My 2 oldest boys lived in Colorado, moved there after high school.

I laid in my bed one night and made a deal with the universe. “If I can get rid of everything I don’t need in the next 2 weeks, I’m moving to Colorado.”


Poof! All furniture gone.

I ran it past my 2 youngest kids who were living with my ex, (he made all the $ so the kids stayed put, no need to make them economically struggle). They told me to go for it and we’d figure out travel plans.

I grabbed my $1,000 in savings and off I went. No job, no place to live.

My first weekend in Colorado I took a backpacking trip with my oldest son.

There’s so much more to this tale…… much…….but I look at the photos and ask myself, “Where is that Mare? That brave little woman who moved across the country and let the divine lead her?”

She’s buried under financial strain, buried under poor health and not enough answers. Buried under a scary brain MRI result and waiting for the next doctors appointment. Buried under intense physical pain and fatigue.

She took 6 different jobs when she got to Colorado and literally worked herself into the ground. Physically she’s a train wreck.

That spirit, the one that believes anything is possible, it’s in there. It’s still there. The divine is always speaking…………..”Mare, get your head out of your ass.”

Ferocious Gratitude

Stubborn little woman.

Address the pain……………… Acknowledge the fatigue.

24 hours looms large as a whole.

Break it down into moments.

“I can make memories with the couch or with the people I love.”

Stubborn little woman.

Snowed in for days……..I’m going too……I’ll recover later………It’s Thanksgiving for fucks sake……….

Keep your heart fierce.

A body is just a body after all.

We made the trek down the mountain, through the grocery store, and back up the mountain. As you can see, Jase has a pack on his back and on the front. That’s my pack. I had the job of carrying the chips and tofu. Even that was too much.

I carried the pain and the fatigue. We had a chat: “Listen here you 2 fuckers, if you insist on being in my life, I will demand on my way from time to time. You WILL NOT destroy me today. Because, you see, I’m a stubborn little woman. Put on your boots, lets go.”

We’re Pigs In a Barn

Photo by me

We live like pigs.

Not really, but it can feel that way at times.

This morning I went to grab a coffee cup out of the dishwasher. What the fudge, it was dirty?????

We had my second son up for dinner last night, and I have vivid memories of Jase pulling dishes out of the dishwasher and serving us dinner.

From a quick survey of the kitchen, it’s plain to see last nights dinner mess strewn about.


We’re nothing more than pigs in a barn.