Usually, this last post of the year, I showcase my favorite photos from the last twelve months. But this year I've decided to up my game a bit.
For another little trip down memory lane, here are my most popular blog posts, and my favorite blog posts, month by month:
Most Popular/My Favorite: Becoming Invisible
I can't see her face. I cannot assemble these pieces. My mother is an invisible force of nature, a supernatural entity made of love and discipline and constant presence.
Most Popular: Let's Talk About Beds, Baby
I'm pretty optimistic that by the anniversary of getting our new mattress, it will have saved us as much in medical costs (and attached childcare costs) as the thing cost in the first place.
My Favorite: Presumption of Innocence
Part of me was relieved. As I exited the courtroom, I finally allowed myself to believe he was guilty. An instant, overwhelming surety, now that I didn't have the obligation to give him the benefit of the doubt. At the same time I felt a wave of guilt, that I could damn him so easily before his trial. And then a wave of fury.
Most Popular/My Favorite: Esprit D'Escalier
I wish instead I'd talked to his friends, and asked them if they're okay with this. If they're okay with going around with this super rape-y guy who can't tell the difference between disembodied breasts and a human being, and ask why they're willing to be seen in public with such a pathetic excuse of a human being.
Most Popular: All My Little Words
I didn't look like a willowy, blond haired, tan skinned Gwen Stefani clone. I didn't look like the girls in the magazines, or on TV. And while part of me understood all the while that it didn't make me ugly, it did make me... not pretty.
My Favorite: Oblivious
I screamed. Of course I screamed. And RH, her hair full of glass fragments, with glimmering pieces of broken glass shimmering all over her clothes, froze.
Most Popular: The Binder
That legal pad of Grandma's became my confidante. M never read the binder- so I was more honest with it than I was with him. If I thought he was depressed, or struggling, or weakening, it went into the binder. And then I could bring it up casually with the doctor, M never being the wiser for my worries.
My Favorite: More Than A Stage
There is nothing like being part of a cast. You're a family, even if only temporarily. You care about each other, you care about each other's families, you care about each other's success and happiness. You want everyone to do their best, not just on stage, but everywhere. And you want to help. Sharing a stage in a cast is different from sharing the stage in an open mic. Open mics are every man for himself, self promotion and flights of fancy. A cast though- a cast is more. It's a commitment.
Most Popular: Sex Positive Parenting, or, We Don't Touch Our Vulvas At The Table
The truth is that human beings, almost universally, like sex. It feels good. And it's supposed to feel good. If it didn't, the human race would die out. The truth is that sex isn't special and magical just because it's sex. The truth is that you can have spectacular sex with strangers who's names you don't even know. The truth is that just because you can, that doesn't necessarily mean you should.
My Favorite: Six Down, Twenty to Go
When I think of my love for M, it still comes with a hint of fear that one day he'll realize I'm not good enough for him, that I'm lazy and fat and unshowered and he deserves so much more than me- and rather than feeling depressed by such thoughts I feel inspired to impress him, to show him how competent I can be, how beautiful I can be, how brilliant I can be, until I surprise myself by becoming better than I ever knew I could.
Most Popular: The Truth About Sex After Kids
You can explore your fetishes and kinks and preferences, even the ones that previously embarrassed you, because nothing embarrasses you anymore. Not when you've both sat staring at each other at the crack of dawn, covered in the same infant's vomit and feces. Not when you've had more conversations than you care to count about the kids' diarrhea and whether or not the shits you're both experiencing indicate a virus, something psychosomatic, or yet another side effect of prolonged fatigue.
My Favorite: Just Fine
Now, for the last several scans, things had appeared identical. No change from scan to scan. But, as of last month, there is something. A tiny, minuscule shift that when viewed over years instead of months, shows those vague areas that used to be solid white in the MRIs becoming a little bit cloudier again.
Most Popular/My Favorite: My Body, My Choices- Thoughts on the Chicago Slutwalk
I will not apologize for teaching my daughters that they control their bodies, and their fates. But I will apologize for this world, because I am a part of it. And until I can be confident that I have more than done my part to make it safe for them to exist here, as girls and then women, the guilt that has plagued me most of my life will continue.
Most Popular: One More Cup Of Coffee
Every morning last year, as we drove to preschool, I'd surf through the local pop stations, looking for what the kids and I called "bouncy songs." These were songs the kids could happily bounce in their seats to, through the whole six minute drive.
My Favorite: #WhyIStayed, How the Vanity Fair #LiftTOUR is Helping, And How You Can Too
He said something about me shutting up, because he'd paid for dinner. And I said something back. Something probably loaded with snark and that may or may not have implied that there was no way in Hell I was having sex with him that night, if ever. Even if I had invited him over to my place for a cup of tea. And then he grabbed my hair and yanked me halfway across the room.
Most Popular/My Favorite: The Routines of Bravery
"Is that washi tape?" I asked.
"Yes!" her mother said. She beamed at me. "We're going to change it, though. She says it's too bright for fall."
The girl rolled her eyes, and I saw the human inside her, the constantly embarrassed teenaged girl. I smiled at the mother.
"Totally. Are you thinking about something more Halloween-y? Skulls and crossbones or something?"
I hoped maybe the girl would smirk. I thought skulls were delightfully subversive. Her mother gave me a look that broke my heart. It wasn't admonition, or humor, or solidarity. It was gratitude.
Most Popular: Just Look
If I were given no indication but the feel of their hand in mine, I would know who's hand I was holding.
My Favorite: The Uncleanable House
I may in fact have put my children down for a nap and rolled around the floor, hardly able to believe it was possible to do such a thing without accumulating an even patina of crumbs.
Most Popular/My Favorite: Father Dies, Son Dies, Grandson Dies
I often forget about other people. I often forget that M and I aren't our own little universe. I forget that there are other people who care about us. It's easier to forget, a lot of the time. It's easier to put little limits around your grief and your hope and pretend that nobody outside feels any of it. But they do.
Happy reading, lovely readers!
And a Happy New Year!