An Imperfect Daughter

I would hope my mother, who announces regularly these days that she’s not getting any younger, feels completely and absolutely adored by her family as she rides out her twilight years (she’ll outlive all of us, I am certain). That her dreams for me and my brother have surpassed any expectations. That even though none of it went as she’d planned, she feels …

Vanessa McGradyAn Imperfect Daughter

Two kinds of fear

I don’t consider myself a generally fearful or anxious person, but I’m just going to list what lurks in the fear section of my brain, because the only way to reveal the monster in the closet is to turn on the light. THINGS I AM AFRAID OF, IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER: 1. Grace not having me. 2. Me not having Grace. 3. Having …

Vanessa McGradyTwo kinds of fear

A Manifesto on Egg Freezing and Work-Life Balance

It’s hard to be mad at a benefit that promotes a reproductive choice for women, but the context is infuriating. Here’s my Jezebel manifesto, of sorts, of why it’s just not enough.

Vanessa McGradyA Manifesto on Egg Freezing and Work-Life Balance

Thinking about the ones who aren’t

Babies are lovely and they smell divine and holding them makes us all goopy. This day is a good reminder, though, of all the shades of loss around babies. Oct. 15 is the national day for honoring miscarriages and infants who died close to birth. It’s a painful enough wound when it’s fresh — maybe you see a joyful, very pregnant woman shopping …

Vanessa McGradyThinking about the ones who aren’t

We Find Each Other

It’s midnight and I’m working late, almost done, it’s due first thing in the morning. Exhaustion is constant, in my bones, and sometimes I have macabre thoughts that if I were in the hospital or jail for two weeks I could just sleep, undisturbed. She pads out from her bedroom, pink elephant pajamas and freshly washed curls, eyes half-mast. Without a word, she …

Vanessa McGradyWe Find Each Other

Three Things Making Me Mad & One Hilariously Sad Thing

1. This. Does this Jon Benet and the Chocolate Factory cover need any further explanation? What was Random House’s approval process on this new release of an iconic children’s classic? I betcha there wasn’t one mom or dad with a young kid on the creative team for this one. Unless Patsy Ramesy was somehow involved. 2. That a spectrum of truly …

Vanessa McGradyThree Things Making Me Mad & One Hilariously Sad Thing

I’m sorry, Bossy Girl

Dear Bossy Girl, I’m sorry that I failed to use my powers of compassion when I thought you bossy for commandeering my child’s toys. I forgot you are just a kid. I forgot that it’s never about what it’s about. I saw you again at the park, and when you came over to play with Grace in the sand, I …

Vanessa McGradyI’m sorry, Bossy Girl