Don’t be too quick to ban ‘bossy’

Yesterday, Grace had been talking all morning about building sand castles, so we loaded up her various shovels, pails and tools and headed to the playground. When we got there, we left her equipment in a pile in the sand before we detoured to the swings. We got back about five minutes later, and some older girls — maybe 5 …

Vanessa McGradyDon’t be too quick to ban ‘bossy’

One little thing every day

Two things with Grace: This week she stopped asking me to carry her to school, which is one block away. She does this funny kind of skip-gallop-prance walk while holding my hand. It made me a little sad, but after all, I’m the one who hoists her up and says, “Someday you’re going to be too big and Mommy’s not …

Vanessa McGradyOne little thing every day

Some things about Christmas 2013

1. My dad died 10 years ago today. You don’t really recover from something like that. I was really sad for the past couple weeks and felt all “dumpy mom,” and couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but duh. Of course. Then, some magic. My older brother, Ilya, in ISRAEL, made a concert of this beautiful, ethereal music with …

Vanessa McGradySome things about Christmas 2013

Want kids?

Vanessa McGradyWant kids?


We used to be kings. Not real royalty, but cultural kings. By “we,” I mean our family. By “place,” I mean the world. And by “world,” I mean New York. My dad, Pat, and his brother Mike, in the 1960s and ‘70s, owned the fucking place. After my grandmother tired of waiting for her world-traveling UPI reporter husband to come …

Vanessa McGradyTable

Give me your hands, if we be friends

Three years ago today, my past and my future came together in a lush Oregon patch of land, brimming with wine grapes and berries. My family and closest friends from childhood, elementary school, college, work, yoga and wherever else you meet your soul connections spent three days dancing, eating, drinking, and then crying the copious tears only an Irish family …

Vanessa McGradyGive me your hands, if we be friends

Affairs nobody wants to talk about are the most important

My dad’s 2003 death left a wake of confusion and conflict that went beyond the great loss of one of the universe’s shining stars.  Dad didn’t mean for it to go like that. A few years before, he’d had a will hastily drawn up on his way to the airport before traveling to Europe for a medical procedure, and never …

Vanessa McGradyAffairs nobody wants to talk about are the most important