By Marissa B. Niranjan

Just add water

The squeaky clunk of metal in rapid succession has become a routine part of my morning soundtrack. It is as if I am attempting CPR on the “Push for Signal” button, which metaphorically is not too far from the truth. I am trying to revive my morning by getting my kids to school on time…

For the rest of right now

You are so brave. You are so brave. You are so brave. You are so brave. I have whispered these words more times over the course of the past week than I have in my entire lifetime, and I am a birth doula, so that is saying a lot. In fact, I heard them so…

Ellipsis

The laughter filled the car so abruptly that it almost felt like a foreign language. They had been at each other since we got off of the ferry. Pokes turned into jabs and jabs escalated into full-blown verbal punches. Stolen toys, who got more jelly on their toast hours before, sideways glances, seat kicking, elbows…

Forced festiveness

Orange juice is the most repulsive liquid known to human kind, and freshly squeezed is the worst. I prefer Sunny D. Black Friday is my favorite day of the year. I like to microwave my ice cream. Lobster is…meh. Pumpkin spice lattes taste like hot dog water. I like the Baby Shark song. These were…

Piece of me

I don’t even look at the clock anymore but can usually gauge the time based on if my husband in still in the bed or not since he rises by 5:00 am. They later confess that they have each been trying to will themselves to wake up before the other one does, their competitive cores…

Skin to skin

I see the blood before I can register the howls. The bright red liquid streams down the back of her hands and leaves a trail of droplets as she runs towards me. The front wheel of her bike still spins menacingly as it lays on its side. Her hands are clutched over her mouth, so…

If it ain’t broke

I zoomed around the corner, footloose, and fancy free (meaning I only had one of my three kids hanging on me) at Costco. I even started humming a little happy tune when I ran smack into the gridlock of carts. The lines sprawled out like jagged tentacles of a six-headed beast. It was 11am on…

It’s basically a muffin

I sat at my computer, staring at the screen, heart palpitating with my pinkie resting firmly on the delete button. My eyeballs danced frantically over each sentence again and again as I dissected every word. Ugh, why did I say it that way?  I thought. Why did I use so many parentheses? All the other…

Ringing in the season

ding…ding…ding…dingdingding….ding…ding…ding…dingdingding….. Three slow, three fast, three slow, three fast. The rhythmic pattern danced through my head like stepping stones for sugar plum fairies while the crisp mountain air bit at my nose, turning it red. Officially, I signed up to ring the bell in order to fulfill service hours as a member of Student Council,…

Tiny crescents

If I die people will know because of how long my kids’ nails get. These are the 2:33 a.m. reflections of someone who has been up feeding an infant every three hours, on the hour, for weeks. I am truly beyond grateful for this glorious tribe that surrounds us. In fact, there are not words…

Tired

I wait. Wait for the surprise to come, to sink in somehow before I realize that surprise isn’t suppose to sink in, it’s supposed to shock…immediately.  That’s when I accept that it’s not coming, and I feel that callous void with a deep sadness as I scroll through the hashtags and the notes of prayer.…

Glider parenting

Since becoming a parent, I find myself constantly holding in half of a breath. Sometimes it’s out of frustration, and sometimes it’s from the perception of imminent danger, like when my children are running full tilt down the concrete sidewalk full of uneven cracks just tall enough to trip up exuberant little feet. Even at…

A common, sacred thread

Her Batman-caped preschooler smiled at my Spiderman pajama-clad daughter as my cart squeaked and wobbled across the hard floor. Nothing bonds kids like superheroes.  His what-I-assumed-to-be grandmother and I briefly made eye contact in the cereal aisle and then traded the requisite half-smiles as we sped past each other once we felt the imminent tantrums…

RESTroom

Now is my chance.  I slink along the wall and retreat one small tiptoe at a time towards the open bathroom door and close it slowly without so much as a creak. Sigh. Do I have time to reply to a text?  Can I figure out what the heck “Covfefe” means?  My gut says no…

Girls go to Jupiter

“I feel like a planet with a lot of other planets stuck to me.”  Rubina Doreen, Age 3.5 It was one of those off-hand preschool-aged musings said with a sigh in between throwing a tantrum, eating a bowl of macaroni and cheese, and testing out markers in her new Ninja Turtle coloring book. And for…

Pulled Punches

I order my coffee and begin to mine my wallet for the elusive punch card.  As a small line builds behind me, I shuffle through receipts, random bills, and coupons that I still hope to redeem even though they expired last November.  A minute later, it surfaces. Just one more punch to go. I get…

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

The term rainbow baby was coined to describe a child who is born following a loss with the idea that the light of the rainbow inspires hope after experiencing darkness. While I don’t like thinking of the baby we lost as a storm, I do appreciate the sentiment. We were just on the fringe of…

Fired Up on the Turnip Truck

I slammed the sliding glass door of my dad’s apartment and hurled myself onto his hunter-green futon in a cluster of sobs. Concerned, my dad ran out of the kitchen, dish and drying towel still in hand. “What’s wrong?” he asked. “Senior awards are coming out soon and for the first time they are going…

The Feminine Desert

At my daughter’s most recent preschool holiday potluck, I started talking to one of her favorite teachers who had just returned from week-long trip to Arizona. She takes a regular trip there with a friend of hers and recounted a story of how her fellow travel companion was hiking and brushed up against something spiny. …

It’s Not a Costume, It’s a Custom

Roman: “Mamma. I’m half-Indian, right?” Me: “That’s right, buddy.” Roman: “Well, when will I be whole-Indian?” ———- Like so many aspects of parenting, sometime the simplest questions are also the most complex. I am transported back to staring at tiny curls littering the tiled floor. My heart felt heavy, and I tried desperately to suppress tears…