From Marissa B. Niranjan

THE ALTRUIST
Marissa B. Niranjan is a quarter Italian, only child, married to an Indian who happens to be an identical twin. When she’s not chasing after her tiny hooligans, she’s saving snow leopards at the world’s largest conservation organization dedicated to protecting the endangered cat. She is constantly editing emails to pare down her excessive use of exclamation points, and you can tell what type of mood she’ll be in based on how many times she’s had to warm up her morning coffee in the microwave. She loves her kids to the moon and back, but she really misses hot coffee.

Wombat ways

You stifle a cough, so others won’t starebut can you spare a square?   You yell, you scratch, you’re quite a pairbut can you spare a square?   Don’t be lured into our lairbut can you spare a square?   This moment is heavy, and equally rarebut can you spare a square?   They don’t…

Lofty

Beads of mist clung to the two columns of light that guided the car around each twist and turn of the graveled road. Her hands clutched the steering wheel as her eyes darted from side to side, trained from years of trying to spot deer out of her periphery while she cruised down Four-Mile Road…

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…