A letter to my boys on their mamie's life

Wednesday, August 30, 2017


My darling sons.

On the night of July 7, my mom, your "mamie" died. You didn't really know her (a few visits, some Skype calls) so I will tell you about her now. She is your French grandma and I want you to cherish and honor her memory.

She was born in December 1955 in Normandy. Her mom's name (my own mamie) is Odette and her dad, who died a few months after I was born, was Albert. She had 3 brothers and 2 sisters -but 2 of them, her full siblings, were her closest confidants, Pierre and Margot, whom you met 2 years ago.

She was beautiful, boys. She was so beautiful. Her smile was radiant. She had a splendid sense of humor. She also had an amazing sense of fashion. She dressed really well. She never finished high school yet she had a great intellect. She was smart. She was a strong feminist and raised me to be one as well. She believed in the teachings of Buddha -she even saw the Dalai Lama speak a few times! She wanted justice, solidarity, and integrity for the world. She had an irrational fear of prison and scarcity (that fear was not so irrational as she grew up rather poor).

When she was 15 years old something really bad happened to her and in her mind she remained a teenager. She had issues with food, drugs, and alcohol. She suffered from depression and anxiety. I am telling you that not to make you focus on these dark facets and moments of her life but to give you a full picture of who she was and why she was... well, the way she was. The truth is that it was not always easy to live with or around her. But I also want you to know how good-hearted, passionate, and loving she was.

She loved you so much. Apart from Vlad and me, you two were her world, her sun, and her stars. She wanted to know everything about you, every mundane detail of your daily life. It was terribly hard for her to live far away from you and not see you often -maybe once a year, on average.

So for now remember this, my boys: she was love and light. She loved social justice. She loved you. She lives in you.

(I wrote this entry in the journal I keep for the boys a few weeks after I came back from France. This is such an incomplete description of who she was, but this will do for now).

Friday Favorites

Friday, August 25, 2017


Happy Friday! This weekend we're going to Léo's ice hockey game, then we'll celebrate Jude's 3rd birthday with a low key party on Sunday. I hope you have a restful weekend!

Well, that's an interesting list.

What it means to grow up in the shadows of confederate monuments.

Happy birthday to this genius -and belated one to this mega talented woman.

Waiting doesn't make things easier.

A bit of organizing advice.

Great points on spiritual autonomy- especially as Léo has been really curious about God lately.

I'm inspired to write one of these letters.

I cannot wait for this event!

(Photo by Braden Barwich)

This is 37

Wednesday, August 23, 2017


Hello readers. Did you notice my new blog template? Isn’t it beautiful? I had wanted to change the old one and then a technical glitch forced me to switch for good and I couldn’t be happier about the results. This change also corresponds to a new stage in my life: I just celebrated my birthday! As you may recall, I was not super happy to be 36. Well the year turned out to be quite traumatic indeed with the elections, a bout of depression, and the unexpected and absolutely heartbreaking news that my mom had passed in July. In other words, 36 could go suck on a toenail and 37 couldn’t come fast enough. On top of that, I have held from a long time the (weird- don’t judge!) feeling that I have a great year every 7 years and 37 is IT. So bring it, 37 - I have high expectations for you!

As if it were the new year (which it is in a way: MY new year!), I am making resolutions -my spring goals, by the way, were all failures, so off with their heads and on to new ones. I haven’t quite defined my vision for 37 yet, but you can be sure I’ll write about it when I do.

I am so thrilled about this new year and hope you will follow along! Onward, friends.

(Photo by Igor Ovsyannykov)