Lookie, Lookie.

It was such a privilege to be part of Listen to Your Mother. Every one of the ladies I took the stage with are amazing. I kept wondering what in the heck I was doing up there with them; but I took a breath and tried not to let them down.

Heather, our fearless leader, let us all know we could post our essay on our blogs. So, ready or not, here it is. 

“SixChix”

When my husband told me he “had a feeling” we would have a lot of daughters, I didn’t know he meant six— and no sons. 

The half dozen females we had all came in the space of ten years. And as one ultrasound after another revealed the girly bits, the reactions were varied. Observers would say, “Oh, too bad. Maybe next time you’ll get a boy.” As if producing male genitalia was the only way I could rightfully claim the title “Mother.” 

Others would respond, “Another one?” and I wasn’t sure they were referring to the fact we were having another girl, or just baffled by the fact we were having another child, period. 

Some laughed and counseled, “Better buy stock in Playtex and Kotex!” Looking back, I really should have.

My husband had a different response when I came to his work one afternoon, 6 months pregnant with #5 and carrying one pink carnation. It took him a moment to catch on, and when he did, he swore.

When child #6 was identified as being of the female persuasion, I came home with a dozen pink frosted cupcakes to surprise the other five girls. The youngest, age 4, began to cry because she had hoped for a brother so she didn’t have to be the “husband” anymore when she and her older sisters played house.

As the years passed and the daughters changed from pig-tailed, frilly, pink-clad darlings that started their sentences sweetly with, “Mommy,” to snarling teenagers who wanted to call me all kinds of things that had nothing to do with “sweet” or “mommy,” onlookers would comment, “Oh, your poor husband.” I bought this for a while, and then one day woke up and realized what a crock of crap it was. Poor husband my foot! They idolized their dad. They hated me. 

Each of my girls, when they reached about age 13-14, sailed away on the Good Ship Nice Daughter, and left in their place a miserable pile of hormonal flesh that spit and growled for a good five years. When said daughter was about 19, the Good Ship Nice Daughter would return and deliver a delightful female adult who actually seemed to like her mother. 

I used to be bitter about this, resenting the time I missed while they were transforming into something pleasant and mature. But now that they are all grown and have become—and I’m making a daring assumption here—my friends, I’m just glad the transformation happened. 

I could have made the decision to be their friend when they were teenagers, and perhaps avoided the daggers I’m sure they wanted to throw my direction, but I made a conscious choice to be their parent. I felt they had plenty of friends—they needed parents. I knew this decision was not going to be a popular one, but I had the interest of the daughter in mind, not my ego.
Yes, there were years it was a white-knuckle siege every single day. Yes, there were times they couldn’t stand me. How well I remember the night I was looking through part of a daughter’s journal with her and accidentally came across a page with a pen drawn stick figure in a hangman’s noose with the word, “Mom” boldly printed below it. “That must have been a tough day,” I calmly observed. “Yup,” she replied. 

At one point, in the middle of the worst of it, I looked heavenward and asked, “Why six girls?” I have a strong belief God does things for a reason, and I didn’t believe these six were mine by chance. I didn’t receive any blinding revelation at the time, but slowly, little by little, I began to realize I had been given a tremendous responsibility. Women are a powerful force. Truly “the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.” If you look at the influence a women has you can easily point to the fact she touches many lives daily. I had been given the task of raising six strong, responsible, dependable, compassionate, competent females who could become wives and mothers. Women who had the courage and confidence to do whatever they felt compelled to do. Be it education, career, lifestyle, or home front, they would have the wherewithal to follow though and do what needed to be done, and they would be true to themselves. And if they messed up, they would have the integrity to own up.

I would like to say I parented perfectly, but that would be a big fat lie, and my daughters would most certainly call me on it. As all mothers my age, I look back and wish I could have done things differently, but I look at my kids and feel a sense of satisfaction because they turned out to be great women in spite of my failings. 


Often I come in contact with moms who are on their first teenage daughter. These poor women are crushed because the daughter they once had has disappeared. I reassure them she will return and become their friend one day. In the mean time, keep plenty of feminine protection on hand, ignore the hateful remarks, keep loving her, throw chocolate at her, lean on retail therapy because it works, be brave and parent in the face of opposition, make dermatologist appointments, measure carefully the battles you’re willing to go to the mat for, and remember, a hormonally imbalanced teenage girl is not what you’ll be stuck with in the end.

Real Women. Real Stories.


Listen to Your Mother

In an effort to thank the lovely ladies I performed with, I wrote this poem for them yesterday. It found its way to the national Listen to Your Mother page. Thank you, Heather!

We came together,
On an empty stage,
Mustered our courage,
And turned a page.
Mother by mother,
We subdued the mic,
And told of nurturing –
The hits and strikes.
The audience laughed,
And shed some tears.
We addressed their hopes,
And hidden fears.
But as we gave,
We gathered too;
Became much more,
Than we ever knew.
Thank you, ladies,
You’ve enriched my soul,
Pieced me together,
And made me whole.

Verse of the Goofy Type.

Pualani, my buddy, has a son who is turning 40. She needed something special for his surprise party, so in her car on the way home from lunch, with rhymezone.com and synonyms in the dictionary app open on my phone, I scribbled a birthday poem for her to read at his party.

Rhymezone and the dictionary are very convenient when writing serious poetry, or silly poetry, the latter of which I am best at.

"Listen to Your Mother."



I'm so excited to be part of the cast for this event at the University of Utah on April 29th.

I wrote a short 900 word essay on motherhood and will be reading it at the performance.  A little ditty on raising six daughters.

They say you write what you know, and this is a subject I know a little bit about.

Carte Blanche for Shortcomings.

Bill, My Book Guy (that's pretty much his name as far as I'm concerned), taught me a great lesson. When you're a writer you have all kinds of latitude for your mistakes and shortcomings. For example,

"I have a bad sense of direction 'cause I'm a writer."
"I know I'm plump, but that's just 'cause I'm a writer."
"I'm a writer, that's why I swear occasionally."
"Didn't you know writers only do dishes between chapter breaks?"

This little bit of info from Bill MBG is coming in quite handy. I wish I'd known about it years ago.
"Dinner? Um, I'm a writer and you'll just have to get by with cereal—again."

No Room for Pride at the Keyboard.

Nat's Book Nook.
Southeast Review.
Badass Book Reviews.
Author and Readers Book Corner.
The Indie View.
Three Chapters.
Crommich Industries.
Alicen Scott.
The Brainy Bookshelf.
Cozy Tea Corner.
Off the Book.
The Book Hookup.
The Queen's Quill Review.
Andrea's Book Blog.
c9cREVIEWS.
Andrew's Readlist.
Angie Martin.

What do all these have in common? I spent most of the day begging them to review my book.

When you write, you loose all sense of dignity.