Category Archives: family


Years ago, late at night in the hospital I had told mom how much I regretted how estranged she and I had been for so long, how miserable it had made me and how pointless it seemed, now that she might lose her life or at least large parts of it. I am not sure how much […]

My Mom

My mom, Jacqueline Clemens, was born on this day in 1941, in Morristown, New Jersey. Her family had great success, and even glamor. Though she was a very beautiful girl, she was never comfortable being the princess that her mother wanted her to be. She was more of a tomboy. She never talked much about […]

sarah is four!

Sarah is becoming a big girl at a torrid rate! When I think of how fast it’s all happened I get into a weird emotional state of bliss and regret that I can’t hold on more tightly to her days as a baby. We’re so, so lucky to have her. I never knew what a […]

sarah is three!

Sarah just turns me to warm goo, babbling all the clichés I’ve heard, because the overwhelming love blows all other thought away: She amazes me every day, she is beautiful, precious, it is such a blessing to take care of her, it is unnerving how fast time slips away, etc. We are so, so lucky. […]

words my baby says

Four months later, a verbal explosion! 262 and counting…again airplane alligator apple applesauce are arm around away baby ball balloon banana barn bath bathroom bear bed bee beep belly big bike binkie bird bite blanket blocks boat bonk book bottle bowl box boy bread brush bubbles bucket bug bunny butterfly camel camera car carrots cat […]

words my baby knows [with pronunciation guide]

dog – dOH-kg hi bird – bIR raaar (lion) up meow (cat) outside – owSI button – bUHtt telephone – rEH-lone balloon – baOOn mouse – mAoh applesauce – AHp-saos brush – RUsh moo (cow) inside – n-SIgh walk – wOK bye baa (sheep) bottle – BoH-le baby – Bey more – MO-ah rock – […]


There’s nothing quite like taking care of my daughter to blast away selfishness, bitch-slap my inner child, napalm my therapist, etc. And I’m doing just great. Right about the time I’m congratulating myself on how far I’ve come is great timing for another reminder, though. Just the other day, we had a blow out. I […]

Global ‘telephone’

They were eager to know about the shrine and made an offering to the temple,��� Ms. Seth says.Of course, this story doesn’t have anything to do with reality (we are not from New York, my aunt knew nothing of Sarah’s birth until after she was safely born, we did not pray to Lord Guruvayoorappan, and still know little about the temple at Guruvayur). We do not have anything against Lord Guruvayoorappan (who is, as far as I can tell from reading information on Web sites, a compassionate and holy Lord) and I would never tempt fate by disparaging anything that encouraged a good outcome from the harrowing birth (in fact, I wish had the religious sophistication to know anything at all about Lord Guruvayoorappan, or even much about Hinduism in general, before this) but this is really more of a game of global ���Telephone��� than anything else.

bravery and acceptance

Barnard College Emily Gregory Award 2006, acceptance speech by (my aunt) Amy Trompetter “You were born with your authentic self and your ethical integrity intact. You are moving from innocence to sophistication and deciding what are the realistic compromises that you must make in order to live in this imperfect world that you have inherited […]

Sarah’s Birth, October 23, 2004

Jill started having contractions early Thursday morning. They subsided some Friday morning, and then she (and I) went in for a previously scheduled OB appt., where her membranes were ‘stripped.’ She was 80% effaced at that point, and 1.5 cm dilated. Soon after the appointment, she started feeling much stronger contractions, about 12 noon. Over […]