• City and people for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Ask A Widow

    Ask a Widow: Dating With Kids

    I’ve talked so much about dating as a widow that it’s strange that I haven’t written much about dating and kids. When I have written on this topic, it’s usually about how to date with small kids. Here’s an excerpt from a piece I wrote that’s titled, “Could My Date Be a Father to My Kids?“ Once I started dating, I found that I would very quickly move from “do I want to kiss this guy?” to “could he be a father to my children?” That made dating really difficult. I’m not a total idiot, so I didn’t say these sorts of things out loud on a first or second…

  • Austin and Chris walk in street for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Parenting

    What Would He Be Like?

    My kids like to ask questions that surprise me. They’re much more curious about illness and death and things like guardianship papers than most other kids their age, so I’m used to tough questions. We talk about what happens when people die, how adults plan for death and what it means to die young. You’d think I’d be prepared for every question, and yet, they still continue to surprise me. The other day, we were sitting around the dinner table talking about what would happen to them if Chris and I died. (They really want the specifics. I get it. It’s a possibility they know exists in the world.) Chris…

  • Halloween image for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Things That Suck

    Homesick

    It surprised me that Halloween was my breaking point. Here’s the thing – moving to Colombia in August was really hard. Seemingly everything was complicated and the kids took a long time to get even remotely comfortable with life here. People were super friendly, which was wonderful, but it didn’t really help much when (for example) I was trying to help a teenage girl navigate middle school social structures in another country and language. The kids each had their moments when they were sad and wanted to go home. Claire’s lasted the longest, but the volleyball team seemed to have done something incredible that really lifted her up. Once she…

  • Grocery cart for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    From the Archives

    From the Archives: You’re Doing the Hard Stuff

    One of the first things my dad did when he moved in with us was to take over the breakfast duties. He was not a chef, but his eggs were always perfectly fried, and every morning he met me in the kitchen as the sun was rising and said, “ready for breakfast?” I ate little at that time, but I said yes, more because I wanted to remember what it felt like to sit with him as the day began. His movements in my kitchen reminded me exactly of the way he’d inhabited our kitchen back in Oregon, slamming the cabinets just a bit harder than was needed and jangling…

  • Claire, daughter of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale, walks with umbrella
    Parenting

    Just Like You

    Claire made the volleyball team last month. To be quite honest, Chris and I were pretty surprised. Yes, she’s a decent athlete, but she’s never played volleyball before and there were many kids who tried out. On top of all this, her Spanish is pretty limited, and the coach doesn’t speak English. We don’t really know why she was picked, but she was elated. “I get to go to Cartagena!” she shouted, as she announced her team placement. Yep, this is what it meant that she made the team. At the end of the season, we would be sending her across Colombia. Without us. But that wasn’t the hard part,…

  • Son of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale jumps into water at camp
    Parenting

    His Smile

    When we picked Tommy up from of overnight camp this summer, we noticed that his two front teeth had really come in. Just a week and his smile looked different! It looked just like Shawn’s. Claire and Austin once had the same teeth, but braces have straightened them. Shawn never had braces, and I always found his crooked smile endearing, though it was a bit out-of-place in polished Washington, DC. Still, it was a part of what made him who he was. And now Tommy was smiling just like him. We spent the next few weeks in a little cabin on the river, visiting Nana and Pop while we waited…