• DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley plays with her children in a fountain

    “Making It”

    When I was in graduate school, I listened to a presentation by a professor about single moms. At the time, I was a 28-year-old without children, so I didn’t question much of what he said (although he wasn’t a parent or a woman, which did make me think, “how does he really know what they think?” Actually, now that I write that as a 41-year-old single mom, I’m thinking, “there’s no way he truly understood what their experiences were like!” But I digress.) Anyway, his theory was that the single moms were grouped into two categories which basically consisted of “I can’t do this anymore” and “making it.” I actually…

  • Bricks for blog post by DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    New Perspectives

    My White Privilege

    My heart sped up as I listened to Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms speak last weekend: Let me just speak to what’s happening here today.  Above everything else, I am a mother. I am a mother to four black children in America, one of whom is 18 years old. And when I saw the murder of George Floyd, I hurt like a mother would hurt.  And on yesterday, when I heard there were rumors about violent protests in Atlanta, I did what a mother would do. I called my son and I said, ‘Where are you?’ I said, ‘I cannot protect you,’ and black boys shouldn’t be out today.  My headspace…

  • Claire, daughter of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley, plays guitar
    Family & Friends

    5th Grade Graduation

    Today is your last day of 5th grade. When you were just 5 years old, you held the hands of both of your parents as you stood on the big field, waiting for the first day of kindergarten. It was loud and filled with hundreds of people and you were uncharacteristically quiet. Your eyes were big and you squeezed my hand. I squeezed it back three times to say, “I love you” in our secret code. When it was time for the adults to leave, you clung to me and to your father. You cried and screamed for us, and in the end, your teacher had to hold you while…

  • Kindergarten classroom similar to that of son of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley

    How Does This Actually Work?

    I re-read the headline three times before I could really process it. “DC students could be in classrooms just 1 or 2 days per week this fall.” I knew this could be coming. I mean, of course there has to be a plan for alternative schooling for next school year. But, um, how does this actually work? Here’s the thing: under this possible plan, DC public school kids would only go to school a few days a week but would continue to learn online the other days. And if I’m following this logic right, that means that teachers would teach in the classroom five days a week and also teach…

  • Son of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley holding on to rope swing in backyard

    How Widowed Parenting Prepared Me for Coronavirus Parenting

    I looked over at Tommy as he ate breakfast yesterday and realized that he looked just like an advertisement for bad parenting. He was shirtless, watching a Captain Underpants movie on an iPad and eating Eggo waffles that he was liberally dipping in syrup. He wasn’t even using a fork. I thought about taking a photo of him and texting a few friends with the headline, “mother of the year!” Of course, that text would have been seeping in irony. No way have I been mother of the year at any point during this pandemic. My kids have eaten more sugar than ever and they are in front of screens…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley hugs son Austin in fountain

    My Nine-Year-Old Boy

    We found out that you were a boy on Christmas Day. We had asked the ultrasound technician to put the sex of our second child in an envelope, and then we opened it together with our extended family. A boy! That night, we drove back to where we were staying. Claire was in the back seat, sleeping, and your father drove silently. “I am going to have a son,” he said, finally, breaking the silence. “I know,” I said. “I mean, we are going to have a son,” he said, correcting himself. I smiled at him. I knew what he meant. “I want to be a good father to my…