Author Archives: Liz Wallace

Pulling My Child From Private School Has Made Me A Richer And Poorer Person

Pulling My Child From Private School Has Made Me A Richer And Poorer Person

In the past couple of months, I have become a bitter rich person. Not Mitt Romney or Mark Zuckerberg rich, but rich in the sense that I am probably better off than maybe 90% of people worldwide. By New York City standards, I’m pretty squarely middle-class though, I think, but within my little Brooklyn private-school community, that’s just not rich enough.

This is my issue, of course. Although it feels like it’s an issue for lots of other people, too. I want to preface this post by saying that everything that follows falls under the umbrella of “white people problems,” as one (presumably rich-ish) private-school mom told me at a 5-year-old princess birthday party recently, where the host had made from scratch a castle cake worthy of Walt Disney himself. More »

‘It’s Women’s Work’ And Other Reasons I Hate The PTA

âItâs Womenâs Workâ And Other Reasons I Hate The PTA

I just joined the PTA at my daughter’s preschool. Well, the modern-day equivalent of the PTA – which is to say, a subcommittee of the Parent Teacher Association. Even though I am a freelancer who works from home and has a lot of free time, I’ve been avoiding participating more in the PTA. Partly because I’m not a joiner, partly because I’m lazy, partly because I’m a little bit allergic to my assumption of what PTA would be: A bunch of stay-at-home-moms with too much time on their hands forming committees for which I’d be aggressively recruited. More »

Our Gay Adoption Process Went From Terrible To Heart-Warming

Our Gay Adoption Process Went From Terrible To Heart-Warming

When we started our lesbian family five years ago, we didn’t have the right to marry and, unlike me, my partner – the non-biological mother – didn’t attain legal parenthood the minute our baby came into this world. We knew we would pursue “second-parent adoption,” a process many gay couples undergo to ensure the legal rights of the non-biological parent.

Not knowing anyone who had already undergone second-parent adoption, we didn’t know how complicated it would be. Over six months’ time, we underwent fingerprinting, a home visit from a social worker and the culling and organizing of pages and pages of documents. It initially seemed like an indignity, but now I think every family could benefit from doing it. More »

Do You Have To Crawl On The Floor To Be A Good Grandparent?

Do You Have To Crawl On The Floor To Be A Good Grandparent?

My partner, my four- and two-year-old kids and I spend a lot of time at the Jersey Shore, with my partner’s parents at their summer house. I love that the children get to visit with their grandparents, who, truth be told, when I was first pregnant, gave me concern about their desire for grandchildren.

My in-laws have really warmed to me over the years, but at first, they were, well, not super-warm. They’ve always been incredibly gracious, generous, and charming, but they’re not huggers. They’re not baby people. They don’t coo at infants, don’t want to hold them, don’t find drool and feces charming. More »

‘Which One Of You Will Wear The Dress?’ A First Conversation With Our Pre-Schooler About Gay Marriage

'Which One Of You Will Wear The Dress?' A First Conversation With Our Pre-Schooler About Gay Marriage

It was just a few weeks after gay marriage was sanctioned in the state of New York that my partner of 14 years, my four-year-old daughter, and I were sitting at our dinner table, and Daughter asked us, “If you two get married, which one of you will wear a dress?”

First response: “That’s a good question.” (Affirming the child’s sense of curiosity and connecting a newsy event to gender expression through fashion.)

In sort-of-whispered asides, both my partner and I wondered if our daughter had seen a picture in the newspaper of a lesbian wedding where, we assumed, one wife wore a dress, and the other, a suit. Or if she had just picked up on a lot of background conversation in the last month about gay marriage becoming legal in our state. More »