The Eternal Guilt of an Immigrant

My oldest nephew will turn 16 on Christmas Eve. When he was born, I lived in Slovakia and my sister lived in Germany. The first time I saw him he was two-month-old. I still remember it like it was yesterday - getting off the S-bahn, my sister meeting me with the stroller and I couldn't see anything but layers of blankets. Holding him for the first time. Having him falling asleep on my shoulder every time I picked him up. The love. The dread. My sister bundled him up in a stroller and sent me out for a couple of hours so she could clean....more

Potty Training - Boys Vs Girls

*No trustworthy scientific methods were used when compiling the results of this study. The evidence described below is purely subjective.  Potty training a boy: At the age of two, take away the diaper. ...more

Gender Wars

It is my son's fifth birthday party this Saturday, so I took him to the bakery to pick a cake."What decoration would you like?" I asked. "Last year you had the trains and the year before you had the dinosaurs. What would you like this year?""Princesses!" he shouted excitedly."Huh...really?""Yes!" he confirmed with unwavering enthusiasm and then added: "Can it be pink?"I ordered a chocolate cake with pink icing and princesses on top....more

ScAttERed (Are You There, Brain?)

My brain is scattered. It keeps jumping from one topic to another, like a car radio scanning through the range of frequencies, picking up one station for ten seconds before moving onto another one.All days are very much the same. Nothing really happens, yet I am interrupted every fifteen seconds.EVERYTHING happens. One precious moment after another, slipping away....more

Mommy Wars - The Apocalypse

Bayside, New York, 10:33pm ...more

Midnight Blues and Lucky Stars

I live thousands of lives inside my head. I carry on conversations with people from this world and from another Universe, people who are still here, people who are gone in one way or another, people who exist but have never heard of me, people who are completely made up from the star dust that covers my furniture. I talk to them about my life, my dreams, my fears, my hopes, my failures, my pains, my regrets, my aspirations....more

Referendum To Ban Same-Sex Marriage and Adoption

Last year, over 400,000 people in Slovakia signed the petition that called for the "Protection of Family" referendum, with ultimate goal to ban same-sex marriage and same-sex adoptions. The population of Slovakia is just under five and a half million. That is a very simple math and a very sad equation. The referendum is set for February 7th. ...more

The World Is Doomed, They Say

You know those quotes that go viral on Facebook and are usually attributed to Morgan Freeman? A similar one is making rounds in Slovakia. My friends are reposting an essay that is (falsely) linked to the Slovak actor, humorist and author Milan Lasica (whose talents possibly exceed the ones of Mr. Freeman, no offense. He is that good.) ...more

Happy Anniversary to Us, America!

Living in a foreign country is a lot like marriage. You enter with high expectations. You go through a honeymoon period when everything is magical. Then you begin to notice the little adorable differences. At first you embrace them, proud to be so tolerant, until you realize they are neither little nor adorable, at which point you either figure it out or you pack up and go back to your parents. Twelve years (and one divorce) later, I am still here. This was the first year I forgot my anniversary with America. Real marriage, I hear you say. ...more

The Misconception of Spanking

I am not a NFL fan. I don't watch football. I am European. But the recent headlines of domestic violence hit home nevertheless. First, Ray Rice's contract was terminated as a result of him punching his fiancee unconscious (or should I say the public outcry over the video led to his termination). Then Adrian Peterson was indicted on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child....more