The fine for keeping your kid home from kindergarten in New York State is $10. I know this because I looked it up.

To be completely honest, $10, or even the worst-case scenario of 10 days of jail time, seems like a reasonable trade to keep my first baby a baby for just a little bit longer.

I’ve lost sleep over kindergarten. I’ve stress eaten over kindergarten. I’ve completely zoned out at traffic lights until I was snapped back together by honks over kindergarten. …

I wonder about her eyebrows.

I wonder if they looked like mine, disheveled and uneven. I wonder if one of them would have grown upward at the edge, imperfectly perfect and matching to me.

Or if they would have been thick like her father’s, dark as night and fighting so hard to meet in the middle of her face.

I don’t think about what her eyes looked like often, or the shape of her mouth. But I wonder about her eyebrows.

I look at her sisters’ faces and I wonder about her eyebrows. Were they similar to theirs? …

When the Boogeyman enters your house, he doesn’t ring the doorbell. He sneaks in through the thick darkness of night when you’re peacefully sleeping and basking in innocent naivety.

When the Boogeyman enters your house, you don’t believe he could really be there. You’ve taken the precautions, the measures to make sure he doesn’t get in. You’ve washed extra, worn a mask, avoided friends. You’ve done everything to avoid him. It’s not really him. No way.

When the Boogeyman enters your house, he waits to let you know he’s actually there, how long he’s been there, how long he plans…

This isn’t my real journal. You didn’t really think I’d let you see it, did you?

Sometimes I daydream about disappearing. Not in a harmful way. Just a “The Leftovers”-esque fade to air particles type of way.

It’s something I’ve been daydreaming about since I was a kid and used to tell no one but my journal. I would “run away” to my parents’ side porch, hide under a pile of heavy blankets and challenge myself to stay there for as long as I possibly could. Long enough to see their reaction, to feel like it mattered that I was gone without really being gone at all.

I’ve been daydreaming about disappearing more and more lately…

It’s not often I find myself at a loss for words. They have a tendency to spew from my mouth sometimes before I’ve fully thought them out and flow from my fingertips faster than my autocorrect can catch. But this morning, I reached the middle of a sentence, the intro to an email, and I was stumped.

I was looking for a phrase that was sort of like, “in these tough times,” and then I caught myself. Are these “times” still tough or has the difficulty of the times worn off? Scratch that. Maybe, “through these unusual circumstances?” No, that’s…

When my daughter was born in 2016, I created an email account for her. I remember seeing the idea on Pinterest and thinking it would be great to hand her over the password to the account when she turned 18 only for her to log in and find a wealth of notes from me, her dad and her other family members. I don’t know about her dad or her other family members, but I know I’ve probably written to her twice in almost four years! I still think it was a great idea, I’ve just barely had the time. But…

They said it would be an adjustment for you, but they didn’t say I’d break your heart over and over again every single day.

Sure, it’s temporary. Your requests, at times, unreasonable. But no one’s ever told you “no” or “give me a second” or “I can’t right now” as much as you’ve heard from me and your dad over the past few weeks.

We did this for you—well, we did this for us. You were getting to an age where we started to notice your entitlement swelling as the lone little one of the household. You came home talking…

Sometimes I feel like an old person trapped in a young person’s body. Alternatively, there are times when I’m driving with the windows down listening to Cardi B at full volume through my neighborhood that I feel like a young person trapped in a going-grey, wrinkly-under-eyed person’s body.

Like every 30-something parent, I spend a lot of time on my phone and even more time feeling guilty about the time I spend on my phone. The features I gravitate to are also the ones that haunt me most, but none more haunting than my camera roll.

A real-life photo from my camera roll. Depressing, right? Credit: Ariana Sheehan

This gallery, a collection…

A vivid memory has been haunting me lately day and night.

The memory is from not so long ago, about a year-and-a-half. It was a sunny, blue-sky day and I brought my toddler to the playground alone. She was old enough to walk, but I remember she was still a little wobbly, her balance not quite perfected.

The playground was busy, booming with the sounds of kids laughing and shrieking, parents yelling, dogs barking. It was one of the first real nice-weather days and everyone came out to play. And so we played, my daughter asking to be pushed on…

It’s always smartphone-o-clock. Credit: Ariana Sheehan

This excerpt was originally published on my graduate studies site in which I’m exploring concepts of interactive media, social media and smartphone use. That’s right, on top of a full-time job and being a toddler mom, I’m in school too. Enjoy!

It’s hard to say whether the smartphone’s introduction nearly 26 years ago was a positive or negative for society as we know it. Obsession and addiction to our devices has crumbled relationships, inhibited our learning ability and, in some cases, presented real danger to our health.

For all of the convenience of having these magic machines in our palms…

Ariana Sheehan

I like to write for fun, but mostly for sanity. By day I'm a Senior Digital Strategist. By night I'm a non-laundry-folding mom.

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