jen groeber: mama art

4 kids in 3 years: reflections on motherhood, art and life.

Mother’s Day and Happy 16th Birthday

My son turned 16 today. And it is Mother’s Day. The kid who turned me into a mother 16 short years ago just turned 16 today. Can you stand it? … Continue reading

May 15, 2023 · 4 Comments

When the World Falls Apart… Again

When my children were little, like really little, I would go with them to playdates. The parent (usually a mom) and I would sit on the floor together and pour … Continue reading

March 29, 2023 · 3 Comments

My Not-So-Little One Graduates 8th Grade

He’s fifteen now, with his own phone, his own ideas about everything, including how long his hair should be and whether or not his new mismatched sneakers count as dress shoes. He is his own person.

July 11, 2022 · 6 Comments

20 Years of Marriage (and Paddle Boarding)

Happy anniversary to me and mine*. Twenty years of wind and fog, sun and waves. Twenty years of sunset perfection and also, a lost fin.

July 5, 2022 · 9 Comments

My Oldest Turns 14 (and He’s Doing Just Fine)

My oldest boy turns 14 today and he’s not a total shit.* This tells you so much. Like the fact that we sort of curse openly here. I never would … Continue reading

May 14, 2021 · 9 Comments

My Son Turns 12 (A One Year Late Birthday Post)

(My husband and I sat drinking wine late into the night last night watching videos of our kids as toddlers. Because… pandemic. And this video came on of my oldest … Continue reading

May 2, 2020 · 2 Comments

The Choking Silence (Just Breathe)

There’s something about our days now that is familiar. It is heavy in a way and light, too. I know where all the things are but I’m tired of putting … Continue reading

April 15, 2020 · 8 Comments

Learning to Lean Your Sequined Heart Against Another Human

I cried this afternoon at my computer. But not for the reasons I should be crying at my computer, like pandemics and people not being able to get their organ … Continue reading

March 26, 2020 · 27 Comments

48 Is…

Last night we went out to eat at a favorite restaurant with my in-laws, my hubby, and kids. Which seems more like an expected kind of birthday. But the one … Continue reading

February 26, 2019 · 7 Comments

Being Luna Lovegood

I’ve had a bit of a weird jumbly year so far. Not especially bad, but not especially good either. Just last week, one week into the new year, I lost … Continue reading

January 25, 2019 · 3 Comments

Preadolescence. It’s a Thing.

  Oh my god. Preadolescence. It’s a thing. And I knew this thing was coming. I won’t say this day because it’s more than a day it’s a passage, an … Continue reading

January 15, 2019 · 7 Comments

See You In the New Year

It’s not that I haven’t written. I’ve written a lot. In the last few months I’ve reread and rewritten approximately 250 pages. Then I’ve forward written just under 200 more … Continue reading

December 25, 2018 · 3 Comments

Goddamn August, I Say a Little Prayer For You

I’ve been reading about writing; Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, Stephen King’s On Writing, and now Francine Prose’s Reading Like a Writer. It’s a sort of self-imposed syllabus, otherwise called, … Continue reading

August 25, 2018 · 7 Comments

Long Time No Write

Long time no write. Actually, it’s not that I haven’t written in a long time, and certainly it’s not that I haven’t thought the thoughts, it’s just that they’re all … Continue reading

August 11, 2018 · 29 Comments

He Turns Eleven

He is the best of us and the worst of us and so many things I no longer get to write about because while he is still mine, his stories for the most part are not. But it’s all right there now on his own little world stage, the field, classroom or couch, or stretched across his bed.

May 21, 2018 · 23 Comments

Standing at the Edge

We went for a walk today. It had snowed and was cold but my husband had the car and we needed to get out. Like, get out. They’d been ganging … Continue reading

February 23, 2018 · 4 Comments

Women’s March 2018/ (Don’t) Take a Drunk Girl Home

Take a drunk girl home. That’s not a sentiment of mine. I don’t think it’s anything I’ve ever said before today. Take a drunk girl home. But it’s a song. … Continue reading

January 26, 2018 · 4 Comments

I Want More, Impossible to Ignore: On Dolores O’Riordan and Growing Up

It followed me around today as I drove my minivan to school, to the grocery store and CVS, back to school and so on, humming out of every radio and … Continue reading

January 16, 2018 · 9 Comments

I Ran Over My Daughter’s Boot (Who’s Responsible?)

I ran over my daughter’s boot this morning. Thankfully, her foot was not in it. We were two minutes late for school, two minutes for which my oldest son was … Continue reading

January 11, 2018 · 15 Comments

Rabbit, Rabbit, 2018

We got stuck behind the train crossing on the way to school this morning. Of course it happened, because it is the first day back to school for the kids … Continue reading

January 4, 2018 · 9 Comments

We’re Gonna Let It Burn

I cried as I drove along, as the principal described how routine lockdown drills are, how well prepared the kids were. I’m not sure why I cried. It just seemed like so much. So much luck? So much good timing? Or so many guns.

November 16, 2017 · 4 Comments

I’m Learning to Fly (But I Ain’t Got Wings)

“You know which one was my favorite, don’t you?” I asked my husband as we sat side by side last night catching up on Ray Donovan. We’d paused the episode … Continue reading

October 3, 2017 · 14 Comments

An Ode to the Second Day of School

The first day of school is a shitstorm of pain. Is it sunny and hot with a chance of cold rain? Why is it so damn early, every year such … Continue reading

September 8, 2017 · 3 Comments

The Playground Disappeared

The playground suddenly disappeared. This both is and is not a metaphor. We were heading to the library, the place I would take the kids for story hours and sing … Continue reading

July 5, 2017 · 4 Comments

Love is the Tarragon

Tarragon. I had never used tarragon before working in a quaint New England sandwich and bake shop in 1994. I didn’t even know what cilantro tasted like or looked like, … Continue reading

June 20, 2017 · 16 Comments


She manipulates me. I have finished the hour-long process of reading to all four of them together something like Harry Potter or The War That Saved Me and then with … Continue reading

June 5, 2017 · 6 Comments

Birthdays & Wrinkles, Forever

Today a friend on the beach said what I’ve been thinking more and more these days. “You used to be the mom on the beach with the four little kids,” … Continue reading

May 29, 2017 · 5 Comments

The Art of the Lost Hour

We all grow older, grow up, get stinky, lose track of time. We remember, and then we hold tight suddenly, lamenting. There’s nothing to be done about it at all but this, this one hour outside of time, to celebrate, to mourn, to repurpose into something new that we can hang on a wall to remind us of what was.

May 10, 2017 · 6 Comments

We Are All Refugees (Sort of…)

I don’t think I’m telling tales out of school if I state here that my oldest son is a homework kid. On Monday afternoon he sits down with his backpack, … Continue reading

February 3, 2017 · 12 Comments

We the People…

  Midweek last week I had one of those strange moments where two very different things that are deeply related rubbed up against each other. Those are generally my favorite … Continue reading

January 29, 2017 · 14 Comments

The Christmas Card

I have always been buried by the weight of parts of things. It’s the finding the cord to hook up the printer and updating the software to work with the … Continue reading

December 25, 2016 · 4 Comments

A Week in Three Parts (You Don’t Stop When the Pom-Pom Drops)

Part I: Fishbone Leaves Last Saturday I was contemplating my role as a woman and a mother. I was deep in thought about who I am, and what I should be … Continue reading

November 11, 2016 · 5 Comments

The Morning After the Election, Still I Rise

Last night I stayed up as long as I could watching the television coverage of the election results. And then somewhere close to midnight I finally went upstairs to bed. … Continue reading

November 9, 2016 · 12 Comments

On Grief and Farm Stands

I was picking up our share at the local farm today. It’s been a long week with a boil water ban due to a water main break. It was strange … Continue reading

September 30, 2016 · 21 Comments

A Bird in the Hand Comes Back

My son’s teacher is crazy about birds. I know he told me this on the first day of school two weeks ago but it was lost amidst reports of new … Continue reading

September 22, 2016 · 8 Comments

Labor Day Weekend, Where Did it Go?

  Today was the last day of summer, Labor Day weekend, two days away from the start of school. In the morning I headed out alone to the beach with … Continue reading

September 6, 2016 · 6 Comments

Read This: Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy

Just now I was crying. I finished reading a book. It was one of those books that makes you cry not just a chokey voice cry, but a real, honest … Continue reading

September 2, 2016 · 3 Comments

The In-Between

I stepped outside today and it was what we call nether weather. It was neither cool nor warm, windy or calm. It felt like there was no temperature, no sun, the … Continue reading

August 21, 2016 · 4 Comments

The Weightlessness of Water

I could sit underwater and watch my children swim for hours. Well, not hours. I’m no David Blaine. I can only hold my breath for about four times as long … Continue reading

August 5, 2016 · 9 Comments

Still Water, Fourteen Years Married

I woke up to the sound of children this morning*. In fact, we have been waking up to the sound of children for the last week. But the children this … Continue reading

July 15, 2016 · 7 Comments

Last Week of School

  It is their last week of school. And when I’m not feeling overwhelmed at the thought of a recent birthday just passed, or one looming ahead in two weeks, … Continue reading

June 21, 2016 · 7 Comments

Turning Six, Not To Be Missed

My baby is turning six. I know I always say this. My baby is turning four. My baby is turning five. But this time I mean it. My baby is … Continue reading

June 17, 2016 · 15 Comments

Turning Nine and the Football Cake

My son turned nine this weekend and I have absolutely nothing to say about it. I should. I want to say something. But I am in turns fake-preoccupied with something … Continue reading

May 16, 2016 · 18 Comments

We Went to the Ocean

We went to the ocean this weekend. I was resistant. “But we’ll miss three lacrosse games and two birthday parties and a lacrosse practice and an invitation to go to … Continue reading

April 20, 2016 · 20 Comments

My Baby’s First Date

My daughter went on her first date last weekend. They went to the movies. He wore a jacket and a dress shirt. She wore a San Francisco t-shirt from Old … Continue reading

April 12, 2016 · 10 Comments

Let My Love Open the Door

I pulled up in the drop off-line today, and threw the backpacks out the driver’s side window to the waiting teacher. I’ve been working up to this moment for days. … Continue reading

March 31, 2016 · 9 Comments

100 Rejections (and a Few New Posts to Tempt Your Tummy)

Do you remember how I planned to get 100 rejections? Like, by writing more and then sending that writing out into the world, heedless of the likely rejection (and all … Continue reading

March 19, 2016 · 5 Comments

The Birthday Shoes

It’s been a big week. I volunteered to coach U9 girls lacrosse for our town, and I’ve been helping out with the class art projects for the kids’ school auction. … Continue reading

March 8, 2016 · 23 Comments

Happy Jazz Handsy Valentine’s Day

My kids were talking about Valentine’s Day in the back row of the minivan. My five-year-old was beyond excited about the day. They had all been told to wear red, … Continue reading

February 16, 2016 · 14 Comments

What I Remember, There You Are

It begins like this. My alarm goes off and I get out of bed. My husband is already awake, because he is an early bird.  I get out of bed, … Continue reading

January 26, 2016 · 30 Comments

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