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Wendy Fontaine
Wendy M. Fontaine is a writer, editor and mother in Los Angeles. She holds a masters degree in creative writing from Antioch University. A former newspaper reporter, her work has appeared in many newspapers, as well as Brain, Child Magazine, Grace Magazine for Women, Role/Reboot and Utne Reader.

Entries by Wendy Fontaine

At Our House, Swearing Is Not a Big F*ckng Deal

(29) Comments | Posted March 11, 2016 | 3:27 PM

For the third time in a month, my daughter's fourth grade teacher has written on the class website about students' unruly behavior and inappropriate language. It seems the children are so preoccupied with an abundance of newly discovered curse words that they aren't sitting still, paying attention to lessons or...

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The Ghosts of Christmases Past

(1) Comments | Posted December 15, 2015 | 1:11 PM

I see her there, standing in that New Jersey kitchen, watching her 2-year-old daughter play with toy dishes and fake food on the hardwood floor, the edges of plastic plates and cups clinking like the notes of a song that drifts in the furthest corners of memory.

In an instant,...

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What I Learned From a Town Threatened by Lava

(25) Comments | Posted January 5, 2015 | 10:30 AM

I just spent 10 days vacationing in a community whose existence is threatened by a slow-moving wave of hot molten rock, and ever since I got home, I haven't been able to stop thinking about tiny Pahoa.

There's more to this town than you might think.

For our first...

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Why Gratitude Is Stronger Than Fear

(7) Comments | Posted November 19, 2014 | 6:34 PM

There's a certain moment on my way to work, about 20 minutes from home, where one freeway merges with another, when something inside me snaps like a giant rubber band. My heart beats faster. My chest grows tight. My skin feels electric.

Right there, in the middle of six lanes...

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Letter to My Younger Self

(2) Comments | Posted October 17, 2014 | 4:04 PM

Oct. 17, 2010

Dear Wendy,

I'm going to tell you the one thing you can't seem to tell yourself. For months now, you've been wondering what to do. Your mind changes daily, even hourly. You go to bed with your mind made up, only to wake up again confused. It's...

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When the Pieces Came Together

(0) Comments | Posted August 4, 2014 | 6:33 PM

On a cool Sunday evening, my daughter, Angie, and I were knuckles-deep into a jigsaw puzzle at the kitchen table under a lamp that cast long shadows of our busy fingers across the jumbled pieces. Wearing our pajamas, with hair still damp from a shared bath, we pored over the...

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40 Dinge, die ich mit 20 noch nicht konnte, aber dafür jetzt mit 40

(1) Comments | Posted January 14, 2014 | 8:42 AM

Es kommt mir vor wie gestern, dass ich meinen 20. Geburtstag mit einer Schokotorte, Wodka-Wackelpudding und meinen fünf Mitbewohnern feierte. Wir lagen uns fast ständig in den Haaren und stritten über Dinge, die uns damals wohl furchtbar wichtig waren, heute aber niemanden mehr interessieren: wer wessen Spaghetti gegessen hat, wer...

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40 Things I Can Do at 40 That I Couldn't Do When I Was 20

(138) Comments | Posted January 3, 2014 | 2:31 PM

It seems like just yesterday I turned 20, celebrating with a double-layer chocolate cake, some vodka-laced Jello shots and my five college roommates. We fought almost constantly back then, about stupid things that meant the world in those days but would hardly matter to any of us now: who ate...

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Instead of Blaming Single Moms, Try Looking in the Mirror

(5) Comments | Posted October 8, 2013 | 3:35 PM

I taught a journalism class today. For almost two hours, my students and I talked about the importance of voice and perspective in column writing, and discussed how the digital era has so widened the literary platform that now almost anyone can be a published writer.

My students understand...

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Lessons From a Kidney Stone

(4) Comments | Posted September 30, 2013 | 2:51 PM

I thought it was the vegan pizza.

But how could something so good make me feel so bad? I lay in bed an entire Sunday, feeling nauseous, dizzy and guilty for not being more attentive to my 6-year-old daughter. "Angie, mommy doesn't feel good," I told her. "Let's have a...

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What Not to Say to a Single Mom

(422) Comments | Posted September 5, 2013 | 11:57 AM

My 6-year-old daughter, Angela, has always been good at making friends at the playground. She meets kids her age at the swings or on the slide, says hello, and almost immediately asks, "Hey, you wannabe friends?" A few seconds later, they are in the sandbox, digging and chatting like long-lost...

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Fear and Loathing in Texas

(14) Comments | Posted June 28, 2013 | 1:04 PM

There is a lot of hypocrisy in politics. That's not exactly a news flash. We've all read stories about politicians who tout their family values only to end up getting arrested for beating their wives. We've all watched candidates preach about reforming the economy while investing their own money in...

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The Definition of 'Dad'

(27) Comments | Posted June 15, 2013 | 1:31 PM

My daughter, Angie, spent the last few weeks of first grade learning a Native American language of pictures and symbols that tribal members scrawled on cave walls and animal hides many years ago to tell their stories. One evening before bed, Angie showed me how the symbols worked and how...

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Single Mom, Superhero

(12) Comments | Posted May 20, 2013 | 1:39 PM

Angie and I were playing hide-and-seek at the playground on a Wednesday afternoon when three helicopters starting circling overhead, a sure sign of trouble in our neck of northern Los Angeles.

One of the dads at the playground had the inside scoop: police were searching for two armed robbers...

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'Don't Lick Your Shoe' and Other Sage Advice

(16) Comments | Posted March 2, 2013 | 12:25 PM

Last night, my daughter, Angie, wanted to retrieve a giant inflatable dolphin from the top shelf of her bedroom closet. Because she's 6 years old and fiercely independent, she fashioned a chain out of plastic clothes hangers and decided to scale the side of her closet, like something out of...

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Getting Out From Under the Gun

(38) Comments | Posted January 15, 2013 | 6:13 PM

Like most Americans, I've spent the last few years reading stories about mass shootings in one part of the country or another, each more horrific than the last. Virginia Tech, Fort Hood, Tucson, Aurora. After every one of them, I thought we, as a country, had reached a tipping point,...

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Parenting Is Not About Being Equipped

(41) Comments | Posted January 15, 2013 | 3:00 AM

Over the weekend, I stumbled upon an online conversation about whether boys are underperforming in school because single mothers are unequipped to raise them.

As a single mother myself, I am intrigued by anything that pins a certain problem to a parent's marital status, and this discussion was...

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Consider the Messenger

(12) Comments | Posted December 23, 2012 | 10:27 AM

So the National Rifle Association's answer to our problem with gun violence is to get more guns. Did you expect the NRA to say something else?

I did, though I'm not sure why. The NRA is a massive lobbying organization that promotes gun ownership. Lobbyists are salesmen. They advocate for...

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The Things You Almost Didn't Do

(1) Comments | Posted December 17, 2012 | 12:00 PM

My daughter was 5 years old when she performed in her first play -- not the kind of production kids put on when company comes over, but the real deal, with lights, costumes, makeup and props. And because it was scheduled for the week of Halloween, the show included spooky...

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I Can't Tell Her

(0) Comments | Posted December 17, 2012 | 12:08 AM

My daughter will not see news coverage of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. She will not hear it on the radio, see it on the Internet, or catch any conversation about it in our home. The television has been off since Friday morning,...

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