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Wendy Fontaine
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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

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

(139) 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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Why Mitt Can't Blame Us Single Parents for Gun Violence

(2647) Comments | Posted October 17, 2012 | 9:35 AM

I was annoyed during most of last night's presidential debate, but when Mitt Romney insinuated that single-parent families are to blame for gun violence in America, my blood pressure shot through the roof.

I'm a single mother. A proud one. And Romney's remarks are ignorant, insulting and based on stereotypes...

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A Letter to My Daughter on Her 6th Birthday

(2) Comments | Posted September 20, 2012 | 4:14 PM

When you wake up tomorrow, you'll be 6 years old. You've been waiting for this day for months -- marking the calendar, counting the weeks, writing and rewriting your wish list.

In the morning, I'll make your favorite breakfast: Banana mini-muffins and strawberry milk. There will be a birthday...

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We Get What We Give

(1) Comments | Posted August 17, 2012 | 3:40 PM

His name is Lincoln the Lion, in honor of the mascot at my daughter's elementary school. We bought him last year at the zoo, where Angie and I went to celebrate her first week of kindergarten. Full of school pride, she spotted him right away, tethered to a gift shop...

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My Daughter Thinks I Hate Her

(6) Comments | Posted July 19, 2012 | 5:12 PM

2012-07-19-guilttrip.jpg

This is the note my 5-year-old daughter, Angela, wrote and slipped under my bedroom door, where I had sequestered myself from her sassy, surly complaints on a day when she was being particularly difficult.

I ignored her and her note, so she knocked on...

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My 5-Year-Old Gets It, Why Doesn't Congress?

(325) Comments | Posted June 6, 2012 | 4:07 PM

She must have noticed the frown on my face. Or maybe she could tell by the way I shook my head that I was frustrated.

Disgusted, really.

"What's wrong, mama?" my 5-year-old asked in the middle of dinner Tuesday night. "Is the news saying something bad?"

I put down my...

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The Day a Plane Crashed on Our Street

(1) Comments | Posted May 29, 2012 | 11:12 AM

It is a house like any other on our street. Small and neat, with a few tidy shrubs in the yard and a row of potted plants on the front steps. Palm trees overhead and green grass underfoot. The only sign that disaster occurred there is a patch of flattened...

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