Jan Wilberg

Jan Wilberg
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
April 18
I write about being a mother and grandmother, adoption and kids, getting older and the wonderment that brings. My husband says I'm 'sardonic' but then looked up the word and said 'not so much'. I leave it there.


AUGUST 22, 2013 6:40PM

I Liked Saying Goodbye

There's something wrong with me. That's been clear for a long time.

I love my kids but when it was time for them to go, it was time for them to go. Goodbye.

The days that we took two out of our four kids to college were possibly the best… Read full post »

AUGUST 21, 2013 1:58PM

The Mother My Daughter Is

I like to say I knew her when.

I knew her when her bangs were cut straight across with sewing scissors because the idea of spending real money on a haircut for a kid seemed outlandish to me.

I knew her when she would dangle upside down from a metal bar… Read full post »

AUGUST 17, 2013 11:02AM

Everyone's in Love with Detroit

Everyone's in love with Detroit. Why is that? It's the Bangladesh of 2013. Where's George Harrison when we need him?

To talk about Detroit, one has to first offer evidence of street cred. I never lived in Detroit, I lived in Southfield, what was then a white working class suburb and… Read full post »

AUGUST 16, 2013 12:43AM

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Has anyone studied the science of missing somebody? Is there research on what makes people miss somebody more or less?

Did the people left behind in the Old World feel better when they got a letter after twenty years of wondering how their ambitious relative was doing in the New World… Read full post »

AUGUST 14, 2013 2:46PM

Stop Me from Making a Big Mistake

The other night as we were getting ready to go a small town race track to watch car racing and hang with the families in their matching John Deere baseball caps, my husband put on a pair of shorts which double as swimming trunks. I stopped getting dressed and looked at… Read full post »

AUGUST 12, 2013 10:51PM

Changing the Story

The power of the narrative is incredible. If a story is told often enough, it becomes what people believe. It becomes the truth. It serves as the truth until a new truth emerges but even then most people are resistant to the revision of history, their own or others.

"No,… Read full post »

AUGUST 12, 2013 1:32AM

Faerie Truth

Tonight's episode of True Blood, besides having an exceptional amount of incredible gore, featured a touching funeral scene. In the scene, Sookie Stackhouse, who is a central figure in the world of True Blood, a normal person who can read minds and is a faerie, which she has only recently come… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 9, 2013 2:32PM

It Keeps Oprah Grounded

It seems that Oprah was racially profiled. A Swiss store clerk took a look at the incredibly rich Oprah and decided she couldn't possibly afford the $38,000 purse sitting on a high shelf. Not worth the trouble of finding the stepstool and getting it down.  The clerk waved Oprah and her… Read full post »

AUGUST 8, 2013 6:42PM


What was it the guy in the adoption workshop said? When all else fails, order a pizza? Cute. Who was he dealing with? Five year olds?

Jennifer folded up the dish towel and put it on the stack on the counter next to the microwave. Maybe ordering a pizza would change… Read full post »

AUGUST 6, 2013 7:32PM

Really Cold, Really Cold Ice Water

On the way to the park, I started the self-talk. The periodic self-pity I feel about my progressive hearing loss was flaring up so it was time to do the talk.

The talk: You have to play the hand you were dealt. There are many worse things that people deal… Read full post »

AUGUST 6, 2013 12:27AM

Grow Where You're Planted

The Kindle is the crack of the timid, I'm convinced. I am so in love with the thrill of the transaction; first, seeing the beautiful book cover in vivid color, then clicking on the Buy Now button, and then having the book lined up with all the others, each showing exactly… Read full post »

AUGUST 4, 2013 9:12PM

Don't Worry: The Teeth Aren't Real

The fundamental difference between my husband and me on the issue of childrearing comes down to this. Shark Week.

Shark Week and Dog Week, exactly six months apart, are revered times in this house, well, for some people. Dog Week, a week in February that begins with the Westminster Dog Show… Read full post »

AUGUST 3, 2013 10:31PM

Bite Me

 Vampire Doll

Yes, the doll has two little red dots on her neck. This is Marceline, although I just this minute learned her name. She is a vampire doll and for a few weeks she lived in my house, the property of my seven-year old granddaughter, and because I am possibly the… Read full post »

The Vespa came up alongside me yesterday at a busy stoplight. A young woman was driving with a guy sitting behind her. She was short and compact and it was obvious that the Vespa was hers and she was giving him a ride. He had his hands clutching the sides of… Read full post »

AUGUST 1, 2013 8:17PM

The End of Lament

I crossed over today. There's no other way to say it. Like a dying person who sees the bright light, I've stopped the struggle, ended the resistance, faced the truth and found that I am fine with it. All at once and for no reason that I can explain, I am… Read full post »

AUGUST 1, 2013 10:23AM

A Fine Pie

 I'll take pie and ice cream over cake and ice cream any day of the week and here's why.

Pie has more personality and way more power.

I courted my husband with pie. He was getting over a bad break-up and living in a dusty upper flat in a bad… Read full post »

JULY 31, 2013 1:57PM

Missing Her

I am on the hunt for Carefree. I once was best friends with Carefree but I haven't seen her since I was about seven.

You know Carefree. She's the one who's barefoot. She's not worried about being hungry because she's got a peanut butter sandwich and a dollar in her… Read full post »

JULY 29, 2013 6:42PM


"What black eye? I didn't see a black eye." My husband sat in the driver's seat with the map of Colorado spread over the steering wheel. He didn't even look up. His concern right now was finding a way around Rocky Mountain National Park so we would be out of the… Read full post »

JULY 28, 2013 5:34PM

Lying Dogs Both

When Hillary Clinton walked with her daughter and her bad boy husband across the White House lawn to a waiting helicopter that would take them to hide in the woods of Camp David after the preposterous Monica Lewinsky news came out, every woman in America wanted to be in her head.… Read full post »

JULY 22, 2013 6:15PM

Garden of Defeat

I love the hopefulness of gardening but despise the tending.

In a life full of half-hearted attempts to do things that other people do that seem to make them happy, gardening is the worst. It's the exhilaration and the incredible crash that damage me every year. Summer has so many… Read full post »

JULY 20, 2013 9:10PM

Today at the Beach

Today at the beach, I saw something that made me glad and grateful and pretty right with the world.

A young woman, her husband, their little boy, who was maybe three or four years old, and their little white dog on a leash were heading to the shore. To get there,… Read full post »

JULY 19, 2013 5:18PM

Who Owns Baby Veronica?

A South Carolina couple was declared the winner in a long court battle this week and the prize was a human being.

So the human being in this case, her name is Veronica and she's three, will have to pack her bag, give her dad a big smooch on the cheek… Read full post »

JULY 16, 2013 7:36PM


Every day, twice a day, the woman walked north on my street in front of my house. From my second floor office, I could see her on the sidewalk, taking big strides and swinging two plastic bags from the grocery store. She had an intense, purposeful walk as if she saw… Read full post »

JULY 15, 2013 8:26PM


What are the chances that the high school wrestling coach would be a Latino guy who was adopted and raised by Anglo parents?

"I pretty much figured he was adopted when his name didn't match his face," Coach Tony said when he introduced himself to us when we came by to… Read full post »

JULY 14, 2013 10:08PM


When our kids were little, we would come home from work, change into bathing suits, grab two longneck Millers, a slew of juice boxes, and a bag of chips and head down to Lake Michigan for 'cocktail hour.'

We made sure to go after the lifeguards had left lest we get… Read full post »