“Let’s just stay here all night and sing every song. “ — Peter Allen

Photo of author and author’s fridge, by author.

Thank you for dropping in! My name is Maria and I’m 36 years old. I’ve been writing on Medium since March 2021 but have been a reader for a couple of years.

When I’m not writing on Medium or home with my family, I’m either working with adults with intellectual disabilities, swimming, listening to The Tim Ferriss Show, playing the piano or ukulele, or singing along to songs in my 2007 Corolla like I’m auditioning for The Voice.

Some Background

Thank you for stopping by my page. My name is Maria and I’m a social worker working with aging adults to help them live their best lives. I’m also a wife and mother, a lover of swimming and the Beach Boys, and an aspirational knitter/crocheter (I can start projects but I can’t finish them).

My Publication

Wise Blood: Uplifting stories about the encounters that change us. I just started this publication! Please get in touch (maria.fs.medium at gmail) if you’d like to be a writer. I’d be honored to have you.

Most Popular Posts

I, Too, Miss the Bodies of Strangers

I Chose a Downsized…

After 1943, many Italian POWs on US soil received special privileges

German POWs board a train in Boston. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

In the summer of 1943, the people of Italy overthrew their leader, Benito Mussolini, and with him 21 years of Fascist rule in Italy. That September, the Italians signed an armistice with the Allied forces. Their new leader, Marshal Pietro Badoglio, declared that all Italian Prisoners of War (POWs) should help the Allied cause.

World War II was far from over, but the U.S. military suddenly found itself with 50,000 potential new recruits. Italians, thanks to the armistice, were no longer Prisoners of War but “co-belligerents.” This meant they could now assist with any aspect of the war effort short…

Can we show basic respect without making it a huge deal?

Photo by Mariah Solomon on Unsplash

My dad doesn’t drink and it’s not a big deal. He doesn’t care if there’s drinking around him. He’s comfortable going to restaurants with friends although likely would have no reason to sit at a bar. He still enjoys his nightcaps, though. When I brought my now-husband over to meet my parents for the first time, he chatted with us in his pajamas while topping off a bottle of Propel with a can of Coke.

But since I grew up with this reality — mom with Chianti, dad with Clamato (yes, that’s clam and tomato juice)— I’m always aware that…

I just took an online quiz that says it can help me live longer.

Photo by Nick Karvounis on Unsplash

You may have heard of the book, “The Blue Zones: 9 lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest.” The “Blue Zones” are geographic regions of the world where the most people exceed average life expectancy. Researchers studied these societies and found the nutritional and lifestyle practices they have in common.

The Blue Zones is now an organization with the mission to help people live longer, healthier lives by incorporating more of these practices into their daily life. The quiz I took on their website asked me about my nutrition, exercise, relationships, and other lifestyle questions. …

Yesterday was the Big Day. I went to the hospital and, with a full bladder, had a speculum and catheter inserted into me. It was not nearly as bad as I expected as long as I conquered the mind game and focused on the miraculousness of the whole thing.

Two of our embryos are now inside my uterus, and I’ll just have to wait 10 more days until my first pregnancy test. I think this period of waiting is really difficult for women who’ve tried for pregnancy before without success. This is my first attempt so that’s probably why I…

Confessions of an Imitation Mom

Photo by Ksenia Makagonova on Unsplash

“He sure looks a lot like you, Mom,” said the church lady. “A lot like you.”

Imposter syndrome follows me everywhere. The Velveteen Rabbit and I have that in common. But who wouldn’t feel like a faker, showing up to church with my boyfriend and his brown-haired, brown-eyed toddler, passing for a Real Mom?

I smiled and kept moving down the aisle. I needed to escape before this went any further. What if she started asking me questions about him, his development, or his favorite foods? Normal questions for normal moms. Not me. I squirmed and pivoted whenever these situations…

What to expect when you’re expecting to expect

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Before I met my fertility doctor, my biological clock was my private menace. Nobody else got it.

“You have plenty of time!”

“You’re so healthy!”

“It’ll all work out! “

Enter Dr. S: “We should have done this last year but oh, well, here we are. Let’s not wait any longer.” (Shows me a fertility/age graph that falls off The Cliff of Lost Chances after age 35.)

You’d think I would have been offended, but I was relieved. At 35, my Flava Flav-sized biological clock loomed ever larger. I needed somebody to be as stressed about it as I was…

There’s no time like ‘not a good time for this’

Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

30 articles in 30 days submitted to 30 different publications.

I saw this challenge when I first started writing on Medium less than two months ago. The idea of it inspired me to try to write, if not publish, every day. But also to publish quite a bit. I’ve had fun with it so far. Some days I have a heavy story I want to unburden, maybe even a story that is so deep I have some hesitation and trepidation with starting it. …

Not that anybody asked

(Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash)

Victoria Leigh Soto was an eighth-grader in Stratford, Connecticut on April 20, 1999, when two students opened fire on their Colorado high school classmates, murdering 12 students and a teacher. Five miles away from Vicki, I was a freshman in high school.

In 2004, Vicki Soto graduated from Stratford High School. She went on to get a bachelor’s degree in both education and history from Eastern Connecticut State University and became an elementary school teacher. Vicki was 27 years old when on December 14, 2012, another gunman opened fire, this time in her own classroom, killing her with her first-grade…

Maria FS

Social worker, mother, chronic Whole 30-er. I write about work, life, memories, and of course COVID.

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