Author Archives: Dawn McMullan

About Dawn McMullan

Dawn McMullan is a freelance writer/editor in Dallas, Texas. Her two sons are now 21 and 24, Sawyer in college and Noah starting his post-college career, and both interrupted empty nesting during the pandemic. Dawn helps run a non-profit in Eastern Congo and is senior editor at the International News Media Association.

Was Thanksgiving 2020 just a year ago?

When I look back at photos from last November, it almost looks like a movie I watched. One I know I’ve seen but I can’t remember the details (my husband will tell you this is a common occurrence). Then someone … Continue reading

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The empty chairs at Thanksgiving

The last time my mom was with us for Thanksgiving, in 2015, these things were true: • Noah was home for the first time since starting college in Brooklyn. (Now he’s a 24-year-old college graduate with his own business.) • … Continue reading

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I’m sorry with a side of tacos

I’ve had many battles with my kids in our 24 and 21 years together. Two stand out, probably because there is photographic evidence. In the fall of 2010, we went to Austin to see Clyde’s alma mater (the Texas Longhorns) … Continue reading

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Halloween is cancelled this year

My husband and I are traveling to California this week. He’s coming back Saturday, the Eve of All Hallows’ Eve, but I’m staying until Monday to visit a friend. Our neighborhood is lively with trick-or-treaters so I asked him a … Continue reading

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Continuing Education: Lessons in minding your business from Tabitha Brown

I was having a discussion with my husband recently when it occurred to me, he’s missed a lot. Background: My mother-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer two weeks before Dallas went on COVID lockdown. Within a few months, she was … Continue reading

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5 things about college kids coming home

This is my sixth year of kids coming and going from out-of-state colleges. We are NOT the people whose kids come home at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and summer break. I mean yes, of course, they are home those times. But with … Continue reading

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My son and MIL: the cutest couple I know

Noah has been living with my mother-in-law the past couple of months. He broke up with his girlfriend, spent a few nights here, a few nights at his old place, a night here and there on a friend’s couch, and … Continue reading

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Half birthdays and other WTFN celebrations

Yesterday was Sawyer’s half birthday. 21.5. He got texts from us and a giant s’more “pizza” from the Chocolate Pizza company delivered to his apartment in New Orleans. The origins of the half-birthday celebrations in our home are straightforward: When … Continue reading

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Add hurricanes to the list of things more fun pre-kids

At 10:27 am two weeks ago, Sunday, Aug. 29, I texted one of my oldest friends. She lives in Spain now so I didn’t know if she’d be paying attention to Hurricane Ida making a beeline for my college kid … Continue reading

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Pros and cons of empty nesting, one week in

As I recall, it occurred to me sometime during my oldest son’s middle school years that the days of our living together as a foursome were numbered. I mean if you’d asked me, I would’ve given the sane answer of … Continue reading

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