January 2012

Just Write {20}

January 30, 2012

I stood up in the balcony and watched my boys below, in the gym with all the other kids. I held Elsie on my hip and she watched with me. Miles was way off to the side, away from the other kids and I couldn’t see Asher. My heart dropped to my toes because Miles is always nervous in new places and around other people. He bites his nails like it’s his job and he stands alone while everyone else does what Simon Says. Then Asher came out of nowhere and Miles’ hands dropped to his sides and they moved closer to the other kids, together. They laughed and bounced and started running around when the game ended, Asher yelling, I’m chasing my bra-wer!! (brother) My heart lifted back up. The man who was trying to keep control asked the kids to sit in a circle. They were loud and everywhere. Miles sat down, […]

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turn me up when you feel low

January 27, 2012

I was talking to my friend Ann and she described the boost we get from creativity and connecting as a spiritual airlift and I was all, YES. That’s the best thing to say and yes. Then one night I was mixing baby cereal and Elsie didn’t think I was doing it fast enough, and with her teething fuss fussing she was MAD. So while I stirred I started lip-syncing and dancing to the music that was playing in the kitchen. She stopped crying and started watching, wide-eyed and smiling. I said to myself, Ellie would love this, because I think about Ellie and her struggle with cancer all the time. I think about how she’s too far away. And I know how much she loves it when I do weird things, so I knew that if she was there in the kitchen, she’d be dancing and laughing with us. Ellie and Elsie have […]

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Dear Single Mothers,

January 26, 2012

How do you do this? I am on week three of four of solo parenting. I’ve hit that wall in which I can still kind of handle it but I can’t handle the waffle getting stuck in the toaster. Right now the teething sleep deprivation is so severe I’m not sure at all ever what I’m doing exactly. Just getting him to school and then him to school and feeding and wiping and trying. Then I want to throw the toaster and I follow that I’m losing it feeling with guilt of course because look…     Just LOOK at what I have…     They are sooooo…   THEM, you know?     When I am solo, we all move down the totem pole, so to speak. No time for all of our needs or for the family utopia in my head to even come close to existing and I suppose this […]

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Just Write {19}

January 23, 2012

It’s a coffee shop made from an old house with hidden nooks and rooms. It’s cold up here in the middle room. I can hear a boy and his mother in the next space. The walls are thin and I am always tuned into a child’s voice. It’s becoming more and more obvious that they don’t just struggle here but everywhere. The mother’s voice is well-versed in soothing responses, trying to calm the boy who cannot leave the rigid confines of his concrete mind. She is kind and she sighs when he repeats over and over and over that she sucks because she won’t take him home right this second for video games. He’s loud. Louder and louder as he repeats and repeats and does not get the answer that is the only one he wants. Someone comes to close the door from another room and awkwardly explains why she’s closing the door. It’s […]

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your hard is hard

January 22, 2012

(originally shared Jan. 2012) (I thought you  might need the reminder. Or maybe you’re a new mom of one or someone who didn’t read this the first time. I hope it helps.) Before Asher and Elsie Jane came along, I was out with some friends and I was venting about a hard day with Miles. I was surrounded by mothers with more than one child and they rolled their eyes and sighed and looked at each other and started laughing. One of them said something to the other like, Do you even remember the last time you ever showered alone? Their reaction hurt a lot, as unintentional as that may have been. I got a message–they had it harder than I did–and in that moment I felt foolish for feeling tired or maybe even for having feelings. Today, just like that day around five years ago, two more kiddos later, I am exceptionally tired.  Is it […]

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730 times

January 20, 2012

It’s been 2 years. 2 years 365 days plus 365 days or 24 hours strung together 730 times. I suppose I could go on with all kinds of numbers, but I’m terrible at math and the day must go on. That’s what they do, you know. The days go on, sometimes walking and sometimes running and sometimes marching. Oh the ones that march, they are the stompy and defiant ones, annoying and hard but entirely necessary. This morning I woke up to Elsie Talk, crackling at me over the monitor.  I went to get her and nursed her in bed and when she was done she looked up at me and made the silliest face you’ve ever seen. Then Miles came in and sniffed her head and sniffed her head some more. It’s his favorite thing to do. We got up, we three early risers and I made coffee and thought my thinks […]

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Just Write {18}

January 16, 2012

I came across this: No one else will ever know the strength of my love for you. After all, you’re the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside. ba boom ba boom ba boom… I guess I’d change that to, you’re one of the only ones who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside. Since there are three children that have been there. Putting it that way makes three sound like not very many at all. Just three people, the only ones who will ever know my heart this way. Only three, on all the planet in all my days. So I have three to think of, as I sit here and listen to their sounds all around me. The boys discussing a made-up game of cars that race in just this way and in just this time. And Elsie rolling around me in her little baby walker, […]

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they battle

January 13, 2012

I am a dreamer stuck in a realist’s body and sometimes I’m a realist stuck in a dreamer’s body. It just depends on the day. Either side gets really enormous and frustrates the other side. My dreamer self is lately crushed under the weight of the real life daily grind. My realist self is fine with it, content even, and then the dreamer swims to the surface and begs for adventure while she also knows that adventure is right here, every day. I mean, life is never dull. When I hear of people on Grand Adventures, selling off everything they own and traveling with their family in an RV, or moving to Haiti to help or moving across country or adopting, taking a risk, I come alive inside. The dreamer starts banging on my chest. Then the realist grabs the dreamer’s fists and holds them to stop and shakes her head and says […]

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Just Write {17}

January 9, 2012

I talked to myself today, as I cleaned up the kitchen. I forced myself to think of good things and I told myself that I’m a good mother. It felt weird. Maybe it shouldn’t feel weird, but apparently I’m much better at self-deprecation than cheering myself on. Sometimes when someone says Oh hi, how are you? I want to say something like, All twisted up inside! I want to say it with gusto, like how we say Fine! Or Great! Being all twisted up inside is just the truth and it’s not always bad. Sometimes it just means I’m a bundle of all different emotions, many of them good. We don’t say these things though, so I don’t. I was at the grocery store today and I was standing in front of the cheese. I don’t know how long I stood there but somehow it became a very difficult decision, choosing cheese. I’m […]

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You have lashes that go on and on with those always surprised eyebrows. You have less and less hair than the day you were born which seems a little unfair, a balding little girl. Of course at seven months old today, you do not mind at all.You are otherwise occupied with trying to sit up without falling over and learning how to belly crawl across the hardwoods. You don’t like to do your own thing for long. You mostly fight the exersaucer or walker unless your brothers are hopping and dancing and running around you, very close to entertain you. You love to be held and you grab on like a koala, long arms and legs wrapped tight to waist and neck.   Sometimes I just say right out loud, I have a daughter because I will always be surprised by it. Like your eyes with their eyebrows, full of wonder and delight. […]

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Just Write {16}

January 3, 2012

I don’t very often resolve to do things for the new year. I try to find the resolve every day and fail and triumph and triumph and fail. The time does fly but sometimes I wonder if that’s just because we forget so quickly so it just seems like it when really a lot of the time it’s kind of slow. Either way, there is the illusion of fast and so fast it is. I was writing the numbers on the wipe off calendar in the little squares inside the bigger squares and it felt like I just did this, writing July and then October and now it’s a new year. I am writing those little numbers so often. Almost every time I have to try hard to remember how many days are in the month. The months fly by forgotten and it still says “Get Asher left-handed kid scissors” at the top […]

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