Showing posts from October, 2010


Sometimes when uncles take nieces to the park they forget important things, like the bag with the hats and sunscreen in them.  However, with just a little bit of ingenuity, those nieces won't get a sunburn after all. Thanks uncle Levi.

9 years old

You drew Obi Wan and General whatshisface fighting on your cake yourself. Dear Boy, May I just begin by saying I really like you right now? I wasn't sure I'd be able to say that not so long ago. What with the hundreds of ear splintering noises you have perfected and the attitude you were trying on for size I was bracing myself to knuckle in and endure until you reached a more pleasant age, like 30. But you have suddenly grown into a much more thoughtful person, almost over night. You just needed to be given something useful to do. I like the way you are so proud of your ability to make meaningful contributions to this little family of ours. I like it when you plot for the future, how you will make money to help the kids in Thailand, how you will drive your little brother around so I don't have to, how you will open a boat shop and build and sell the green land kayak and maybe some other types of kayaks. You will paint a sign to put out front calling it simply &quo

On Leaving

When I was a teenager growing up in a small town in Canada my only thought was to escape. I was going to leave this place behind. I was going to go to exciting places, I was going to accomplish interesting and important things and I was going to show them all that I was special, and different. So I was basically like every other teenager out there in that respect. When I couldn't escape physically I did mentally through books, reinforcing the castles my imagination built of what my life would be. I went some places, did a few things, though not as far as I hoped to. So it was a bonus that the man I married had a hearty dislike of the Canadian cold and loved to travel.  We were going to go places together and do things. With hardly a backward glance I bid my family and friends farewell and left my hometown for good, a visit or two notwithstanding. We've still not been all that far together. But then we had kids, and as they grew so did our desire to have them know a larger

When Emotions are Tyrants.

Her face is still red and splotchy from crying as she calls out cheerily, "Good night Mama. Have a good sleep." It's the only trace left of the seemingly endless crying jag she was indulging in not that long ago and I have to ask. "Are you ok sweetie. Is your heart alright?" "Yeah mama. Why are you asking me?" "Because I can still see your tears on your face and I want to make sure you're ok." In this moment I doubt myself. Was I too harsh? Am I ruining her somehow with my lack of empathy? First she cried because she hadn't gotten to hold her baby brother yet, cried and wailed while I paced with him screaming, exhausted and needing his mama and sleep and I wouldn't give his rigid body over to a 6 year old to let her try and calm him. I told her she was being selfish, thinking only of her wants rather than his needs. I told her to leave the room if she couldn't control herself and rebuffed her attempts cling to me f

One Thousand Gifts-Week 52

It's hard to keep this list going when I'm weary, work is piling up, I feel behind, and situations have me discouraged. It's when I feel like quitting and just hiding in a hole somewhere for a while that I most need to look up and see the gifts all around. So I am trying to do that. Here are a few. ******************* One of my very best friends is coming next month to visit for a week. It's fun to look forward to it. The Girl laughing as Grace sprays her with the garden hose. A quiet afternoon to focus on a specific project. The return of Beema and the aunts and uncles from their month away. A table full of children engrossed in drawing. Pigeons in flight. Quiet, unhurried conversation with the man I married. The girls with heads bent together over a single coloring book page they are coloring together. Noticing again how very good the Boy is at drawing. Jellybean's face when he stands on my lap. Diapers hanging in a row on the clothes


It’s a tricky thing to get it right. Pull it tight Let it slide Keep it consistent Always consistent I help her unravel snarled purple mess again Straighten tangles Lay smooth her twists and turns “Try again, this time don't let go.” Phone rings Another tangle Do I pull her tight? Let it slide? I take a deep breath Keep it consistent Always consistent It's a tricky thing to get it right.

The Mamas and the Papas

I went to a book reading on Saturday. Correction, I READ at a book reading this past Saturday. (That sentence was so much fun to type.) I think I was expecting more of a book store or library sort of reading. You know, the kind with a few chairs arranged at the side and a bunch of people still milling around and talking nearby. Imagine my surprise to find it happening in a theater, with a stage and such. When is the last time you saw a lot of people in an auditorium to listen to someone read out loud? That alone was awesome. The quality of the stuff read however was impressive, and I quickly saw how much of an honor it is to be one of the people included. The selections varied from really stunning sparse poetry to funny essays on being a soccer mom, and then of course there was me spilling my guts out, as I do. I know I already told you about The Mamas and the Papas: On the sublime and heartbreaking art of parenting as the anthology that I contributed to and have a byline in b

One Thousand Gifts-Week 51 Autumn

Still counting... When Aaron came home he brought the Boy Muy Thai boxing shorts glancing outside to see the Boy reading to the girl in the Sukkah the Sukkah folded jumping frogs on paper lily pads a fresh from the bath baby snuggled in a fleece sleeper we made graham cracker sukkahs too  plastic tarp stirring in the wind, the sound comforts, brings back memories of camping in the rain the first rain of autumn Children dancing as the drops come down talk, laughter and time with my big girl an afternoon away I came home to fed bathed and sleeping kids. My husband is awesome! Cup of tea blustery weather kids happily creating stuff together sleeping baby the smell of rain hot soup couch snuggles the boy narrating Winnie the Pooh poetry a good night's sleep the morning wind through my bedroom window smelled like ocean Little yelling triumphantly, "I DID IT!" with every loop while learning to finger knit. Jellybean gr


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