Showing posts from November, 2010


He hangs in the door of my office and I can tell from his face that something is wrong. "What is it honey?" "The boys," he hesitates, tries to control his voice, "the boys won't play with me again. They keep  saying that I'm not so good at soccer or basketball." "Well, you aren't so good compared to them. They are bigger and have been playing a lot longer..." I wait for the rest. "And they were making fun of me and said my pants are girl pants. and, and," his face crumples, "one of them even called me a piece of shit." "I'm not so popular here," he manages. "I was more popular in our old neighborhood, I had more friends there. Here, not so much." I lift my arms to him, to this boy, so sweet, and kind, and loving and he crumples his 9 year old body on to my lap like he hasn't done in years. "It's hard honey. I know." I hold him close and kiss his forehead, resi

One Thousand Gifts-Week 55 Thanksgiving

Last year we started a tradition. It's called a Thanksgiving tree and it's very simple. Find a branch, put it in a pot and use rocks or marbles or something to anchor it. Cut leaves out of paper, punch holes, and tie them to the branch with yarn. One leaf for each item we give thanks for. I liked the leaves from last year so much that I saved them, to remember. It's good to remember what we last year gave thanks for. My favorite is the leaf where the Boy scrawled "family", and then drew tiny stick figures of us all, including a tiny balloon floating up for Shiloh .


Some hurts time won't heal. Some words still sting 20 years later. Some wounds still gape open and every word we utter is through teeth clenched with pain. Memory tears them open, over, and over again and all the shame and pain flood in as though it were only yesterday, those words fresh uttered, that cut bleeding fresh blood. It's paralyzing to live with stray thoughts that can deflate and leave us sitting without the strength to carry on in the face of them. We build memorials to our wounds, shrines for the pain, and visit them often, flowers in hand. For if no one else will pity us then we, at least, will. We are crippled, beggars, victims of another's action and shackled to a past we can not forget and carry with us everywhere we walk. We are graceless. We are captive, and captor, keeping ourselves in this miserable prison, fist clenched tightly around the key. "But I don't want to forgive," we wail. "They hurt me they deserve to suffer

One Thousand Gifts-Week 54 Beauty

We live in a beautiful, beautiful place. It's hard to believe that once I hated it here. My first stay of any length in San Diego, fresh from Canada's mountain streams and forests I could see nothing that I liked here in the heat, and the urban sprawl. My eyes, turned in every direction, could only focus on the concrete, the cars, the crowds. I was blind to the beauty that brought so many people here. In much the same way that I was able to lift up my eyes to the hills, to see the beauty that is right in front of me, gratitude allows me to see what has been here all along, I just didn't notice at first. This week I celebrate what is already here, the gifts received, promises kept, and growth I have seen. It is good. The high point. She's doing well considering her fear of heights. The pier after sunset. A catch of kelp. Wetsuits that allow them to enjoy the water longer when it's chilly. These tall children playing in t

3 months

Dear Jellybean, You are 3 months old already. I completely forgot about writing you a monthly letter like I did for Little until this week. It's part of being the 4th child I suppose, your mommy will always be slightly distracted. Sorry about that. But you, you are a joy to have around. Since day one you have been so peaceful and content. Aside from the initial "how rude to shove me out here where it's cold and I have to breath air" cries, your cries were more like experiments than anything else. You would make a little bit of a sound, and then fall quiet and wait to see what happened. If I didn't do anything for you right away you just made another little sound and waited again. I've never seen a baby do that before. You were so content and trusted that someone would come if you needed them. Your big sister loves you and I have to protect you from her love. She kisses and pats and rubs and gets right in your face yelling "hello buddyboy!" S

When friends come to visit...

it's a good time to drop everything else and go exploring. Especially when you live somewhere with such great places to explore. So we went straight from the airport to the beach. We showed them seals and pelicans and cormorants. sea caves, and little hermit crabs in tide pools,  ocean views, and more seals. When the visiting friend is one of my  oldest and dearest, and also one of my favorite walking buddies we will take another day and go for a hike in a nature reserve. Sandstone cliffs, and then to the beach again, this time to get wet. Jellybean is growing. We got to show her little girl the ocean for the first time. look at that face! She cried when it was time to leave. Then we watched the sunset. And to top off the day we visited one of California's oldest and best burger joints, and I let the kids share a milkshake. We are having so much fun, and there is a lot of catching up going on around here. It's been a wonderfu


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