How to “4th of July” with Littles

I remember as a kid we had a crazy dog.  The 4th of July was always disaster with him.  Whatever happened to him before he became ours, I’ll never know.    We lived about 5 miles from the fireworks, at the time.  There were years when we left him in the yard while we drove […]

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Beneath “Fine”

“Fine!  I’m fine.  Everything’s fine.”  I shrugged at my husband.  He held a curious glance at me that weeknight while I shoved another load of laundry into the dryer.  Just then, an angry shriek from the girls’ room pierced the house like the ring in a bull’s nose.  I froze mid-load, back bowed, and braced […]

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The Lullaby of Willows

Lately I’ve been distracted. Pulled at.  Parched. The tiny portions I try to put back into my own tank have in no way made up for the amount that’s been spilled out. The now hollowed-out spaces I am trying to fill on my own end up filled only with impatience, and worry, and fear, and with […]

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Running Hot

I was about 10 years old, I think. And I was in the backseat of our car, as it was flying down a country road in the middle of the night. Everything outside my window was pitch black, except for the beam of the headlights illuminating the yellow road reflectors as they whizzed up to […]

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Threadbare Busy

Last night the boys scrambled up into my bed at the end of a long day. Tired mommy limbs were smooshed and smashed by precious little boys wrestling about, pillow fighting and blankie snuggling. They pressed stuffy noses against mommy’s cheek and whispered wishes for bedtime stories. Just as the boys were nearly over their […]

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The Empty Plate

“All done!” Babesie shouts as she scoots away from the table and off on her own mission. Her little brother is quick to follow, leaving behind almost full plates of food. My kids never eat the balanced dinners I cook: choosing instead to go after the pantryful of snacks. It’s a battle I continually lose, […]

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Outside Relief: Terribly Small

“What is it about a grassy hill in the wind that both fills and empties our minds?” I’m not sure.  That’s why I’m asking you. My oldest daughter and I pulled into the gravel parking lot one Saturday afternoon.  It was one of my favorite open space preserves, as it was nothing but mountains.  After […]

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The Gospel of Motherhood

She sat rocking her tiny infant – her third child in four years – to sleep in the carrier with her foot.  She sat silently looking at her hands while the rest of us gabbed about ourselves.  Then, one of our group asked her, “How is life for you now as a mom of three?” […]

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Mothers: Isolated, Together

She leaned a hip against the kitchen counter while I pulled pieces of smoked turkey meat from the bone, dropping them into the simmering pot beside me. “I feel like I don’t have any time to stop and talk to anybody.” She confided.  “Between nursing school, work, and driving my daughter to school and to […]

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