And when she shall die, take her and cut her out in little stars, and she will make the face of heaven so fine that all the world will be in love with night, and pay no worship to the garish sun. William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet And now it’s happened: I’ve lost my mother. Read More
I fall for it every time; I get sucked in as soon as the text buzzes on my cell phone, the email lands in my inbox, and the answering machine picks up the recording (no more need to check the scrolling list of school closings at the bottom of the TV screen): “Due to winter Read More
“Mom, do you have a pencil and paper I can have?” Haley, my 10-year-old asked as we watched the ring-tailed lemurs leap from tree to tree at the San Francisco Zoo. “I need to write something down.” Our vacation this year — part sightseeing, part family reunion — took us on a 5,000-mile adventure that Read More
I don’t want to work
I want to bang on my drum all day
Captain Higgle’s ‘Rainbow Ship’ made its maiden voyage in my living room last weekend. Constructed from an enormous cardboard TV box and every kind of tape known to humankind, Sydney and Haley designed their pirate ship with only a little help from Dad. Sails of giant foam squares attach with duct tape to the handle of a push broom forming the mast. A cut out drawbridge lowers from the helm onto the gangplank engineered from plywood and risers from Mom’s Reebok step.
My girls imagine vivid landscapes when they make believe, acting out stories and fantasies of all sorts. Household items become props as they set the stage for their dramatic improvisation. Haley crawls on her hands and knees, sniffing and licking at two bowls; one of water, the other, cheerios. “I’m a newborn black lab,” she says. Read More
And so lying underneath those stormy skies
She’d say, “oh, ohohohoh I know the sun must set to rise.
“Paradise” by Coldplay
~For Richard, Heidi and Gabriel~
It was Sunday afternoon. The weekend that seemed to stretch out enticingly before me on Friday was, for all intents and purposes, over. I sat on the couch, mindlessly surfing Facebook and playing Angry Birds. I had what we call the ‘Sunday blues;’ that restless dissatisfaction that strikes around 5:00 p.m. along with the realization that my vision of a weekend filled with relaxation and leisure . . . well, it’s just not gonna materialize. This happens frequently. My days get filled with grocery shopping, running kids to activities, projects at home, work issues, and other mundane tasks and my fun gets relegated to Saturday night after the kids go to bed, but by then I’m so beat I pass out halfway through a movie.
I felt a coming shift in the weather foretold by a pounding headache that stormed my skull. Sitting alone I looked out the window at the gathering clouds. Malaise settled in as I thought with a sigh how the girls would be home shortly. I’d have to get up from this couch to start the nighttime routine; wrangle up dinner, corral kids into the shower and herd them to bed. I’d go through Friday folders (Sunday night folders?) and look ahead to everyone’s schedules, gearing up for another busy week.
But that was all before I got the news that my brother-in-law had died. Just 45 minutes earlier, while I was lamenting the end of the weekend, he had taken his last breath and given up the battle he’d waged to the finish. He and my sister were separated, but in the end, their differences didn’t matter. The strife and tension between them healed spontaneously on his journey from this plane to the next. When cancer took over his body, she took him into her home and tended to his dying. In the process she found forgiveness and focused on creating lasting memories for her son, their son. He is seven, my nephew; much too young to lose his father. And his father, much too young to lose his life. Read More
Sister, you been on my mind.
Sister, we’re two of a kind.
Oh, sister, I’m keepin’ my eye on you.
‘Miss Celie’s Blues’ from TheColor Purple.
My little sister thinks I hung the moon. Even though I tortured her when we were young—literally—to this day she affords me hero-worship of which I am entirely undeserving. And when she’s in pain, I still find myself wanting to make everything better though she’s across the country and not in the next room. 2,000 miles separate us now and our visits are too few, too far between. The reunions are bittersweet. Even still, after a few days together well-worn patterns resurface. I can be controlling and bossy. She tends towards flighty and irresponsible. But we have the same nose. And thighs. We laugh at the same jokes. We share memories of times both good and not so good. When we’re together we are children again and neither time nor distance can alter that connection. Sisters; the love/hate bond of this relationship is like no other, making it one of the most sustaining to span a lifetime. Read More
Simple, profound truths come in quiet moments. They descend gently in the warmth of a setting sun. For me, it’s an altered perception, a shift; when time stretches and slows, and epiphanies unfold in brilliant clarity. My daughter, Sydney lives in those moments.
Life moves fast and some say time itself is speeding up. The efficiency of our amazing technological advances allows for rapid, immediate digital interactions but rather than creating more space in our lives, it generates a frenetic, frenzied pace as we move faster and faster, trying to do more and more. As a mom I’ve certainly succumbed to the pressure of technostress. The conveniences intended to make my life easier actually increase the expectations I place on myself until I am perpetually, chronically, frantically busy. I’m weary of hearing my own response to the question “How are you?” “So busy. Crazy busy! But great!” And I mean it; I love my life, but too much doing, not enough being resulted in everything going out and not much coming back in. Before I knew what had happened the joy I felt in living was shrouded by the responsibilities that living demanded. Read More