Best-Case Scenario

“Once she was born I was never not afraid,” said writer Joan Didion about her daughter. Children make me nervous. All of them, and they always have. Even my own. One, out of all of the children in the world, terrifies me. She strikes a physical fear reaction in my body. Because of her, I…

Best Laid Plans

“What are we going to do today?” is usually one of the first things out of my youngest son August’s mouth every morning. I know it is my fault. I am a planner and far too often set the tone of the day with a schedule. Already, he is most comfortable when he knows what…

A week in the life

What does a mother do in the week leading up to her 4-year-old daughter’s open-heart surgery? She spends a lot of time talking to the air. There is a constant string of dialogue in her mind, with God or anyone else up there who might be listening, about helping her to just do the next…

High Dive

The first time I jumped off the high-dive in the deep end at the city pool, it was a big deal. This small-town, summer rite of passage separated the scaredy cat babies from the confident kids, and I was definitely a scaredy cat. My family didn’t get a membership to the community pool until I…

The Last Time

My husband asked me to go outside and look at the moon with him last night. Our oldest son got a telescope for Christmas last year and we like to set it up in the front yard and look up at the sky at night. Most nights when we have finished the bedtime rush with…

A Picture’s Worth

“Where is Gus?” Jack asked when he got in the car after school this week. “He’s home with your dad. Ellie and I just finished at her doctor’s appointment, and I didn’t have time to go get him before it was time to pick you up from school,” I said. He looked over the edge…

Forget to Forgive

I certainly don’t find myself in 2022 with answers, but my focus is shifting. Instead of being mad that no one has sent the lifeboat to save me, I realize that the real question is more about how I ended up in that deep of water by myself in the first place.

Pulling it all together

I pulled my life together enough to mail Christmas cards this year. A Black Friday deal in my email inbox caught me at just the right moment, and I was able to make it happen for the first time in my whole life. I forced the kids to get dressed for a picture – what…