Seasons change

The weather turned this weekend, and we had our first cold snap. Luckily my mom always sends one outfit per kid right before each season change just so I am not caught off guard. Their clothes were fine for the lower temperatures, but one warm jacket for one cold August Benjamin Honaker was lacking.  …

Ant Bed

I have been washing the same load of laundry for two days. The first time I loaded all of that dirty laundry in the washing machine, I had no idea I would forget to put it in the dryer two times yesterday and three times today. I started the load as a woman full of…

Them and Us

“We’ve got one of them at home,” a man I had never met told me while Ellie and I were waiting for a haircut one sunny afternoon. That, or a slight variation of that, is something I have heard many times. It is the honest truth when I say I can’t take Ellie anywhere without…

Below Average

At 3 a.m. about three weeks ago, I realized that my daughter, Ellie, is 4 years old. Next year she will be 5 years old. At 5 years old, she will be old enough to start kindergarten. I’ve been wondering how this happened ever since. “Sometimes I really don’t like being Ellie’s mom,” I said…

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…