Redefining Grateful

Grateful-notepad-serendip-love-thankfulness

I walked into Serendip the other day to buy some lamps (which I did by the way and they’re really fucking cool). As I was checking out, the owner slipped this into my hands and said “For the boys. I don’t really know them but from everything I can see, they’ve got their priorities right.”

Gaaaah.

That one hit me hard. Part of what has been causing me anguish over the last few weeks is a deep-seeded concern that despite all my efforts to show them what really matters, they have become ungrateful and unappreciative. That despite my best efforts to show them what loving hard looks like, their outlook was becoming harsh and negative.

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Staying Close

Stay-close-to-anything-that-makes-you-glad-you-are-alive-love

Over the last few weeks, I have been open about the internal doubts and crisis of confidence that brought me to my knees. For all I know you are tired of hearing about it. And that’s totally fine.

But I’m going to keep talking about it for two reasons. The first, and entirely selfish reason, is that, as previously noted, I am a talker. I say what I am feeling the moment I feel it. And as this is my space, the one place where I get to make all the decisions, well, I get to talk.

The second, and more important reason, is that I have learned over the last few weeks that so many of you have faced the same questions. And that has given me great comfort.

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Doubt, Faith, and Summer’s End

doubt faith love summer beach

Today marks the unofficial end of summer.

Those of us with kids already in school saw summer come to an abrupt and unpalatable end with a blaring alarm clock and the return of homework. Of course those of us in coastal towns also know that the best beach days actually still lie ahead thanks to an inevitable Indian summer and the absence of tourist traffic.

Nonetheless there is something symbolic about Labor Day. So today we found ourselves drawn to the beach, trying to hold on to summer’s final gasp as we reveled in the post-hurricane surf.

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7 Things I Want My Kids To Know On The First Day Of School

Things I want my kids to know on the first day of school

As you lie in your beds on this – the night before the first day of school – I know you are dutifully trying to sleep despite the anxious thoughts creeping through your minds. My mind is racing too. Trying to remember what it is like to go 8 hours without seeing your faces. Trying to remember what 8 hours of silence sounds like. Trying not to mourn the end of our lazy mornings, our big adventures, and time that belongs to no one but us.

I promise when we walk through those double doors tomorrow, you will forget all the doubts and fears that are keeping you awake tonight.

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Believing When It Is Hard to Believe

I am, and always have been, an open book. I say the things I think the exact moment I think them. Apparently I write that way too. There is no filter, no editing, no careful selection of facts and emotions to create a picture of a theoretical existence.

And if being an open book means talking about the myriad times I have chosen to find joy even in heartbreak, it also means talking about the times when I could not.

Maybe it’s not pretty. Maybe it’s uncomfortable. But it’s real. Besides, a good book always makes you a little uncomfortable, doesn’t it?

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New LOP Article On Babble: Summer Ain’t Over Yet

Babble Summer Ain't Over Yet Screw You Back to school displays

I typically don’t write a lot in the summer because, well, I like summer just as much as my kids. I did manage to write about that for Babble so please click here to read the article!

“When I was a kid, the end of the school year was brutal. I was ready for summer vacation by mid-April. My brain, which generally fired on all four cylinders, was torturously limping toward the finish line on a flat tire and a crappy suspension. And the idea of finishing my last school project (inevitably a diorama of some kind) was more torturous than being trapped in a pit of snakes.

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This Is The Me They Love: New Article on YourTango

This is the me they love YourTango article
Check out the LOP’s new article on YourTango!  “My 7-year-old took a picture of us watching his brother’s basketball game when we weren’t looking. It’s blurry and overexposed and all I could see were the things I don’t like about myself: Double chin, wrinkles, the weird angle of my profile, the perpetual coffee stain on my shirt. If I’m being totally honest, I was planning on deleting it when he wasn’t looking. That’s the problem with modern technology, digital photography, smartphones and filters: We can instantaneously erase anything that isn’t “perfect.” We can keep reviewing and critiquing and recreating a picture over and over again until we get what we want.

That’s not always a bad thing, but we lose something along the way. We lose a little bit of who we really are.

The more I looked at this picture, the more I liked it. Because it’s one of the few candid pictures of me that exists. I’m usually the one behind the camera. And if I’m in front of the lens, it’s often a posed picture. A group shot at Christmas. A night out on the town in fancy clothes.

I love all of those pictures, but I love this more. Because this is what my children see when they look at me…”

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