How To Love Hard When It’s Hard

Bikes falling over love hard

This is my week perfectly captured in one picture.

It was one of those weeks that was derailed by too many deadlines and not enough time, high expectations followed by staggering disappointments, the pressure to do the things that were supposed to bring me joy and the realization that everything was making me unhappy. It was unfortunately also a week where my insomnia kicked into high gear, leaving me unable to rationally cope with all of those things.

Trying to salvage some good from the week, I went to buy 2 bikes for our Angel Tree angels. Just when I started to feel a little bit lighter, I accidentally knocked down a row of 20 bikes.

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Pressing the Reset Button: Family, The Election, and A More Perfect Union

Friday was a tough morning in our house. For no apparent reason everyone was cranky and flippant and hostile. Including me. Our chance day off from school turned from a world full of possibilities into an inexplicable fracas about where we were going and why.

Instead of engaging in a reasonable discussion where differing viewpoints were acknowledged and debated respectfully, my household was filled with a barrage of insults, voices shouting over one another, and eye rolls.

Frankly it reminded me a lot of how the entire country is behaving right now.

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Almost 8 and Almost 10

To all of you in the throes of babyhood and toddler madness, please let me assure you that you will get through this.

And when you do, you will get down on your knees and pray to the gods of squeaky toys and late night feedings to go back.

I remember. I remember the sleep deprivation, the constant trail of unidentifiable gunk on your shirt and wondering bemusedly whether it was applesauce or poop, the endless delays because I can do it by MYSELF mommy, and the throw down tantrums in the middle of Target.

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A Girl, Her Dad, and a Boy

One year ago, I woke up to Facebook reminding me, as I was still groggy and only half awake, to wish my dad a happy birthday.

And for a minute, it felt like salt in my wounds because he’s not here anymore damnit and I silently cursed myself for forgetting to delete his account again.

But then I went on a field trip with 20 first grade boys who were silly and sweet and wanted to feel and touch and learn.

And one of them – one who always has trouble staying out of trouble – seemed to need my attention. So I held his hand while we walked and I gave him my sandwich when he asked if he could have it because he didn’t like his own and I played games with him on the bus to distract him from hitting the other boys.

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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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