Showing posts from 2021

White People: This is Not About You

When my kids were little, one of my daughters had a little bit of an issue with her sibling’s  birthday celebrations. With all of our attention being lavished on one child, she would act out.  She would be meaner than usual to the birthday kid, demand things from mom and dad in the middle of the party, and exhibit negative behaviors so that we would turn to her and away from the guest of honor. We would have to remind her that on HER birthday, we get to focus on her, and on her sister’s or brother’s, we get to focus on them. “This day is about someone else, and that’s OK.” Typical stuff. Typical for a kid to have to learn how to navigate jealous feelings and how to have a generous spirit, even when you want things for yourself.  She was little: three or four, maybe? It can be hard when someone else is getting all of the attention; it can be hard to be three. But when her brother had a bad fall that injured his kidney and sent him to the hospital, when we were so worried about him, and

Nitty Gritty Little Ditty

Tonight I cannot write a post Because my brain has turned to toast. The day has worn me to a nub, I need to sink into the tub. But can't because I'm too darn beat, And find I cannot move my feet. It's all their fault, this state of woe, As every mom does surely know. Theirs, the fault for my malaise. Theirs, the fault for this dark haze. For in the space past 5 o-clock, My children hover and they stalk Each other just to make me scream So they can say YOU ARE SO MEAN. Tonight the girls did cry and fight, And test my patience with great might. And bicker, bother, pick and poke And hassle till my heart done broke. They are nasty, brutish, short: Hobbes was right, sad to report. My spouse is out, I'm on my own. Herding cats, all alone. Then a toilet I had to fix. And toss a dog into the mix. (I found her  on  our dining table. Chaos, people, is here enabled.) And then I had to feed the crowd. The complaints were both too many and loud. Feedi

A Field of Mustard, a Climbable Tree

We walked up and into the bright, cold, late winter morning, rolling hills of green in every direction. My calves, tight and rusty, objected as I huffed and puffed up the narrow trail, quick daughter at my side. She stopped to move a rolly polly off the trail and into the tall grasses, the tiny creature now safe from less observant hikers.  Our mission: find cows. At the top of the first steep incline with another just ahead, multiple paths offered themselves. We stood catching our breath, already sweaty in the bright sun. She was sure, having been here the week before, that if we went left, down into the small copse below, we would emerge on the other side in a field of mustard where the cows would be. Off we went, following a cattle, not people, trail (they know all the best places). We arced down and to the left, then back to the right. We ducked under a low tree branch: how did the cows traverse this part , we wondered to each other. Then through a tiny meadow, not much more than a

A Conversation with My Daily Affirmer

Her:      Hi there! You’re doing great! Me:       Whatever. Why are you here? Her:      Because you need me! Also, because you are wonderful! Me:       Whatever. Will you be staying long? Her:      Oh, I think so. Or, for as long as you need me. Me:       Cool. Well, then, you should know that I don’t need you. You are free to go. Her:      Wow, you are so strong. That’s great. So glad to hear it. So then, is she leaving too? Me:       Who? What are you talking about? Her:      That chick over there with the storm cloud over her head and the scowl on her face. Is she staying? Cuz, if she’s staying, I’m staying. I love a party. Me:       Her? I hardly even notice her. Don’t stay on her account. Her:      Wow, how can you NOT notice her? I mean, she’s actually growling at you. Me:       Look, I didn’t invite you here, I don’t even know how you got here.     Her:      [ playfully ] Oh, so you invited her then, did you? Me:       What? No! She’s just…she’s always been here. At least as

If You Stick It on the Dining Room Table, They Will Use It

Not quite as lyrical as If You Build It, They Will Come , but just as true and wonderful! * * * Have you seen my dining room table? (You know, like, before COVID...) It is quite a sight.  A good percentage of it is covered with paint, marker, glitter, colored pencil, hot glue, and more.  Since COVID, graffiti has also popped up, including "Tallulah Likes Cake" in black sharpie.  We rarely enjoy an actual dinner or any other meal on this table, because it's typically full of art and projects of all kinds.  From where I sit in the next room, I spy a large mirror frame that needs to be fixed, a half-finished clay fairy world, and several rocks in various stages of being painted. I have often yearned for a dining room table at which I and my family actually dine. It is a yearning, in part, for normalcy, a wish for something that feels like what "normal families" have and do. But of course, we should always be careful what we wish for, and today I was reminded of thi