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For all Mommas in the trenches…

Today I took my fourteen year old and my friend’s four year old for ice cream and as I watched them interact, I fantasized about having another child. Another go around, just one more baby.
My day dream was interrupted when I suddenly found myself right smack in the middle of a large group of young women and their high energy toddlers. I was surrounded like a bowl of warm milk in a kindle of stray kittens.
As I attempted to focus on the menu, I heard a young mom questioning herself, comparing notes and searching for affirmation. With a look of despair, an exhausted face, battling a bad hair day and sensible shoes, she confessed, (using her indoor voice, of course) “I just can’t keep up.” 
I call that stage – CONTINUE READING

Jump in. The water’s not fine.

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As I was purging, sorting and organizing our basement clutter I saw my  kids’ first five years in the form of artwork, journals and keepsakes. It slowed me down for a bit. It actually grabbed me by the guts and knocked me on my seat. It was as if the hand turkeys and laminated lists of favorite things were whispering, “Stop, Momma. Stay awhile. Remember when I made this for you?” I had no desire to rush to the next task on my to do list. All I wanted to do, all I could do, was slow down and take it all in.

I fondly replayed moments like holding, feeding and bathing my babies for the first time, doing Caroline’s hair for her kindergarten pictures, dropping Julia – CONTINUE READING

The inevitable fallout of divorce

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I grew up in the 70’s in a home where volatile arguments between the big people were as common as Flintstones vitamins, bologna sandwiches, Tab and shag carpet. It was the only normal I knew. It was like living in a house with a foundation built on quicksand. Always predictably unpredictable. We learned to be on guard at all times, to get through the school day on little sleep, to accept not having friends over unannounced and we got really good at ignoring the deafening silence between our parents. When they weren’t fighting they were in separate rooms. Staring. Thinking of an escape plan. Regretting their choices. Mom sitting in a dark room with the only light being from the end of her cigarette. Dad staring – CONTINUE READING

When a moment never becomes a memory…

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As I walked across the parking lot with my ten year old son, I instinctively grabbed his hand…to keep him safe perhaps, yet also to keep him close to my heart. His heart responded with a gentle squeeze of my not-much-bigger hand. Just as I expected. And then almost immediately, as if his head screamed “HOLD ON! WHAT ARE YOU DOING??”, my sweet boy dropped my hand like a hot coal and said, “Mom I do not want to hold hands with you. I’m not a baby.”

That didn’t make me sad. It meant nothing and showed up for me simply as a sign of him becoming a young man. I get it. The part that got me, like in my gut, the thing that has me choked – CONTINUE READING

Connection wins over “T.I.M.E.”

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I’ve always heard that kids spell love as “T.I.M.E”. And I get it. They need us to be around. They deserve to have us witness their journey. They need us to be there to hug them when they are hurting, to cheer for them when they perform and to show them how we do this thing we call life. If they never see us who are they learning from? People on social media? Yikes. Not making time to show up to their games and not being there to take pictures for prom…it’s big stuff. It affects them.

And…I’m boldly submitting that being connected is even more important than showing up…being truly connected and present when we are physically present is priceless to kids. No matter what their – CONTINUE READING