Soft to Hard in Cycles

I lay in bed with our youngest one recent lazy morning. As he smiled around his sucked soggy thumb I noticed how it remains pudgy, despite his all too quick escape from toddlerhood. All of his digits still a bit stumpy and soft in that delicious baby-like way. I cupped my own increasingly spindly fingers around his plump sweet cheek and wished for one satisfied moment that all could stay just this way for more than the usual little while.

The elder, three years and a lifetime beyond the smaller, won't cuddle unless unconscious. His curves, in contrast, have stretched and lengthened leaving sharp points and broad expanses in their place. All elbows and knees and an inexplicable sharpness that pokes and prods. When you manage to wrap your arms around him for a brief and short lived hug, he wriggles and winds his way out, escaping with a prick and a stick.

And then there's my own. My form, previously tight and poky in all the right places. Hip bones, once evident, lay well below…

That's Why We Have to Move

My first born, a first grader, had his last piano lesson yesterday with a teacher we were so very fortunate to find. This last lesson with his first piano teacher kicked off a series of "lasts" for him as we prepare to move very far away in two short weeks.

This teacher, sweet as could be, showered him with stuffed animals and hugs and we said our goodbyes cheerfully enough. We would miss one another, but he would email her. They would keep in touch.

A couple hours later, out of the clear blue, my baby boy dove into my lap head first bawling to beat the band. I figured he was tired and fighting with his brother. But no. He said he was going to miss SMU, the location of his lessons the last two semesters.

What he meant was he was going to miss her. And the place. And everything else he was just realizing he was leaving behind.

Once the valve was opened, he could scarcely keep his composure. He sniffled through teeth brushing and wiped his eyes while pulling on his pajamas. A…

The Big Bathe

My partner, my husband, my man. He's been living far away from us going on four weeks now. We're all still together, it's not like that. We're just physically apart temporarily. Until the rest of us move up there with him.

This solo parenting gig has been hard, y'all. On all of us. Place a big ol' major remodeling cherry on top and naturally, things begin to give.

I've definitely made some tweaks to the daily grind of our family life. I eat standing up most meals and the boys go to bed with dirty bottomed feet most nights. Balls are being dropped but we're keeping our heads afloat. And we're happy. Optimistic.

But we aren't without new challenges and problems.

Motherhood in general has readjusted my standards for personal hygiene. Long gone are the days of daily showers, much less luxuriously long ones. Lately with the all these extra duties i.e., things I'm doing that my partner would be doing if he were here, have seriously pushed those s…

Hallelujah. Holy Sh*t. Where's the Tylenol?

Christmas is rearranging half of your furniture and art to accommodate a tree and decorations that you will enjoy for 3 weeks.

Christmas is cleaning out the playroom and bookshelves and closets to make room for more things to fill your playroom and bookshelves and (eventually) closets.

Christmas is always having the radio tuned to that soft rock station you would never normally listen to that plays round the clock Christmas music, even though they are playing Last Christmas, Jimmy Eat World instead of the vastly superior George Michael rendition.

Christmas is listening to three song singing decorations belting out different tunes at once repeatedly interspersed with the train noises of the toy train circling your tree because your three year old just can't get enough and can't hear you begging for mercy over the joyous sounds of the season.

Christmas is fielding a barrage of questions regarding the logistics of execution, plausibility of this guy being real while, for example…

Two Years

The calendar of our lives are marked not by dates or years but events. Events that lead our minds to organize the files of our existence into before and after.

Before kids. After college. Before I met him. After I left him. Before the storm. After the split.

Before cancer. After death.

How can it be that two years have passed away since he did? And yet how can it only be two years? The passage of time when met with the enormity of loss can play such tricks. The before sometimes feeling painfully short and the after an endless expanse.

But life, and time, marches steadily on despite our warped perceptions. And life is truly and magnificently good despite the fact that it must inevitably end.

I love him. I miss him. In this exceptional after.

The 7 Habits of Highly Annoying Children

Let me start with the full disclaimer that I ADORE my children. They light up my life, amaze me (almost) every day with their capacity to learn, laugh, love, and live fully and I simply wouldn't want to be in this world without them. Obviously.

That being said, they have some super annoying behaviors and habits that I could most definitely live without and in my observations of other people's offspring, these habits appear to be somewhat universal.

These are things that make me roll my eyes, whisper not so nice things, and on the occasion, for fleeting but intense moments, question my decision to procreate. In no particular order, 7 habits of highly annoying children:

1. Answering the question "How was school today?" with a 15 minute monologue about the Five Days at Freddy's game you played at recess or yelling at me across the house to "Come quick!" like someone's hair is on fire only so you can corner me for approximately an eon yammering on and …

Shorts Under Dresses: An Underlying Issue

A friend recently relayed a story to me about her 4 year old daughter and a dress code at the preschool she attends.  Girls are required to wear shorts underneath their skirts, which is no big deal if your child goes along with the policy. In my friend's case, however, her daughter wasn't on board and it made for a very trying and tiring ordeal getting ready on school days.
Getting kids fed, dressed, and out the door with a healthy meal in hand is HARD work. Having to fight over a pair of shorts under an already perfectly reasonable garment is not a battle worth waging. In order to regain calm in their morning routine, the teacher and mother discussed the conflict and came to an agreement. Her daughter could skip the shorts so long as she wore long dresses or skirts. Problem solved, right?
Technically speaking, yes, the problem was solved. But it points to a much larger underlying issue that needs more illumination. 
Our culture has an unhealthy relationship with the human bo…