Dealing with Stress

Due to some discord in my community, I’ve been feeling a great deal of emotional stress lately. It kind of sucks, but it’s also provided me a chance to recognize some of the ways in which I manage stress. These are my instructions to myself, and I thought some of you might find them helpful, too. […]

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Learning to Ask Questions

“Mom, Laura Ingalls Wilder was wrong,” said my five-year-old one morning while I squeezed lemon wedges into hot water for the “lemon tea” he’d requested. “She said kids like drinking cambric tea because it makes them feel grown up, but I drank cambric tea and I didn’t feel grown up at all.” I felt unaccountably sad […]

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“Mommy! Look!”

“Mommy! Look! Leaf buds!” “Mommy! Look! There’s mud on my sneakers!” “Mommy! Look! Crocuses!” My daughter’s oversized reactions to subtle signs of spring draw me out of my daily doubts and stresses and into her enthusiasm. Together we exclaim over the sounds of meltwater running beneath mounds of snow, daydream seeds toward the sunlight, and poise our ears to catch […]

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For Your Listening Pleasure

I’ve listened to some great shows in the past couple of weeks, and here are two I wanted to share with you: Radiolab – Galapagos: My daughter loves conservation and advocating for endangered animals. Yesterday’s homeschool nature class had a guest botanist named Henry, who took the kids on a 1.5-hour-long walk identifying trees and […]

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On Not Seeing Doctors

When I was a kid, I liked going to the doctor. I didn’t like the tongue depressor (quick gag reflex and a near-phobia of vomiting) nor did I care for shots (for my booster shot at age five, four grown men had to hold me down so the nurse could give me one shot), but […]

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Better Left Unsaid

There are certain things that it’s okay to think but that we should never say out loud in front of our kids unless we’ve already decided on a course of action. Like if we’re thinking about possibly adding another baby to the family or about maybe taking a family trip to Disneyland. We shouldn’t say […]

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Grace

I heard grace murmuring in my belly, a vibrating roar building as the wall of muscle tightened and tightened against the cushion of fluid and baby within. I heard the roar in my belly, forcing its way through my chest, my throat, and out of my mouth. I called and called as the sensation rolled within and […]

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Smashing Assumptions

My children’s flute teacher retired from teaching last month, and the process of finding a new flute teacher has been fraught. Their relationship with their teacher was so close, the thought of replacing her feels wrong, like we’re reducing our relationship to the mere pragmatics of finding someone to teach the mechanics of playing the […]

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Innocence and Experience

I piled the mail—opened and unopened—in a stack and set it on the shelf above the desk. Onto the cleared surface, I lugged my secondhand sewing machine, ecru and smelling of oil. I plugged the machine into the wall, and set the pedal below the desk. I loaded the bobbin with the greatest amount of […]

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