The Day in which the Bird from a 6 Year Old Was Acceptable

I am working at my computer at my new desk downstairs and the kids are playing behind me. Up until a few weeks prior, I had been working on the couch in the TV room, computer on my lap, back aching. When I worked there, the kids were constantly within an arm’s reach. They were always quiet—at the threat of death-by-no-dessert—but I wanted a space that could be my own, where little kid...


One Way or Another: A Christmas Story

I went to pick Wally V up from his Sunday morning class after our church service last Sunday. “Do you want to go home and get ready?” I asked. He looked at me and burst into tears, “My head hurts!” he balled. I escorted him through the crowds and to the car, feeling like a bad mom for not having noticed he might be sick. You see, it was all working out perfectly, according to my plan....


Adventures in Nervous Twitches: Wally Takes the Stage

Last week I got a text from the Children’s Pastor at our church. He was presenting a children’s sermon at church that Sunday and wanted to interview a few kids during it. He wanted to know if Wally could be one of the kids. Wally would just have to answer a few questions about an experience he had setting up pads for the PADS ministry at our church. I read the text over and took a...


Why I Shouldn't Be Allowed to Watch My Son Play Soccer

For a moment today, I was in a public place, and I was jumping and screaming and clapping and I thought—what has gotten into me? And I’ll tell you what. Park district kindergarten soccer. That’s what. Before you think less of me, before you peg me as that mom, let me tell you. No one is considering myself “that mom” more than I am at this time. I never imagined myself to...


A Letter to My New Kindergartener

Dear Wally Ben, It’s been 5 (and a half, as you’d say) years since you were just a little lump that was tossed up my way by the nurses and doctor. I remember kind of screaming in surprise (and I remember, a few days later, laughing so hard I peed my pants—not hard to do at that point in a mother’s life—at your dad’s impression of your little floppy body coming up my...


Wally Takes on the High Dive: Lessons in Innocence

Yesterday Wally Ben broke my heart. He has no idea, and he did nothing wrong. In fact, if I hadn’t been prompted by my husband the day before, it might have been just another day at the pool. But Husband Wally had to go and encourage a new lens to see the moment, and my heart cracked to pieces. Let me explain. Read more


On Thinking Like a Child

Yesterday I woke up and went to the kitchen to make my coffee. We have a craft table in the kitchen, which I garbage picked a few months ago on a walk. (We were a few blocks away from home when I spotted it on the curb ready to make its trip to the landfill. I could hear the garbage truck a few blocks away. We live in a town where some people believe it is acceptable to throw away a...


The Day I Lost My Son and Found Out about It Later

I have the most amazing Tuesday afternoon playgroup for my 3-year-old daughter. It is the perfect size of 4 families, the moms are simpatico with interests, conversations, and parenting styles, and the 4 girls are destined to be girlfriends for life. We’ve been meeting weekly for the past few months, and reached a turning point a few weeks ago where the side-by-side play transformed into...


My Favorite Age

We took Wally to a Chili Cookoff, an annual tradition at my in-law’s church. Mostly this has been the kind of event where I try to shove as much cornbread as possible in front of the kids so I can pretend they don’t exist while I enjoy tasting 20 differently flavored chilis. But this year was different. As we sat waiting for the official start, husband Wally explained the process to...


Sibling love: On the Brother and Sister Connection

Wally and Vivvi were arguing about which show to watch. She wanted “Jake the Pirate.” He wanted “Sofia the First.” He convinced her to his side by offering to give her an old dust buster he found laying around. They sat happily on the couch together, her holding the broken appliance, both totally engaged in the tales of the girl-next-door turned princess. (Husband Wally...