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Pre-teen

He’s so quiet, with his brown Carhartt hood shading his face and his heavy backpack slung over one shoulder.  He’s so quick.  His ten-year-old eyes seek mine for this tiny flash of a silver minnow moment through the open sliding van door.  He’s already pressed the button and it’s closing, shutting the space between us.  His more gregarious, demonstrative sister and brothers have run from me, backpacks and shoelaces flapping in the breeze of their sprint to independence.

He wants this moment of connection.  This briefest of coming ins.

“I love you,” I mouth at him in the gap between the passenger headrest and the door frame.

A half smile.  “I love you.” He mouths it back. The door closes.  He’s gone.

It’s easy to miss.  It’s easy to forget. If (who am I kidding), WHEN I’m frazzled, or irritated, or distracted.

The absence sits, missed, heavy in my stomach, uncomfortable for the day.

Two halves

Matt took a day off of work today.  It’s foul outside as only the Pacific Northwest can be.  Dense fog, ice crystals, dripping noses.  It’s beautiful if you have the resiliency for visibility a hair shy of deep depression.  He slept in, snoring softly while I turned on lights and dragged kids into the routine of…

A decade of motherhood

I couldn’t sleep one night a couple of weeks ago because I felt guilty that I hadn’t done enough for Garrett’s tenth birthday.  We had a cake and dinner, but he didn’t want a party – he isn’t a very social kid – and his one gift was expensive and on back order. I even…

Personhood

They are people now.  People who can talk to me with cohesive persuasive arguments and fascinating insights.  People who can make me laugh. Interesting people with thoughts and opinions. Poorly emotionally regulated people, at times, with impulse control problems, who slam doors and hit each other and say hurtful things. I finally get it, why…

Pajama day

The kids had squabbled over the last of the good cereal at the kitchen island.  Milk puddled on the granite and dripped steadily down the side of the counter from an overfilled bowl.  She wiped with a wet paper towel, mid-scold, “not those pajamas, not the ones you slept in.” “But it’s pajama day,” Nate…

Invincibility cloaks

My only writing for months has been for a writing group that formed after last year’s LTYM show.  I adore it.  A lot of my words for that group of ladies don’t feel safe to share here.  I like the intimacy and the trust born in mutual vulnerability, but our recent prompt was “a time…

Shortcuts to intimacy

On days like today when the fog fills the deep, narrow valley to the west of us and every pine needle is individually coated in ice, I feel like the witless victim of an impending Stephen King plot.  The creatures in the mist are not going to get us this time though … we will escape…

Making a wish on a passing car

She’s talking to angels, counting the stars Making a wish on a passing car She’s dancing with strangers, falling apart Waiting for Superman to pick her up In his arms, in his arms Waiting for Superman — Daughtry   I finished cutting the construction paper parts for fifty-four parrots a few minutes ago and that’s…

My rugged heart

I’ll love you long after you’re gone And long after you’re gone, gone, gone. You’re my back bone. You’re my cornerstone. You’re my crutch when my legs stop moving. You’re my head start. You’re my rugged heart. You’re the pulse that I’ve always needed.  –Gone, Gone, Gone, Phillip Phillips   It’s funny how different a…

Shrugs

I mopped the living room floor this morning.  When I’m in a bad mood, mopping strikes me as the ultimate act of depressing futility.  It must be mopped, but it will not stay mopped.  Futility doesn’t seem to matter as much in your thirties.  Possibility still exists for floor mopping and surfing in Bali.  Drudgery…