The Velveteen Chair

I often sit in my 5-year-olds’ room at night while they fall asleep. I think about the day. And then I write. To you. To them. To God. To me.

Being here soothes my boys. That’s my excuse.

But being here soothes me, too.

One of my twin boys rockets to Land of Sleep so quickly I’m always stunned he doesn’t give himself a concussion when his head hits his pillow with such force. He doesn’t so much fall asleep – which implies a process – as he becomes sleep. The switch flips, and he is enthusiastically done with his day. ...  read more

Dear Canine Guest

This is a painting by Jackson Pollock, a famous painter and major figure in the abstract expressionist movement.

Just keep it in mind.

Now on to the post…

………

Dear Canine Guest,

I feel like there are some important things for you to know, and, while I’m not very good at subtle communication (my parents used to say I had the capacity to be just a touch overbearing), I’m going to give it a shot. ...  read more

A Snow Angel by Another Name

Fair warning:

If you let your kid lie down at the playground to make gravel angels,

…more parents will find it as funny than you might expect.

Some will even let their children join in the fun.

You’ve probably already discovered this truth for yourself, what with the rampant popularity of gravel angels and all. My children, for example, have only to notice fine bits of gravel before they throw themselves gleefully to the ground to grind gravel holes happily into their clothes. Don’t yours? ...  read more

Come on, baby, light my fire.

This week at the beach, I taught my three littlest kids how to build a fire.

If you’re wondering what’s wrong with me, my children were in your camp. They all thought I was crazy, too. Are you sure that teaching fire-building is in our best interests, Mom? they asked with various words and skeptical glances.

I told them I was sure. It seemed like the thing to say. ...  read more

About As Perfect

It’s Spring Break!

All of the kids were booted from school this week. Something about the school closing, and this is an annual event, and we parents should have prepared for it in advance, and NO, we’re emphatically not allowed to send our kids to school anyway. (It was just a question, School. Sheesh.)

So, this weekend, we packed up the kids, begged a kind neighbor to take our dog, ran around in our typical car-loading flurry of activity and mild frustration, and now we’re vacationing at the beautiful Oregon Coast. ...  read more

Spring is a Weirdo: A Celebration

You know what I like?

No. Strike that.

You know what I LOVE?

You know what I RELISH?

You know what I CELEBRATE?

You know what I want to embrace and squeeze until it squirms and gasps, “Too tight! Let go!”

Differences.

Weirdnesses.

I just love that we’re not the same. I adore our colorful world. I’m thrilled at all of the surprises and the “what huh’s?” and the ways that people burst out of boxes, leaving cardboard shrapnel behind because the people are too big, too much, too extraordinary to be squashed inside a small, confined space where someone else insists they belong. ...  read more

You know what’s better than respect? Skittles.

I told my 12-year-old son tonight that I expect him to respect me.

Specifically, I said, that means not duh-ragging his heels on finishing his chores.

He responded emphatically that he was not dragging his heels and also, oh my GOSH, Mom!

I mentioned that taking 22 hours to unload the dishwasher is, too, dragging his heels and that the eye-rolling, body-flopping, voice-harumphing, martyr-sounding drama accompanying the heel-dragging only proves I’m right. ...  read more