On the Importance of Mud

Yesterday we talked about mud, and, well, being face down in it. Exhausted. Worn out. A little bit done. Because that is life, and that is faith, and that is marriage, and that is motherhood some days.

OK, most days.

Alright; it’s part of every freaking day, but I was shooting for optimism here, so let’s lie a teeny, tiny bit to ourselves and stick with “most days,” OK? Thank you. ...  read more

On Parenting, Faith and Imperfection

Today we’re going to talk about faith again. And, in fact, we’re going to talk about faith at least, like, two times in the next couple weeks because then this is a SERIES. A series of at least TWO posts, because I’m a mother of five kids and school is starting any day now and that’s all I can commit to right now. But who knows? Maybe it’ll be more than two posts – like, perhaps THREE posts, which is 50% more than two. Also, maybe I’ll actually make dinner tonight! It’s a whole world of possibilities out there; anything can happen, I tell you. ...  read more

This Is My Body, Sacred and Scarred

We were at the lake this summer when I saw her, the woman with my body wearing a bikini, her thighs round and her stomach rounder, both decorated with long lines chasing each other up her skin, identical to my own stretch marks which go on into infinity. I stopped and I admit I stared, although I hoped she didn’t notice because I couldn’t say what I wanted to say or make her understand that I meant it, which was, “Good for you, mama” and, “I wonder if you know how beautiful you are?” And then she was off, into the water, playing with her kids, splashing in the sunshine, living her life with her scars on the outside like the playing and the living were more important than the flaws. I loved her in that moment for being brave and being herself and teaching me to love myself a little better. ...  read more

The Evolution of My Cape

SuperCartoon…….

Truth is they won’t remember (nor do they care) how many baths they took, what they ate for supper, if their clothes were folded or even clean. They will remember how we love them.”
Five Kids reader, Charlie Collier

Cartoon Credit: Steve Nease

…….

It was after dark in October 1998 in a stranger’s house in the middle of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam when I was issued my Mama Cape. Of course, it was invisible like such capes always are, so I didn’t see it clip itself to my shoulders the same instant I took Abby from her foster mom’s arms. I only had eyes and ears for my baby. I didn’t feel the cape begin to unfurl down my back or smell the residue of its plastic packaging or hear its starchy snap as it caught the wind on our way back to the hotel that night. ...  read more

On Being a Mombie and Cutting Ourselves Some Slack

Questions. They’re too much pressure. I think we should make a pact right now to stop answering them.

How are you?
Do you want a receipt?
What’s for dinner?
Are you finished in the bathroom?

Sometimes I don’t know.

I’m not trying to avoid the question; I just honestly have no idea.

I’m sorry, Mr. Barista, who’s waiting patiently for an answer while the line piles up behind me. I can’t possibly decide whether I want a receipt. I already made a decision in this coffee shop. It was to order a cappuccino. Then you wanted to know whether I wanted it wet, dry or traditional. Traditional, please; I think; I don’t know. For here or to go? “For to go,” I said. Do I need a sleeve on it? “No?,” I said with conviction.   ...  read more

On Being a Mother and a Time Traveler

ID-1009700

The problem with getting older is that we only have our youth to compare it to.

I look in my bathroom mirror, leaning gingerly over the dried toothpaste on my right and the puddle of what I hope is water on my left, and I blink mascara onto my lashes, stopping to study the fine lines and scars in magnified detail and to pluck some wandering eyebrow hairs from my chin. I lean back and notice my breasts are at half mast, and I see my stretch marks which always look like they made a poorly organized break for freedom but didn’t know which way to run and so have tripped over each other — splat! —  into a tangled, sprawling mess. ...  read more

When Depression Comes in Disguise

I just learned that May is Mental Health Awareness Month which is PERFECT because I just started taking anti-depressants again. Serendipity, friends; I could not have planned this better. Now this story, which I would’ve told you anyway, has a purpose. Awareness. Boom!

This is way better than when I told you about my wrap dress unwrapping in the parking lot which served no higher purpose at all. Of course, during the wrap-dress incident, I wrote without swearing. We’re not going to be that lucky this time. But, you know, we can’t have everything. ...  read more