On the New Year, Autism, and Thanks, Anyway

I gave my nephew, KG, a frog book for Christmas. He did not want a frog book. I knew in advance he didn’t want a frog book. I gave him the frog book anyway (though it was supplementary to another gift I gave him I knew he’d want, so I’m not a total monster).

KG is in second grade, has autism, and also has 100,000 allergies to All the Things, so he’s our bubble boy. He’s not like the kid who gets a tummy ache from dairy. He’s the kid who ends up in the ambulance and the hospital and sometimes the Pediatric ICU because he stops breathing, even though we have a strict NO NOT-BREATHING ALLOWED rule in our family. He’s the kid we wildly celebrate because he’s a survivor and that status can’t be taken for granted for him like we do with the rest of our kids. ...  read more

Carrie Fisher Drowned in Moonlight, Strangled by Her Own Bra: 10 Things to Do about 2016, 2017 and Beyond

Carrie Fisher died, drowned in moonlight, strangled by her own bra. The media is reporting it as a massive heart attack, but we know better because Carrie told us so.

If I’m going to be perfectly honest, I’m seriously bummed by Carrie’s death, but not desolate or overwhelmed. I liked Carrie Fisher very much. I love that she was wildly herself. I love that she learned to find humor in the madness of life. I love that she was honest about her addictions. I love that she was fierce and free and believed a good story could change the world. I’m also grateful that neither outright addiction nor mental illness took her in the end. That may sound strange or even callous, but those of us with mental illness always wonder whether it will triumph; whether it will be the one holding our hand while we drift away. That she died of a heart attack drowning in moonlight, strangled by her own bra? I kind of feel like Carrie won. Like she’s gone far too soon AND like she flipped mental illness the bird on her way out. Both/And, friends. Both/And. ...  read more

The Longest Night

I yelled at my husband this morning but not at my children which means I only yelled at 17% of my household and therefore have an 83%, or B grade, which is not an A but is definitely above average. This is why math matters, friends; so we can assess how much, exactly, we’re screwing it up. This is also the best argument I know for having too many children; even if you wreck it just completely with one of them, chances are you can still squeak out an overall win in the percentages. ...  read more

I Have a Kid Home From College: Here’s What I’ve Learned the First 3 Days

I have a kid home from college for the very first time. It’s been 3 days. Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

1. The Freshman Fifteen is a real thing. Unfortunately, there’s a little known Freshman Fifteen sub-clause which states that if the freshman neglects to gain it herself, her mother has to do it for her, which I have dutifully done. (NOTE: She and I are not finished discussing the importance of her doing her own work in the future.) ...  read more

My Posture is Bad, It’s Because of Aleppo, and Some Thoughts on the Lamb of God

My posture is bad, and it’s because of Aleppo.

Every time I try to straighten up, my shoulders hunch forward again a few seconds later, and I want to fall face first onto my desk and quit. Done, please. I’d like to be done with an unkind world that harms the vulnerable. I’d like to create a new one, instead, based on sanctuary and refuge and, damn it, on LOVE; I’m just not sure how to go about it. ...  read more

On Kids, Who Are Horrible and Holy, and Who Have Much to Teach Us in This Season

Kids. They’re made out of SO MUCH HUMAN, friends. Horrible and holy. Awkward and awesome. Wild and weird and wonderful and ragged and radiant and full of rage and fire.

Yimg_2685eimg_2690simg_2682teimg_2683rdaimg_2680y was a snow day which is rare in our neck of the Oregon woods. I, of course, take these things completely in stride where “in stride” is defined as using ALL CAPS all over the Facebook to let everyone know the SNOW IS COMING and we should BE PREPARED with ALL THE TUBS OF CHEAP, PROCESSED COCOA MIX and that MY KIDS ARE TAKING A SNOW DAY whether the school district gives them one or not. ...  read more

December Book Selection for A Likely Story Book Club

Hi All!

It’s time to reveal the December book club selection for A Likely Story Book Club, the book club for escapist fiction fans.

Now, yes, I know we technically haven’t reviewed November’s book — or October’s book — but we’re going to forgive me for that because I’m still figuring out how this whole book club thing works, and also, I’m unreliable, which, if you’ve read anything here EVER, you already knew, so it’s kind of your fault if you had other expectations. ...  read more