Swim

"Put your face in the water. Blow bubbles. See? Like me!" I immerse the lower half of my face and push air through my nostrils. I raise my face from the pool in an expression of excitement. My son copies me once, then refuses to repeat the action. He needs to learn to swim. Sure, it’ll take years before he’s close to mastery, but the process…

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Home

Home. I've wrestled with this word over the years. I've defined "home" as the haven where I felt safest, the circle in which my siblings and I received our first years of schooling, the nest I made with my husband after our wedding, the sacred cradle that my babies entered a few days post-birth...and on it goes. Living in Seattle and yearning for a larger home…

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Walk with Me

Grief is a deep pit. My whole family fell into it this year. Most recently last month. None of my friends can pull me up out of that dark place. And yet, a brave soul can climb down into the sadness with me and stand there, holding my hand and even supporting my frame so that I don't fall over. If you are someone who isn't…

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Less and Less

I'm doing less and less these days. (In quantity, I must add. I dare not say I'm doing less "in quality.") Do it well and keep it simple. It's so much better than reaching too high and failing miserably. I shall elucidate: Picture me with four pots on the stove, veggies in the colander in the sink, meat thawing in the microwave, bread warming in the…

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Wild Stomping Grounds

A friend of mine posted on Twitter that some people are so excited to pursue creativity that they forget to also make sure they have the skills and training to support it. Hmmm. While I think it foolish to chase a notion that you have no idea what you’ll do with once you catch it, I also think that the biggest challenge is often just valuing…

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In Which I Ponder the Notion of Being Both a Mama AND Something Else

Some conversations change our lives. Interactions with others make us take our path in a different directions. Some also encourage us to stay on our paths, but to walk with more confidence and courage. I have been so discouraged whenever I catch wind of the implication I must let my dreams fall aside to make way for what my little baby needs me to be to…

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Fight for Your Life

I love to make everyone happy. Now I reread that sentence and mentally insert “which is impossible” to the end of it. That’s the only way the sentence can be consistently true. I strive for the impossible. I love my family and friends passionately. I am an active member of my communities. And yet it’s delusional to tell myself that I can satisfy every social expectation…

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Checkpoints

Safety. Somewhere to fall back on if everything else is blown to pieces. The bunker where we re-charge our life force, restock ammunition, and recalibrate strategy. Checkpoints. Video games place these at intervals throughout each level. As long as we can drag our butts to a checkpoint, we can save our progress. That way, if the alien invaders or the radioactive zombies attack, maim, and murder…

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Winter Field

December. My baby’s four month anniversary. Christmas rush. Maternal exhaustion. Guilt has no place here. It’s really the last thing I need. Outside my home, the frost sheaths the brave blades of grass that raise their heads. Inside my home, Christmas lights offer no warmth as I weep and share two huge, aching desires in my heart: to be a mother to my beautiful son and…

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Special Access Pass

“Where do you get your ideas?” The questioner lowers his raised hand, glad that I called on him. His eager eyes are glowing. I say something about song lyrics and scraps of conversation that have sparked story ideas for me. But, just once, I’d like to answer: Well, there’s this special access pass to the Great Ideas Warehouse that they give you when you graduate with…

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