I spent the last weekend with my daughter. She called it the Ultimate Mother-Daughter, Foodie, Coffee Shop Writing, Shopping, Rodeo Weekend. (We need to work on a catchier title. That’s never going to fit on a bumper sticker). The Adventure Days and Mother-Daughter Dinner Dates of her childhood have evolved into weekends at her home… Read More 282 Miles – Zero Distance
My daughter went back to college a couple weeks ago after being home for the winter break. I thought that she would be about 24 years old before I would have this feeling that is exploding from my heart. I can’t really put my finger on it exactly. Satisfaction? No, not big enough. Vindication? No,… Read More What every kid needs to learn before you give them tuition or luggage.
Have you ever had one of those dreams that is so real you wake up with a start, gasping for air, heart pounding, momentarily stunned to find yourself in your own bed, safe and sound? It happens to me. I have always had very real, very complicated dreams. If I could remember them all, I would probably have… Read More When Dreams are the Real Deal
I just turned 54. Normally I like to throw myself a big party. I like birthday parties. I like a house full of people I love- laughing, eating and talking. I think we should celebrate life every chance we get. But this year has been a quiet birthday. There is just so much going on at… Read More The thought absolutely counts. In fact, it might be the only thing that really does.
Suffering usually comes from wanting things to be different than the way they are. – Pema Chödrön I have always been a driven person. I don’t spend a lot of time bemoaning a situation. I am a hunter by nature. I see a problem. I hunt it down to the exclusion of all other things. I… Read More The pointless pain of wanting it to be different.
I was awakened at 2:51 AM yesterday morning by the unmistakable rumble of an earthquake. It was a relatively small one, 4.7, but it shook me awake. My daughter shouted from the other room. I realize I have failed her in the Emergency Preparedness training department because she immediately ran to my room and jumped… Read More Living in the Moment
Last weekend, our daughter graduated from high school. I brought three packages of tissues to the ceremony and a camera with a 600 mm lens. I was not going to miss her face as she walked across the stage. I was prepared to weep openly, unapologetically, for two hours. I didn’t open a single package.… Read More Big Love
My father tore the carpet out of our house a few weeks before my sister’s wedding. The carpet started out the color of sand on a southern beach. After years of being trampled on by firewood toting teenagers, it had grown dingy and rough. Once he got a thought in his head, it was like… Read More The Busyness of Avoiding
I remember when my daughter finally got too big for the sink. She was lean and long, and came into this world with her tiny muscles flexed. Her mighty legs foreshadowed her inner strength. We knew it was time when she pressed her toes against the far edge of the tub, flexed her miniature quads… Read More The monsters under the bed are in your head.
It has been my experience that kids hit certain milestones at different times. It’s tempting to think life is like school with its chronological march from Kindergarten to the senior year, as if time were the only determinant. The fact is that most of what happens in a child’s life is based on a whole… Read More You know, when you know.
Our daughter was a fighter from the first breath, maybe even before the first one. I swear she tried to kick her way into this world. She was willful and wily, and it was wonderful. There was a time, even before she could walk, when I could see her flex her tiny muscles as if to… Read More Worth the Fight
If you are reading this, there is a good possibility you are an adult. I know you have responsibilities and obligations. Maybe, when you hear that forecast for snow on the evening news, you get a sinking feeling. You imagine slogging to work at 25 miles an hour praying you won’t slide into the ditch… Read More Snow Days: Sometimes the warmest memories are made on the coldest days!
I do not like endings. I do not like finales. It is probably why I don’t watch the Oscars or stay awake until the last votes are counted on election night. I much prefer those hours and days before the endings, days that are thick with anticipation and ripening possibilities. Even as a kid, I… Read More Endings and Beginnings
She was three and a half when I spied her heading for the front door out of the corner of my eye. She shuffled down the hall in a pair of my black heels intently watching her feet. On one side, her tiny fingers were outstretched to the wall for balance. On the other, she… Read More Heading for the Door
One of the challenges of parenting is knowing how much information to give your child. I remember my daughter once asked me where rain comes from. In retrospect, the correct answer at the time was “It falls from clouds in the sky.” But I was a science teacher, so I was a full paragraph into… Read More Just the Facts, Mom.
In a couple of weeks, my daughter will begin her senior year. Stamped in my mind and on my heart is a picture of her decked out in pink from head to toe; smiling from ear to ear; proudly carrying her backpack filled to the brim with fresh school supplies on her first day of… Read More I Got This, Mama!
Being a mom is a humbling experience. I have learned more from my daughter in the last 18 years than I learned in any classroom. And I have spent 28 years of my life in a classroom learning, just saying. But I don’t think I ever felt more ignorant, incompetent or unprepared as I did… Read More The Magic of Motherhood – Part One
I was having coffee with some friends recently when, inevitably, the subject of our dogs came up. Three of us have medium to large dogs and one has a smaller, hypoallergenic one (which is brilliant since I think EVERYONE needs a dog). I mentioned that I grew up with Basset Hounds, but that these have… Read More If you believe you are a Labrador Retriever….
My dad had a second story apartment in the Casa Del Rey overlooking Broadway. I would visit him on the weekends and we would walk up the street to the corner QFC to buy food for dinner. He was on the road every week it seemed, so he didn’t keep much on hand. It was… Read More The Truth About Lying
Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to hear Manny Scott, one of the original Freedom Writers, speak. If you ever have the chance, don’t miss it. He is an extraordinary individual who really embodies the power and resilience of the human spirit. At the end of his speech, he said something that was both… Read More You Can Lead a Horse to Water
When I was a little girl, one of my favorite things was spending the night at my grandparents’ house. They lived in a small house on Queen Anne Hill. Though back then, from my tiny eyes, it was an enormous mansion. It was so different from our cookie-cutter suburban rambler in north Seattle. When we… Read More Grandpa’s House
My daughter is a junior this year. She is our only child. The good Lord blessed us with only one child but, in so doing, He blessed us every single day after. In just over a year, she will leave us to go off to college and start this new adventure. The part of her… Read More My Heart
I am going to preface this post with “No children were harmed in the making of the story” (well not permanently anyway). If you were a child of the 1970s or before, you will appreciate this story. If you are a Gen Xer or a Millennial, there is a chance you might be horrified- at… Read More There’s Something About Sticking with It