Monday, May 30, 2011


Will is a man of limited words. He gets his message across with cuteness for the most part and so I was pretty happy with Mama, Daddy, Ba and the occasional word that sounds like Good Girl (for the dogs and cat and most animals), Sizzy (or is it Lizzy) and Uh oh.

Saturday though we added a word to his vocabulary that makes all other words meaningless, at least to him.

Friday night we drove to Micah's parent's house in the mountains. It's a 2 hour drive and Will and the dogs were over it by the time we got there. It was dark, we put him to bed and he was happy. Saturday morning he woke up and experienced his first morning camping. Grandma made hashbrowns, bacon and scrambled eggs. He had orange juice and eggs, potatoes, fruit. Then, he played. Outside. All Day. Between naps he ran around, navigated up and down hills, helped grandpa build a retaining wall, helped grandma haul stone, walked to the neighbors, played with dogs, chased birds and rode on a 4 Wheeler. (New vocab words also now include WHEEEEEEEEEEEEE!)

Since we got home Saturday night all I've heard from him is "outside". From the moment he wakes up until he goes to sleep it's "Outside".

So desperate was he to get outside that yesterday he climbed out of his crib during nap time, scaled the spare bed in his room, opened the crack in his window into something big enough for an 18 month to get out of and stepped out into my window boxes. Once out there however, he realized that he couldn't slide down and couldn't figure out how to get back in the house.

Luckily Micah heard his terrified screams from the backyard and came running.

Even after all that though, I'll I've heard from the boy is "Mama. Outside."

It's going to be a long 18 years.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


She's so brave. It's like she doesn't know to get embarrassed or anxious or worry about what others think. Which is ridiculous because she's 15. She cares what her peers think about almost everything.

Instead she's up on stage in front of over a hundred people dancing. And maybe not dancing well, although it's hard to know what dancing well is these days for me. I'm so far away from teenaged dancing I probably sound like a 70 year old man yelling at kids to get off his lawn. "Why in my day we didn't jiggle our hips and hop on one leg."*

But she's up there dancing to a pop song, unlike any of the other dancers this evening who have danced to hip hop or rap or even dance mixes like at an adult club. She's dancing to a pop song in pants and a silver sequined top when all the other girls had flapper like dresses. She's dancing alone on stage, by herself. The only performance this evening to contain only one dancer.

I watch her and I feel like I'm going to be sick.

When she took the stage almost no one clapped. A kid next to me started to laugh when her music started and I stared him down. That's my baby. Shut up you hooligan. He stopped.

When she finished the auditorium erupted in applause. I screamed for her.

She's so brave, my 15 year old. So beyond anything I could have ever imagined at 15.

As a parent I shouldn't take credit when my child does well because she is her own person.

But I certainly think I must be doing something right.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


When we first moved to Colorado it was March which meant there was snow on the ground. Brian had bought the house with me only having seen it via the internet so I had no true idea as to what it looked like. Within a few days of moving here I flew with my 9 year old and 6 month old to Alaska to be with my Mother who, for those who don't know, had been diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer in February.

It's a good guess that I didn't pay much attention to my house. I didn't really care about it because I was worried about my new baby, and my move from Tucson to Colorado and finding a job and helping my 9 year old adjust and oh yeah, my mother dying.

I especially didn't care about my back yard. I could see it was large from my sliding glass doors in the kitchen but that was about all I cared about.

But I noticed it for the first time on Mothers Day of that year, 2005. I was in the kitchen and the radio was playing. It played a song called "No One Will Ever Love Me (that way again)" by Rebecca Lynn Howard. I had never heard the song before and it caught me off guard because it was about a Mother's love and reduced me to a sobbing mess. You see, I knew already that it was my Mother's last Mothers Day even though everyone around me either wouldn't acknowledge it or didn't believe it.

I sat at my dining room table crying my eyes out while my then husband sat across from my helpless but trying to comfort me. I looked up from the table when a familiar scent grabbed me and for the first time that spring I looked outside my kitchen door. There, in bright bloom with a strong lilac smell was this huge purple lilac tree to the side of the house.

I believe in signs and I believe that signs tell me when I'm on the right or wrong track and for me this was a STRONG sign. You see, while Iris's were my mothers favorite flower, she loved lilac trees. One of her boyfriends after she and my father divorced had once given her a lilac tree as a gift (I can't remember why now) but sadly Alaska wasn't the place for lilacs. I know she kept it in that pot for awhile but I think it eventually just succumbed. She may have planted it but it never grew, it's hard to say for me know, over 20 years later. I just remember her loving them.

Since that spring in 2005 my lilac tree has never really thrived or bloomed like it did that year. My Mother in law tells me it's because we've had so many late freezes in the years since and it just does a number on the lilacs.

This year though the winter was mild. This morning I took this picture:

Right before I came down stairs to write this post I stood at my kitchen door and looked at my backyard. It's very different from when I first moved in but one thing this year was very much like that first year.

I can smell the lilacs again.

Happy Mothers Day Mom.

Monday, May 2, 2011

"Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that." Martin Luther King, Jr.

The world is watching us. Celebrating the death of another human being they watch us.

I do not know the devil that whispered into the heart of Osama Bin Laden and told him that his religious convictions were worth the price of innocents. I do not know the demon that took hold of his soul and convinced him to kill thousands.

But he was a beloved son. He once played soccer with his siblings and was loved by his children who did not see him as an evil extremist. They saw him as their father. They loved him.

When I was young and impressionable my mother took me to a Church of Religious Science which is basically Christian Scientists (not Scientologists). I don't remember a thing about it except that I believe we went for quite awhile and the young program left a lot to be desired. Say what you will about organized religion but I'd say the Christian Protestants (as opposed to the Christian Catholics) have a pretty awesome program with AWANAS and all that.

I digress.

The ONLY thing I remember about that church, our Church of Religious Science, is that at the end we would form a circle and sing a song. All day long that song has played in my head.

"Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.
Let there be peace on earth, the peace that was meant to be.
God is our father, brothers all are we.
Let me walk with my brothers in perfect harmony.
Let peace begin with me, let this be the moment now.
With every step I take let this be my solemn vow.
Take each moment and live each moment in peace eternaly.
Let there be peace on earth. And let it begin with me."

So there will be no "thank God he's dead" from my lips or in my house.

I will not mourn his passing but I will not celebrate it either.

Let Peace begin with me.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Bin Laden

I actually missed the breaking news that Osama Bin Laden was dead. I heard about it almost 2 afters it happened.

My first thoughts were "And?"

Because I think we generally know that terrorist organizations will not just pack up and go home now. The biggest bully in the yard is gone but that doesn't mean there aren't others just WAITING to take his spot. In fact it seems US Diplomats were put on high alert in case of retaliation. So are we safer today than yesterday?

I don't think so.

While I would like to think that in my normal everyday existence I do not wish for the death of any human being, this is one that I will make an exception for and I will be okay with the consequences of that death wish. But that's pretty existential for me and not a part of my everyday life.

But then I received a text from my friend Mia who reminds me what the death of such a mass murder means. What it really means.

You see, her fiance Doug was killed in action in Iraq almost exactly 6 years ago. This month. While I would never accuse Mia of waiting around and not living her life I know that a lot of dreams died for her then.

So tonight, the man she holds personally responsible for the death of her man who would have been her husband, would have been the father of her children, would have been there to hold her every night is dead.

And it brings her peace.

Justice is served.