Monday, May 13, 2013


I am a runner.

The ability to write that statement is amazing to me. 

I've lived my life in fits and starts.  I've jumped into things with both feet only to pull out before my feet hit the water.  Sometimes, I would wade around in the shallow end for a while before deciding the water was too cold, too hot, too watery, too wet.  I would get out never to return again.

I've started things for the wrong reason.  Everyone else was doing it.  I thought it would make me popular, prettier, thinner, happier, something.  I was lured by the shiny, not knowing that real work lay beneath the pretty exterior.  The work, the effort, the monotony, the tedium always turned me off.

Start then stop.  Join then quit.  Activities, jobs, diets, crafts, novels, plans, life.

My motivation was always wrong.  That dangerous space between my ears allowed doubt and fear creep in.  I don't want to.  I won't.  I can't.

Earlier this year I started again.  It was a nice day, warm and sunny when I had forgotten what warm and sunny looked like.  It was an exercise day but instead of hitting the elliptical at the gym, my body itched for something different.  So I laced up my shoes, turned on some tunes and ran.

I've run before.  Couch to 5K, an ill-fated attempt to train for a triathlon (really?!?) were started and stopped.  I've run races, at least one per year for the past few years.  One and that was it.

But this time was different.  I felt the difference from the first run.  I felt good, happy, euphoric.  I felt the rush of endorphins I had heard so much about.  I felt strong.  So I did it again and again.  I felt happier, stronger.

On an endorphin high I decided to sign up for a race on Mother's Day.  I did not immediately regret the decision as I might have in the past.  Instead I trained.

The race was yesterday.  I woke up happy.  I had a spring in my step. 

As I stood at the starting line and looked around at the 400 plus women, I fought this overwhelming urge to cry.  But it was not a desire born out of fear, nerves or panic.  I was ready to breakdown and cry huge, ugly tears of joy. I knew I was meant to do this.  

I was happy.  I ran and it made me happy.  I had done this because I wanted to.  It was for me and me alone.

I might have walked more than I wanted too.  I might have been passed by women in their 70s and girls in their teens.  But I ran and I finished.

I am a runner.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Lady Killer

I knew it from the first moment I saw him.  The eyes, the smile, the ability flirt like nobody's business all spell trouble. I knew the girls would love him.  I just didn't expect it to happen so soon.

We were at the coat rack after preschool.  He was goofing around rather than putting his coat on.  A little girl came up and looked at Lion.  She told her mom he "was one of her handsome boys".  We laughed.  She gave him a hug and then a KISS on the LIPS!

His first kiss! At age four!

But I'm sure it won't be his last.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Quiet Time

It's quiet time.  Quiet time is mine, one hour that I can do whatever I want and not have to worry about what the children are doing.

I could catch up on a show.  I could fold one of the 37 loads of laundry waiting to be folded.  I could waste time on the internet.  Usually I am doing one or more of these things.

But not today.  Today I am listening.  I am straining my ears for the sounds the children are making.

They are each behind closed doors, wrapped up in their own little world.  Bunny is playing with her dogs, Lion his superheros.  Their play is imaginative.  They tell stories.  They make up voices.

I drink up the sounds they are making.  I store away the way the stories are told.  Their voices open up the beauty of their worlds.

I move closer to their closed doors.  I don't want them to know I am listening.  Bunny is likely to shut down if she heard me.  This is hers, not mine.  Lion is the opposite.  He craves an audience.  He would fling open the door and demand my presence.  His becomes ours.

I do not stay long.  I cannot.  It is theirs, I must be contented with the glimpse I have stolen.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


The other day someone asked how old my kids were and I automatically answered six and three.  The second the words were out of my mouth I realized my mistake.  They are not six and three, they are seven and four.

They are not who they were, they are something more.  They are bigger, older.  They are further away from that place where they fit neatly in my arms.  Now they sprawl across my lap or worse yet find their own spot.

Slowing it down, stopping time is not possible.  I know, I've tried.  I repeatedly asked Lion not to turn four.  "You are so perfect now" I argued.  "I sorry momma.  I turn four, I no know how to stop it."  It can't be done.  Bigger happens.  Older happens.

Bigger is good.  Older is good.  I have conversations with Bunny that astound me.  She understands so much.  I am beginning to share my interests with her in a way that was not possible before.  She, in turn, has opened her world to me.  The stories she tells, the secrets she shares are beautiful.  I am blessed with a glimpse of the woman yet to be, serious, silly, talented, exquisite.

Bigger is fun.  Older is fun.  Lion is pure joy.  He experiences life, he does not sit on the sidelines waiting for something to happen.  It is inspirational, something that in my 40 some years of life I have never really been able to get the hang of.  I want to nurture that.  I want to wrap that gift so that he can carry it with him.  Remember the time when you were getting bigger, remember that boy, be that boy always.

Bigger makes me nostalgic for smaller.  Older makes me miss younger.  But bigger also leads us to better.  Older leads to more.

Six became seven.  Three turned four.  Bigger.  Older.  Better.  More.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


Sunday is family day.  It is the one day a week that we all spend together, no matter what.  Usually we do something, a visit to the museum or the zoo.  Sometimes we do nothing.  We hang out at home playing games, making crafts or whatever.  It doesn't matter what as long as we are together.

Today the plan is to go ice skating at the Pettit Center.  It will be a fun experiment.  The kids have never skated and I haven't hit the ice in, well I'm not quite sure when it was.

Afternoon trips are tricky.  Lion still naps.  He needs it.  Without a nap, we don't know what child we will have.  It could be nice Lion, fun Lion or crazy Lion.  So he naps and we wait.

Bunny and I snuggled down on the couch, me with my laptop and her with my phone.  We sit side by side engrossed in our own little media worlds.  I show her pictures of family and friends from Facebook.  She reads over my shoulder, carefully sounding out each word.  She shows me the contraptions she is building on Bad Piggies.  We laugh and giggle when it falls apart and cheer when it makes it through.

Frink comes in carrying a tired Lion.  He can't sleep laying down, the cough he's been battling won't allow it.  Frink settles in on the couch next to us with Lion.  Finger in mouth and more comfortable in an upright position, Lion drifts off.

The four of us together on our big red couch.  It's what family day is all about.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Hold on tight

I was out all morning. I heard the news on Facebook. I was stunned. There were no words to express the thoughts and emotions swirling in my head and heart.

I prayed. I cried. I prayed some more.

I grabbed my children and held tight. "Do you want ice cream? Hot chocolate? Anything you want, it's yours". You are here. You are safe. I am lucky. I am blessed.

I now sit on the couch with a kid snuggled in close on either side, sipping smoothies. Scooby Doo is in the TV. On Scooby the kids always win. They solve the mystery. They catch the bad guy. The bad guy is never truly evil, instead driven by greed or selfishness. The hair brained scheme is easily solved within 30 minutes. The meddling kids and their talking dog save the day.

I wish life was as simple as it is for the kids on Mystery, Inc. But it isn't. It's scary. The bad guys are evil, driven by hatred and mental illness. They no longer lurk in dark alleyways. They are hidden in plain sight. They have access to guns. They lack access to the mental health care they need.

Things need to change. Politicians need to find solutions. We need to add our voices to the debate.

And tonight we need to hold our kids a little bit tighter.

Monday, December 3, 2012


This weekend Frink lost his voice.  Communication with him was reduced to pointing and motioning for this or that. 

During a trip to Target, I had to introduce him to the notes feature on his phone.  When he wanted to say something, we had to wait patiently while he typed it out.  Bunny can read so he was able to communicate with her but I had to translate for Lion.  "Daddy said we are not buying any toys."  "Daddy said to watch where you are walking."  "Daddy said ..." well you get the picture.

As we were wandering the aisles, he held up two bags of M&Ms with a questioning look on his face. "Should we buy these?"  Dude, do you not know me?  Of course we should buy those.  Carry on.

After a successful trip, I opened the bag of white chocolate peppermint M&Ms so everyone could have a snack.  (Quick aside: Run, do not walk, to your nearest store and buy some.  They are amazing.)  Frink looked very excited when he tasted the candy.  He made some gestures, one of  which looked like pouring M&Ms into a bowl.  The other was more difficult.  He slid his hand into the imaginary bowl with a scooping motion.

I had no idea.  He repeated the gestures. Again, nothing.  Another round of gestures.  "You want to eat the M&Ms with a shovel?"

My response was met with a stare that said, "no, you idiot." 

One last time he poured the imaginary M&Ms into a bowl, scooped with his hand and flipped.  Oh. Ohhhh!  "You want to make pancakes with these?  That would be awesome."

Vigorous nodding.  Success!  This was followed by 5 minutes of laughing at anyone wanting to eat M&Ms with a shovel.  That is just crazy, handfuls shoved into your mouth are much faster.