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Two Reflections

This tiny miracle The woods were dark, but it was summer, and the darkness was warm and not unfriendly. It was dark enough to hide my hand in his, twelve years old and trembling, breath catching with wonder. He was dark-haired and dark-eyed. Beautiful and kind and somehow, beyond understanding, mine in this moment. Chooser,…

The Blur

It’s been a blur. My reflection in the glass. For the last seven years. So much so that if you asked me what I looked like, I couldn’t tell you. No matter how long I stand here trying to catch a glimpse of who I am, it plays out in pixelated streaks across my mirror.…

Tiny crescents

If I die people will know because of how long my kids’ nails get. These are the 2:33 a.m. reflections of someone who has been up feeding an infant every three hours, on the hour, for weeks. I am truly beyond grateful for this glorious tribe that surrounds us. In fact, there are not words…

Amongst the grays

Don’t define your world in black and white because there is so much hiding amongst the grays. —Unknown “How old was she when you got her?” I look up from my young daughter’s partially tied shoelace to see a friendly blond mother smiling at me expectantly. It’s preschool open house, and parents all around us…

I See Myself

I see myself in the stream up the mountain behind the log cabin in the drenched living woods of the Northwest.   I see myself in the standing wheat, long and perfectly even like matchsticks. The wheat becomes waves and I am both Midwest and west coast. I am warm wind and misty rain. I…

Anniversary interrupted

I woke up to the sound of my five-year-old vomiting and shot out of bed. “Noooo,” I groaned, filled with sudden dread. Not just because I hate vomit. Not just because my son’s suffering fills me with helpless pity. More than either of those, I felt forebodings of disappointment. This was the morning my husband…

Tired

I wait. Wait for the surprise to come, to sink in somehow before I realize that surprise isn’t suppose to sink in, it’s supposed to shock…immediately.  That’s when I accept that it’s not coming, and I feel that callous void with a deep sadness as I scroll through the hashtags and the notes of prayer.…

There’s no one here but me

It’s sunny but cold enough to see our breath. I stand behind my two children as we wait for the school bus, and I watch them puff steam from their mouths into the bright air, their towheads thrown back and their lips like funnels. Their backpacks are identical except for the colors. They chose them…

Surprise ending

When my boy was born, I could not nurse him. No matter how much Mother’s Milk tea I drank or lactation consultants I visited, I was bone dry. The fancy pump? It could not extract what my body refused to produce. I felt on par with Lady Macbeth’s maternal capabilities every time I went to…

A cap full of coals

I had an unhealthy friendship in junior high, a girl called Kate. I think I was fascinated by her ability to wield popularity as power over peers. Like the kid with the fancy fruit roll up who can take the fruit cup kid out with a glance. Kate’s voice commanded dominance as she led her…

Glider parenting

Since becoming a parent, I find myself constantly holding in half of a breath. Sometimes it’s out of frustration, and sometimes it’s from the perception of imminent danger, like when my children are running full tilt down the concrete sidewalk full of uneven cracks just tall enough to trip up exuberant little feet. Even at…

Breath

In tiny waves of light the morning came. I stood above my son, watching him sleep. Outside the ash fell and the birds were quiet, but, inside, the house was full of his breath. I wonder if this is how all mothers will feel on the day the world ends. The wildfires are still burning…