From Motherhood

Piece of me

I don’t even look at the clock anymore but can usually gauge the time based on if my husband in still in the bed or not since he rises by 5:00 am. They later confess that they have each been trying to will themselves to wake up before the other one does, their competitive cores…

Last light

It’s late afternoon on a winter Saturday, and I’ve taken my children to the beach for an hour of fresh air, an hour of running around and tossing beach stones into the water before the day is gone. What light we’ll get today in the northwestern corner of the country has already crested and is…

Getting some help with hygge

No one but me thought it was a good idea to hire a live-in maid and nanny. My mother reminded me that she had raised three kids and worked full time, and still managed to keep a cleaner house than mine, all on her own. My mother-in-law pointed out that neither of my sisters-in-law had maids, and they could actually afford…

Presence

Think of that feeling when you are cozy. Lit candles are scattered around the room, good food is in your belly, and a hot cup of tea is in your hands. Maybe you are alone, on a no-work day, sitting on the couch with a good book and no bra on under your old, tattered…

A stroller story

It was Saturday morning, and tiny pinpricks of early light had just begun to filter into my darkened bedroom. I awakened to the familiar sound of little feet padding across the hallway accompanied by an unfamiliar sound I couldn’t quite identify. The door creaked open, and I peeked sleepily from beneath the covers. Standing before…

New mercies

I am typing this on a borrowed laptop. The ceiling paint above me is cracked and peeling, tainted with yellow stains. The bedroom door won’t shut into a door frame deformed from years of settling. I can see out the window because several of the blinds are cracked or missing, but the view is incredible.…

A beginner’s mind

I’m staring at the blond fuzzy hair that covers his newborn head and trying to take it in. Maybe I can imprint this image in my mind forever. I smell his head (doesn’t everyone tell you to?) and yes, there it is—the smell of a newborn—a mix of soap and sweat and sweetness that should…

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…

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…

Play

Hands poised, I felt brave and silly. How could I have not played before? All those moments I’d spent walking by, watching my kids and husband, I had not even once considered that I needed to play, too. She stands proud in my living room, daily offering her love to me, and I hadn’t realized…

House plant barometer

Rhythms of work and rest are vital to our physical, mental, and spiritual health, but when you’re a parent there’s no break from the day-to-day care required. Parenting is a demanding job. You have to keep tiny humans alive every day while being nurturing and providing educational enrichment. There’s a lot of pressure on parents…

In which we chase meadows

The most magical moments of my childhood were spent alone. I would lay amongst the prickly spears of grass in the meadow near my home—never able to escape the heat of the midday sun—and always in an imaginative world of my own. Laying flat, pressed against the bosom of the earth, I would roll in…

Mothers, makers, miracles

This article is part one of a two-part series on parenting and pursuing a creative vocation. Part two will appear next month, June 2017: Retreat. Being both a mother and a creative is a catch-22. Unless you are one of those rare and mythical creatures who can make a living from your creative work in…

Girls go to Jupiter

“I feel like a planet with a lot of other planets stuck to me.”  Rubina Doreen, Age 3.5 It was one of those off-hand preschool-aged musings said with a sigh in between throwing a tantrum, eating a bowl of macaroni and cheese, and testing out markers in her new Ninja Turtle coloring book. And for…

Motherhood vignette

My four-year-old son is having a rough day. His cardboard box spaceship wing broke, and his valiant efforts to repair it with packing tape are foiled when I see the tangled wad of sticky waste and tell him I’ll help him finish in the morning. His eyes fill with tears and his voice gets squeaky,…

Wild mind

“The more civilized man becomes, the more he needs and craves a great background of forest wildness, to which he may return like a contrite prodigal from the husks of an artificial life.” —Ellen Burns Sherman This summer I did three backpacking trips in five weeks. I keep wondering what it is that propels me…

The importance of unseen things

Yesterday a homespun miracle happened: I cut our first artichoke. Artichoke plants take three years to bear fruit and the starts I put in the ground last April weren’t in good shape by this spring. One had died and the other was slug-eaten and sad looking. Another year, I told myself. If it lives. But…

Expecting the Unexpected

“And if we ever leave a legacy It’s that we loved each other well.” – Indigo Girls, Power of Two It was the picture I was dreading to see. At first, I forgot it was even there. Tucked in with the images of my handsome husband and the smiling faces of our two beautiful children, and…

Blurred Vision

All photographs by Ashley DeLatour The spiders have been inviting me to write all day: one in my hair, one on my coffee cup and one in the sink. Microscopic reminders of the story I’ve been delicately weaving in my mind. I sit for a brief moment, contemplating pen and paper. Puzzle pieces gathered at…