From Motherhood

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…

Muddy Fields

Well, it happened. All of my years in the classroom made me shudder at the thought of becoming a helicopter parent, those well-meaning and well-coiffed moms circling just outside the door ready to conference about every perceived injustice, ready with an excuse why their beloved child had not turned in the assignment. I vowed never…

Sugarbomb

The pages of the cooking magazine are sticking together just enough to slow down her flipping. She shakes a page loose and it sprinkles her with floury dust as it falls open with a papery crackle. A photograph of yellow and pink frosting swirled into lofty mounds atop cupcakes spiraled on a stand evokes for…

Conversations

I almost didn’t take the part-time nanny job. I’m sure I had my reasons, though it’s hard to remember the details now, all these years later. I went for the interview mainly because a friend of my best friend had recommended me, and I felt obligated to show up. I practiced my “thank you, but…

Becoming Myself Again

I’m standing in the grocery store and I’m about to lose it. I’m with my five- and three-year-old and no one’s screaming, no one’s crying. By all appearances everything’s normal. I should be normal. But I’m not. It’s been an hour of frustrations, divided attention, not being listened to, not finding what I’m looking for,…