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If it ain’t broke

I zoomed around the corner, footloose, and fancy free (meaning I only had one of my three kids hanging on me) at Costco. I even started humming a little happy tune when I ran smack into the gridlock of carts. The lines sprawled out like jagged tentacles of a six-headed beast. It was 11am on…

It’s basically a muffin

I sat at my computer, staring at the screen, heart palpitating with my pinkie resting firmly on the delete button. My eyeballs danced frantically over each sentence again and again as I dissected every word. Ugh, why did I say it that way?  I thought. Why did I use so many parentheses? All the other…

Ringing in the season

ding…ding…ding…dingdingding….ding…ding…ding…dingdingding….. Three slow, three fast, three slow, three fast. The rhythmic pattern danced through my head like stepping stones for sugar plum fairies while the crisp mountain air bit at my nose, turning it red. Officially, I signed up to ring the bell in order to fulfill service hours as a member of Student Council,…

“Moonless Darkness Stands Between” 

In The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a small motley troop of friends offers gifts that prove they’ve been listening to one another, that they care about each other’s details and dreams. If only all gifts could say what we want them to, could show our deep affection, could bless and enrich another for life.…

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…

The pursuit of self-awareness

You may have heard of the Enneagram. It’s a personality typing system. I know, insert eye-roll here. If you’re like me, these things are fun, and a little narcissistic, and about as useful as the daily horoscope. It can sort of apply, but it’s not going to change your life. Except this one has. For…

RESTroom

Now is my chance.  I slink along the wall and retreat one small tiptoe at a time towards the open bathroom door and close it slowly without so much as a creak. Sigh. Do I have time to reply to a text?  Can I figure out what the heck “Covfefe” means?  My gut says no…

Pulled Punches

I order my coffee and begin to mine my wallet for the elusive punch card.  As a small line builds behind me, I shuffle through receipts, random bills, and coupons that I still hope to redeem even though they expired last November.  A minute later, it surfaces. Just one more punch to go. I get…

The Feminine Desert

At my daughter’s most recent preschool holiday potluck, I started talking to one of her favorite teachers who had just returned from week-long trip to Arizona. She takes a regular trip there with a friend of hers and recounted a story of how her fellow travel companion was hiking and brushed up against something spiny. …

The World Within

Much of my childhood was spent looking up at the sky, daydreaming, creating stories out of clouds. Books were everything. I couldn’t get enough. The Secret Garden, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit led me to secret doors to secret pathways that uncovered secret worlds. I wanted magic. Engulfed in mystery, my imagination ran riot…

The Land of no Nod

The fiery hue of the sunset exploded across the skyline like the remnants of a blazing volcano. I exhaled, closed my eyes for a second, and opened them just in time to see the stoplight turn green.  With a renewed sense of calm, I pushed the gas pedal down just as a series of honks…

Breathing Fire

“Can I have applesauce?” “How about now?” “Mamma, applesauce?” “May I please have applesauce?” “Mamma, are you listening to me? I want applesauce?” “Can you get me some?” “Mamma?” “Mamma?” “Mamma?” The pain then creeps up my leg like a slow burning wildfire.  With my hands balled into fists and my arms straight at my…

Book It!

In the late 80s, we had Book It!, a reward system designed to get kids to read with the promise of free pizza. It’s no surprise that a program that motivated kids to read by rewarding them with Pizza Hut fell somewhat out of vogue–the fear of gluten and childhood obesity making it less enticing.…

The Futile Dance

As we walked through the Locks looking at the boats and soaking in the bits of sunshine that broke through the quintessential Seattle overcast, I heard a distressed and repetitive quacking that triggered my mamma bear radar, and I knew instantly something was off. As we approached a gathering crowd, a saw a duck pacing…

Toothless

I would touch my tongue to the metallic spot in my mouth over and over. The hole was like a Sandcastle moat filling up with the tide. For three days straight I think I spent every second in my second grade class steadily wiggling that front lower tooth. While Amy Johnson galloped an endless merry-go-round…

Memory Lane is Paved with Dandelions

I looked at my sweet boy who seemed to be transforming before my eyes.  His bouncing curls had all but disappeared, and his course hair now only yielded a hint of a wave around his cowlick. His ankles peeked through the bottom of his jeans that are now two inches off of the ground, and he…

The Spirits of Flowers

We were driving along the coastal cliffs of Croatia, the Mediterranean sea was shining below us with green islands smothered with white buildings and palms. Here and there exotic wild flowers dotted the roadside, whizzing too fast by my window to see clearly. “STOP the car!” I yelled. “Wild irises!” I had never seen wild…

Blossom(less)

I had big plans to drop my son off at preschool and come home to a freshly brewed pot of coffee and try to write something funny, poignant and thought-provoking for this month’s KINDRED. Perhaps something about how I want to teach my biracial kids to own who they are and speak up for themselves,…

Caring Loudly

“What I hear when I’m being yelled at is people caring loudly at me.” – Leslie Knope   Every toy that my husband, Akash, picks up with a sigh hits me like a mini, personal, attack. My own insecurities kick in:  Another one you missed? Why is it so hard just to put things back…

Worth the Risk

Mist curled around the edges of dark hills in the distance, lines and lines of vineyards flipped past like the pages in an old rolodex. I lay my head lazily to the glass of the bus window, satisfied with my choice: I had chosen to say yes to Adventure. To Unknown. To the call of…