Tagged Parenting

First love

I cry at the drop of a hat. It’s true. Anyone who knows me can vouch for this. Puppies, families enjoying a sunny day at the park, a toddler’s first skinned knee, a failed fledgling on the sidewalk, impromptu acoustic jams, a tiny tomato trying desperately to reach its full potential under the gray northwest…

Morning glories

A percolating coffee pot sounds a lot like a person dying of lung cancer trying to breathe. I made this analogy at age 8, sitting in my aunt Sally’s apartment in Springfield, Missouri, surrounded by depressed relatives. “What’s that bubbling sound? It sounds like Granny Anne.” I was just being honest. She died that night…

Lofty

Beads of mist clung to the two columns of light that guided the car around each twist and turn of the graveled road. Her hands clutched the steering wheel as her eyes darted from side to side, trained from years of trying to spot deer out of her periphery while she cruised down Four-Mile Road…

When the light is gone

As a man who walks daily with depression and anxiety, I often find myself in the darkness wondering what happened to my life. Dreams and possibilities seem to have fled into a yawning cavern of disappointment and meaningless loneliness. Reality reverberates with a cacophony of anxious voices echoing despairingly in my soul. It is from…

The cost of a lucky penny

I wouldn’t call myself a superstitious person. I love the whimsy behind the notion of a lucky penny, but I’ve never held one as a belief. But last week a penny did make me realize again how lucky I am. A penny that got firmly stuck in my son’s throat. Can anything focus your gratitude…

A heart for justice

The following is a sermon delivered to seminary classmates and Homiletics professor on Tuesday, May 29, 2018. This week I became aware of a new U.S. border policy. Our country is now prosecuting 100% of those who cross illegally into the U.S. in criminal instead of civil court and separating children from their parents. In…

Fearless

I’ve never, ever, by any stretch of the imagination been fearless. In fact, I’ve always had an abundance of caution, too much perhaps, more than the healthy amount that keeps one out of harm’s way. As a child, my mom tells me, I’d always wake up from naps crying—terrified that I was in a room…

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…

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…

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…

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…

It’s Not a Costume, It’s a Custom

Roman: “Mamma. I’m half-Indian, right?” Me: “That’s right, buddy.” Roman: “Well, when will I be whole-Indian?” ———- Like so many aspects of parenting, sometime the simplest questions are also the most complex. I am transported back to staring at tiny curls littering the tiled floor. My heart felt heavy, and I tried desperately to suppress tears…

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…

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…