family

See – a Five Minute Friday post

Linking up again with Five Minute Friday at the lovely Lisa-Jo Baker‘s.
The rules: write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking. Hop over to her place to find out the full scoop behind FMF, and to visit other posts that were freely written in just five minutes.
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This week’s prompt: SEE – a Five Minute Friday Post

You are not invisible.
When you clean Barbie hair out of the sink after her impromptu trip to the kitchen scissor salon.
When you search over an hour for the missing toy, place it proudly on your son’s pillow, and he barely flinches – despite throwing a full-on fit about it that morning.
When you collect all the pink cups for a special-request tea party, that your kids play for exactly 3 minutes before running to another room.
When you clear off the dining room table, again.
When, on January 10th,  you remove and wrap up the Christmas ornaments by yourself.
When you are sick and make your own tea but don’t drink it because you’re needed in the living room to find that one episode of that one show that we love and can’t find, but nothing else will do.
When you clean all afternoon and it looks the same.
When the cat pukes and you Clorox the floor and no one ever knows.

You are not invisible. As long as all of us, working all day long to make the lives of our families just that little bit better, remember and SEE each other,
we are not invisible. 
 
While I do dishes, I remember you are too.
While I clean up cat puke, I remember you are doing gross things too.
While I clean off the table AGAIN, I […]

By |January 10th, 2014|Honest Home|5 Comments|

Spring and Summer

My daughter is at her last day of preschool. This is an incredibly big deal to the cells in my body. I feel them shrink today in preparation. Outside the hustle of the moment, quiet inside myself, I see her – all spunk and 5-year-old skin. I watch the families around me carrying babies, smiling, correcting, juggling – the ones in the middle.

This is the end of a huge season of my life. This season of spring. Our Spring. The beginnings of life.
SPRING

Spring: Getting to love Miracles up close and have their love in return.

Spring: Feeling incredible pain and holding on for dear life to the factual importance of love. 
Spring: Seeing cherubs crawl around my living room, rolling in clean clothes and pulling the cat’s tail.
Spring: Experiencing love with all five sense.  Singing through chores, tears kissed on lips, sleepy hugs, hearts made with whole hands.
Spring: Spending months lost in a tornado of messiness and full-out joy, tantrums and hysterical laughter.
Spring: Knowing Tiny things matter.  Errands. Dishes. Smiles. Hope. Fingers, toes, touches, breath.
 

I will miss, miss, miss, miss these little years. Everywhere I went, whether I could see it at the time or not through sleepy eyelids and Starbucks hangovers, a community of babies and new moms and toddlers supported me. Smiles from strangers. Doors held open for strollers. Reassuring eyes making soft contact with mine while screams rang in my ears.

I hold the last 8 years as gently as I can in these desperate hands. They are a gift I struggled to appreciate completely. It is exhausting trying to keep multiple emotionally turbulent people alive all day long. Days felt like eternity, serious eternity, but the months went by in a […]

By |June 11th, 2013|Honest Home|2 Comments|

Every day as a mom is a terrible day

As a follow-up to my 3o Things I Learned from My Daughters… Mom problems. Dad Problems…
Today, someone I was with at the park pooped in their underwear and asked me to help wipe them clean. Then someone cried when I wouldn’t carry them to the car. Before that, someone climbed in my bed with dirty feet at 5am and left crumbs of I-don’t-know-what on my clean sheets, and someone stuck their finger in my nose and laughed at me. Tonight, I cleaned my whole house and then someone went around trashing all my hard work. I tried to go to the bathroom but someone kept opening the door and asking to see what I was doing…
This is a normal day. Actually, this is only a sliver of a normal day as a mom. These are moments that any rational person would define as frustrating – if not terrible.
From a normal, sane, adult person’s point-of-view, every day as a mom is a terrible day.
What’s a woman, who finds herself being a mom, to do about all this?
As a young adult I worked hard to choose good friends. I chose friends who treated me with love and kindness. If someone couldn’t respect my boundaries or be a good influence, I kept them as an acquaintance but not as a close friend. I didn’t befriend people I would have to teach how to be healthy.
Now, my closest friends and roommates are small, demanding people. People who spill stuff everywhere. People who cry when you don’t let them watch their choice in TV show. People who tell me I look old. People who never ask how I am doing. I live with these people. My mother would never […]

Experts on Honest Living

In honor of one of my dear Story Unfolding sisters, Sarah McCarten’s 30th Birthday, as part her “30 Things” Series…. I’ve written 30 Things I Learned from My Young Daughters with help from my 8 and (almost) 5 year-old muses. Click the link to read the full 30 Things post on Sarah’s blog.

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It’s not a cliché if it’s deeply true; We learn just as much from our children as they do from us. Being a child is frustrating and glorious. They are experts at honest living. Every parent needs a reminder to see their kids as teachers not just tiny drunk comedians we are trying to keep alive.
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30 THINGS I LEARNED FROM MY DAUGHTERS
By: Nicole Romero (with help from her tiny teachers)

1. Struggle builds our lives. From the beginning we have to push and work and try. Wanna walk? Find a way. Grab your mom’s jeans. Grab a coffee table… and PULL yourself to your feet. You will fall. You will cry. Then, you will need to get back up and try again. Want to learn something new? Get ready to work hard.

2. Fruit is the best food. Well, fruit and goldfish crackers.

3. Feel emotion. When someone hurts your feelings, go ahead and cry. You’ll feel better. When something is funny, let that belly laugh roll out of your gut. That’s what life is for, right?

4. Feel emotions, but then let it go and move on. There are a lot of fun things to do today. Even when you cry, keep an eye out for the next fun, funny, interesting thing because it might appear while you are crying and you don’t want to miss it. When it comes, forget the tears and enjoy it!

5. […]

By |May 21st, 2013|Honest Home|1 Comment|

Friendship Rugburns

Through the big glass window, I watched my daughter in her first dance class. It’s like going to the aquarium, except the fish are more beautiful and they smile at you as they swim by.

On that very first day she made a friend. They danced and held hands and made each other laugh.  Tiny girls in tights and pink shoes and smiles.

Watching your kid make a friend is one of the best experiences in life.

We were excited to go back the next week and see her new friend. This second week, though, a new girl came. My daughter’s friend and the new girl hit it off.

So now I watch, through that giant window I wished would shrink to pinhole-size, as my daughter’s friend and this new girl clasp their four hands together, spin around and dance. They have a great time; truly enjoying each other. And I watched my daughter watch. From the side, she sees their joy and friendship bloom. I witness her move forward, asking so politely to join in the dance. Again. Again. Again, she asks, “Can I dance too?” Can I please hold hands and join in your circle?

The two other girls look at each other, because they are connecting and they don’t want to let anyone else in. They dance around some more and they see out of the corner of their eyes, my daughter still watching them… she’s too new to this friendship game. She doesn’t know how to hide her desire – to look busy or confident or just-fine-being-by-myself-thanks.

I hold my breath. Wishing. Praying. Not just praying that they would include her, but for her heart’s confidence and courage.

And eventually they did let her enter their circle. […]

By |April 3rd, 2013|Honest Home|1 Comment|

Have you ever been asked a personal question?

This was how my mother started the conversation.
“Do you know…”
“Do I know, what?”
“Do you know how women have orgasms?”
(AAaaaaaakward pause…avoiding eye-contact now…)
“Um, yes? …  Yes. I mean, yes. Mom, Seriously!” (laughing erupts)
 

How did your parents bring up the sex talk?
But, my mother didn’t stop at this first shocking question. She did not accept my protest that I already knew all I needed at 16 years old.  She knew me deeply despite the fact that it would be 11 more years before I truly understood the depths to which she knew me, when I had my own daughters to love.

(aside: isn’t it funny that as we grow up, we think our parents don’t know us? now that i am a mom myself, i could hardly think of anything i know more intimately than my daughters.)

See, my mother became a teenager in the 60’s and a single mother to two small girls in the 80’s. She is neither large in stature or personality.  Caring, loyal, sensitive, Indigo Girls-singing… this is my mom.

She gave me space to discover my way in the world. She usually held back advice or opinions. But, this conversation, this was just too important to leave to chance, I suppose. Too important to hope my sister and I learned it somewhere someday.

And so, one night at the dinner table, surrounded by flowered wallpaper in our little kitchen nook, my education in sex and/or “feminism” began with a loving, blunt question.
 “Do you know how women have orgasms?
There is a part of your vagina called the clitoris…”
“Wow, Yep. Yes there is… Thinking about it right now, Mom. Thanks.”
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Within that awkward, sweet conversation, my mom enunciated one of the most important things I have ever learned […]