I used to hate it when people called me “Debbie.” One of my very first blogs featured an image demonstrating this.
It was generally important to me that people take me Very Seriously. No one took my single-mom-of-four mother Very Seriously, a frustrating situation I didn’t want for my own life. “Debbie” wasn’t a remotely serious-sounding name. Deborah, on the other hand, was a name synonymous with wisdom. Read more…
My five-year-old, Li’l D, tried skateboarding for the very first time yesterday.
I enjoy being able to get myself from one place to another by skateboard, an enjoyment I think my son will share. Eventually, after all the falling.
I wasn’t thinking about that when I offered to help Li’l D. I decided to stop glaring at a neighbor kid doing skateboard tricks in front of my house for destroying rare (relative) silence and make some noise of my own.
“If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em,” I grumbled to myself. To Li’l D, I called, “C’mon, kiddo! If you want to learn to skateboard, now’s the time.”
“Really?!” Each of the thousand or so times he’s asked before, I’ve told him he can learn when he’s eight.
He readied himself faster than he’s ever readied himself. We went outside just in time to see the neighbor kid retreat into his home.
I could call it! I told myself. Looking at Li’l D’s excitement, I realized that would be a great way to break my son’s trust.
I spent a few minutes trying to show him foot positions and help him find his balance. This was hard since Li’l D already knows everything, but I persevered. I was pretty stoked to see him trying something that didn’t come naturally.
(I was surprised when he got back on his bike the first time he fell. He wanted to throw in the towel, but I explained that he’s getting better even by falling. I was motivational enough to get him going, and now he’s a pro. He’s not usually so patient.)
After a few minutes, I shadowed him as he pushed himself slowly along the sidewalk in front of the neighbor kid’s house. The board slipped from under him. He stumbled onto the lawn.
I was in the middle of encouraging him when I glanced up on the neighbor’s porch.
What I saw sent jolts rippling through my brain. Read more…
My five-year-old suddenly became quiet during our playtime yesterday morning.
After a few minutes, I asked if anything was wrong.
“I’m sad your friend has to go back to prison,” he told me.
“Oh, sweetie. I am, too,” I told him with a hug. “But it’s not too much longer. She’ll be out only a couple of weeks after you graduate kindergarten … ” Read more…
I met Rara and her husband, Dave, a week before my second son was born.
Rara went to prison a couple of weeks later. Innocence doesn’t pay attorney fees.
She’s still in prison.
She was there when Dave posted that he had an infection a few weeks ago.
She was there when he died soon after.
Today, my husband, sons and I drove to Dave’s memorial.
My five-year-old, Li’l D, couldn’t understand how Rara had ended up in prison.
My husband and I answered Li’l D’s many questions until my husband finally said, “Some bad guys fight with swords. Other bad guys fight with paper. She met the kind who fights with paper.” Read more…
I started a new job two months ago.
I will leave it next Friday.
This is not typical for me.
But there can be a dark side to stability. Sometimes it means staying with someone who hurts you because the pain you know can seem better than even the possibility of worse pain somewhere else. It can mean sticking with something that limits you while keeping you comfortably, predictably “safe.” It can mean living with your wings wrapped tightly around you because you know you’re less likely to fall if you don’t even try testing your wings.
Of course, avoiding falling means you also never learn to fly.
I only saw this a few months ago.
I used a different analogy then, though. Read more…
Horror movies are scarier at night. So are shadows in the closet and unexpected bumps and thumps from corners of the house where no one should be.
These sounds are usually just the dog scrounging for scraps when he thinks he won’t be caught. (Try remembering that immediately while half asleep at 2 a.m.!)
There’s another kind of clarity that comes at night. With all pretensions of day stripped away, it’s somehow easier to see what’s right.
Life won’t always be merry. Sometimes, like times of mourning, simply getting from one moment to the next takes every last ounce of will.
But most the time, it’s a sign something isn’t right if most heartbeats, most breaths, most thoughts ache.
If that’s the case, something’s gotta change.
Somehow, the dim artificial lights of deep night make it easier to see that peace, contentment and laughter shouldn’t be cherries on top. They should be the glue binding everything together.
There’s too little time in one life to waste much just getting by.
By light of day, that recognition can seem sad.
By night, it’s beautiful reminder to make the most of each morning we’re lucky enough to rise like the sun.
WARNING: POSSIBLY TRIGGERING
(also an apology)
I believe you.
Those three plain words have stuck with me for two and a half decades.
My younger sister was ten years old when she testified against the family friend who had molested her for three years.
I was not allowed to be present in the courtroom while she testified lest my own testimony be tainted by hers. I, her older sister and should-have-been-protector, watched helpless through a window as she sobbed through her testimony just feet away from the molester.
I hated him then. I hated my inability to comfort my sister. I hated the narrative that turned my mom into the de facto defendant. I hated damn near everything about the trial except those three words.
A law student watching the trial followed my sister out of the courtroom and knelt down in front of her.