Archive for January, 2014

My blessings

My husband works in show biz.

For five years–the biz equivalent of several back to back ultra marathons–he worked on the same popular sitcom. I got used to the rhythms of that show.

The one with that couch

The one with that couch. Yeah, that one.

In the year and a half since he left that show, he’s worked on more than a half dozen projects. Some have been shows I watch, others ones I would watch only if my son had earned double privileges for doing good work. Regardless of how I feel about any one of them, I’m grateful for them all. Each has played its own role in moving my husband closer to fulfilling his career dreams.

It would be a lie to say I’m only grateful. Many days, I’m challenged by the unpredictability of show biz workdays. Some days begin at 4 a.m.; sometimes those same days end after my son and I are in bed. There’s no telling until a day’s work is winding down just how long it will be.

The work and commute portion of my own days is almost twelve hours. At seven months pregnant, this is physically and emotionally brutal. Read more…


Burgers and smiles will do

I was so excited my four-year-old son was learning about Martin Luther King, Jr. a couple of weeks ago that I didn’t even think about exploring what he’d learned about “respect.”

7 mo bellyTonight, a little more than seven months pregnant and way more than a little achy, I opted for a rare treat: drive-through. I’ve been really good about cooking almost every single one of my own meals the last few months, so hey, why not get off my feet early for once?

After ordering, I pulled forward to the window. I handed my card to the young woman handling the register.

“I like her,” Li’l D reported as she raced away from the window to fill our order.

“Really? Why?”

“Because she’s cute!”

Well, that’s a first, I thought.

“You should tell her,” he told me. Read more…

Not that person anymore

When my just-younger sister considered where to pursue graduate studies, I advised her to go away. “It’s good to be around people who see who you for who you are, not who you were. It gives you a chance to grow into your real self.”

When my mom died, I wish she’d had a like chance to go away and find who she was apart from what others expected her to be. I wished this all the more reading one of the comments on her guest book from a former friend who suggested she was the only one who “got” my mom, when what she got was the tiny sampling her particular perspective allowed her to see. Read more…

Li’l D’s letter to God

My four-year-old son first asked me about death some months ago.

Before he was old enough to ask more complicated questions, I devised all kinds of strategies for discussing serious subjects like death with him. I had Big Plans.

As Li’l D got older, I saw that he was capable of guiding me through these discussions by asking about the things he wanted to know. I decided my approach would be to answer his questions honestly, and threw my Big Plans to the wind. The only part I kept was my intention to be as candid as my mom had once been.

“Your mom is dead?” he asked one day as we drove to his preschool. Read more…

Tweaking my tired levels, now with 800% more science!

Back in Japan almost a decade ago (!), I created mood cards to help my students get comfortable expressing how they were feeling beyond “I’m fine.”

Mood SLAP!

We used these cards in bunches of different games. I haven’t used them much since, mostly because I haven’t seen their application in a corporate I.T. environment. Still, there’s one card on my mind a lot these days:


With fewer than ten weeks between now and meeting my second little one, I am tired ALL THE TIME. All emphasis required!

I’m only a little tired on the best of days. Those are one sleepy face days. On the worst of days, I make 483 trips to the break room because I can’t fall asleep while on my feet. Read more…

MLK, Jr. through my four-year-old’s eyes

I was excited to see my son is learning about Martin Luther King, Jr. at preschool.


He’s four, so the lessons aren’t complex, but they are a sweet opener for more difficult discussions to come.

Driving him to school the morning after seeing his worksheet, I asked, “What all have you learned about Martin Luther King, Jr.?” Read more…

“Am I a bad mom?”

January 17, 2014 Comments off

Hand in hand: much better than either in the garbage can!

My mom used to ask if she was a bad mom. She hasn’t been able to ask me this for four years now, but I wanted to answer her one more time anyway. For her. For me. For you.

Please click below to read
Mother, Healer, Champion

Categories: Death, Family, Love, Parenting Tags: , ,
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