Archive for May, 2015

Making movies just like Daddy

My older son watched the movie Super 8 today.

It features a young filmmaker corralling his friends into making movies with him.

I found the young filmmakers adorable. My son found them enchanting, and asked all kinds of questions about filming as the movie progressed. He knew his dad “makes dogs talk” for film, but the specifics weren’t too clear to him.

He seemed fascinated by filmmaking, so I asked if he wanted to make a movie of his own.

Did he ever!

Read more…


Another sibling WordPressified!

My younger sister, aka “Silver Star,” has just migrated her blog to WordPress. My youngest sister has been here for a while, which means all my mom’s daughters have blogs here. If we could just get our brother here, we’d have the full crew!

wp family chart

Unfortunately, my brother feels about writing like he felt about my taking this picture of him many years ago. Read more…

Categories: Blogging, Family Tags: , , ,

Running & a middle school boy’s wisdom

My son and husband are watching a televised track meet being held in my hometown.

My mom used to take my siblings running along that track. We were all fast runners, something I thought we’d inherited from our dad until my mom’s cousin exclaimed how fast she always ran.

I was in middle school the one and only time I was chosen first for a team. My P.E. teacher explained my class would be running various durations for the next several weeks. She’d pool each team’s time for each run and tally them at the end. The team ending the challenge with the shortest total running time would get a school store credit.

Tim, a quiet boy I knew only as a skater, was named a team leader. He was told he could choose before other team leaders. He named me without skipping a beat.

I was shocked. A weirdo in weird clothes, I was always chosen last or close to it. It never occurred to me that a middle schooler might choose teammates based not on popularity but skill. Indeed, many adults haven’t mastered this! Read more…

Perfect for each other

Today I published my blog link on my LinkedIn profile. I’ve withheld it there, fearing–under the guise of reasonable practicality–some potential manager or hiring manager might exclude me from consideration for The Perfect Job because of it.

Today I decided a job probably isn’t my perfect job if its people see this personal blog as a liability. Indeed, this blog is a testament to my ability to articulate myself clearly, to discuss sensitive topics with nuance, to make difficult choices and accept their consequences, to disagree respectfully and apologize when I fall short. The perfect-for-me job’s hiring manager would see this blog and cheer, “Yes! This is a lady after our hearts! WE MUST TALK TO HER!”

(My Perfect Job People will definitely use caps lock here. Possibly also emojis.)

I also decided to envision conversations with prospective employers.

I chuckled through my envisioning.

I’m on the right-for-me track.

Okay, Deborah. I’m a little concerned by this whole “blog” thing, frankly. 
Read more…

Beyond prison walls

When I close my eyes, I see Rara’s trembling arms as we stand and talk at her husband’s memorial.

I feel the Correctional Officer’s presence over my shoulder. The officer is quiet and soft spoken, and I thank her twice for her kindness, but I feel her eyes absorbing everything. I regret that she has to be there at all.

And I come back to Rara’s trembling arms, which reveal things that words couldn’t possibly: all the sadness, all the loss, all the anxiety at a life suddenly nothing like What Came Before.

I’ve felt ill at ease in my own life the last few months. It’s felt pretty all consuming, honestly. Read more…

You are capable of changing them

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…

Rara sends her love

Does it look like we're miserable?

With Rara in orange and Dave in the middle

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…

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