Day 15: Awareness

I didn’t intend to write this today. But sometimes paying attention means letting yourself remember.

Today, October 15th, is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. It’s not a day I keep on my calendar. I’m not even sure I’ve ever mentioned it before.

I’ve touched on our miscarriage in writing—here, here, and most recently here. It’s not a story I’ve documented in full though, I’m only just now realizing. It feels better suited for sharing quietly with other women in person with tears and coffee, too raw to surprise unsuspecting readers with in a blog post. Continue reading

Day 14: Saturday morning

They turn on PBS Kids with the TV at its lowest volume. The older one at least understands that grown-ups prefer sleeping in on the weekends.

They’re gentlest with each other first thing in the morning, wedging their little bodies onto the same couch cushion underneath a shared blankie.

I hear them making little noises and scoot down under the comforter in response, wondering how many more minutes I can get away with before one of them appears at my bedside with some urgent need.  Continue reading

Day 12: Failure to look

It’s not uncommon for me to share something on a specific topic here one day and be challenged in that exact area the next—a clear-as-day reminder that anything worthwhile that gets tapped out on this keyboard isn’t mine to claim. If it’s good, if it’s true, if it speaks to you, it’s not me—it’s Him.

Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:16-17)

I should have that written down somewhere I can’t miss it. Continue reading

Day 10: Dishes and gratitude

I know I’m behind on kitchen upkeep when there are no butter knives left in the silverware drawer. It always seems like we have more butter knives than anything else. I’m one of those heathens who prefers to cut my food with the side of my fork over bothering with a knife, so perhaps that’s why. (Don’t tell my mom.)

The dirty dishes multiply awfully quick around here, considering there are only four of us. I tell myself it’s because the kitchen is small and there’s not enough counter space, but who am I kidding? The kitchen is a mess because I avoid cleaning it.

In fact, at this moment, I’m sitting at the dining table with my laptop open, in a seat I’ve chosen specifically because when I sit just so, the kitchen chaos is hidden from my line of sight. It’s nice over here. This table is cleared off save for a fresh bouquet from Trader Joe’s and this morning’s coffee cup.

I fight the slip into resentfulness when the time comes to clean up, wipe down, put away clutter my children and husband leave in their wake. This is, of course, completely ridiculous, because I am the Queen of making messes and then abandoning them until a tipping point is reached—for example, running out of clean underwear. Or butter knives.

I sometimes forget that this work matters, but worse, I forget the magnitude of what these chores represent—all I have been given and who has given it to me.  Continue reading

Day 8: Hebrews 2:1

Our sermon at church this morning just happened to focus on a passage that began with this verse:

Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. (Hebrews 2:1)

Pay closer attention… lest we drift away.

The words were for everyone—they are for everyone—but in that moment I knew they were for me. I glanced at Dan, standing next to me, thinking, Did you hear that?! and willing him to read my mind, but his eyes were on the Bible in his hands. Of course they were.  Continue reading

Day 7: A date with my daughter

My firstborn is nine. She is simultaneously hanging on to little-girlhood and feeling the pull of tweendom. She wants to take goofy selfies with me, but she doesn’t want me to post them for the world to see. (I only do so with her permission.) We have sweet cuddles and meaningful conversations; we have unexplained tears and closed doors.

Some days I think, I am killing it at parenting!

Some days I think, Parenting is going to kill me! 

I’ve never been the mom of a 9-year-old before. All of her firsts are mine too.  Continue reading

Day 6: Knit and purl

Maybe a month ago, I tossed a pair of knitting needles and a skein of colorful yarn into my Hobby Lobby shopping basket on a whim. It wasn’t for lack of needles or yarn—there’s a giant box of knitting supplies somewhere in our attic. But you know I’m not going up there.

I used to knit on my hourlong train ride in and out of Boston five days a week, what feels like a lifetime ago, before motherhood, before we moved back to Florida. I used to make washcloths and hats and headbands.

Now I’m trying to remember the last time I knit anything at all, but I can’t recall the last finished project. Maybe that’s why I stopped in the first place—I loved to flip through pattern books and leave sticky notes on all the recipes I wanted to try, but what I inevitably wound up with was a pile of items knitted a third of the way through.

And then there was a baby and a thousand-mile move, and somehow the needles and yarn never got unpacked.

I’m not sure what prompted this craft-store purchase—it’s not as though I’m in need of hobbies to fill the already crowded hours of the day. But something in me said, “Create.” And I shrugged and replied, “Okay.” Continue reading

Day 5: It’s raining again.

The rain this week just keeps on comin’.

Daisy, who at three-and-a-half describes most things in terms of “favorite” and “not my favorite,” prefers a clear blue sky.

Yesterday I reminded her of the ways rain is a gift: It helps the plants to grow, it gives people and animals water to drink, it makes puddles we can jump and splash in, it plays music for us on the porch roof. She looked at me skeptically in the rearview mirror and then returned her gaze to the streams running down her window.

“But rain is not my favorite.”

This typically leads to a conversation about thunder—also not her favorite. Continue reading