A Mother Nose

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On most days, parenthood feels like the dying of oneself. Life no longer revolves around you or your own independent decisions. Instead, you will likely find yourself last on the priority list at the close of each day. This does, however, offer a most amazing peace: your children are alive and you lived another day to bask in their glow.

I was experiencing the euphoria of this moment just before bed one night last week. It was approximately 10:00 p.m., and I was ecstatic about an early (at least for me) bedtime.

As I turned off our living room’s final light, I glanced at the rug that my children frequent during the busy hours of day. The toys, in classic toddler fashion, were strewn around the room. Make a note of that slide, I reminded myself.

As I completed the excited tango of a careful mother in the dark, it struck me. No, literally, our wooden doorframe struck me. Crack! My nose had failed in its attempt to move the wall.

Two doctor appointments and three x-rays later, the verdict was less than amusing: a likely fracture. I may have even laughed at myself if my face hadn’t been hurting so badly.

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What Scares Me about Trump

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Election year is upon us, and every day there is a new reason to loathe politics. In my own mind, I can’t quite wrap my head around a Trump candidacy or, worse, a Trump presidency.

Over and over, I wrestle with the thought of my children’s future being steered, at least for the next four years, by Donald Trump. In truth, I don’t personally know the man, and, sadly, just like the rest of us, I am largely informed by media agendas.

This week I saw that Trump has released a partial list of the foreign policy advisors that will guide him if he is elected. Who is on this list? I would argue that it doesn’t really matter. The individuals who are passionately following Trump and pledging their dogmatic allegiance do not need to know his list (or any tangible details) because, quite frankly, it will not impact their vote.

Should it?

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The Kind of Hope That Floats

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It is a myth that parents enjoy every single moment that they are afforded with their children. Personally, my breaking point each day is bath time.

Piles of stories have been read.                                                                                                             Balanced meals have been eaten and, mostly, not thrown at Mom.                                               And, somehow, I have been able to hold it together.

Just when I feel like a victor, my husband runs the bathwater.

Do you hear that?

Yes, it is my soul…crying from fatigue.

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Chasing the Avocado

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Happiness is a ripe avocado. If you have ever lived in California, you know this to be true.

My daughter, six months young, is learning all about this magical fruit’s elusivity, as she cannot yet grasp avocado between her lusting fingers. Perhaps it is because she is mine or because her blue eyes penetrate my soul, but I find few things more mesmerizing than watching my daughter’s hands seek the promise of satiety.

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The “Oh, Crap” Moment

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I blame my husband.

As we settle into bed each night, I snuggle against the warmth of his back. It is in this moment of pure solace, that my mind rests – often for the first time all day.

A few nights ago, just before slumber, a realization startled me. We are raising two children that will become two adults. We are raising humans.

Oh, crap.

To be frank, this is the side of parenting that no one wants to discuss. It is far easier to exist in a state of denial or ignorance than to accept that we are actively shaping the malleable future with both our parenting AND the way we are living our own lives.

It doesn’t matter what is projected on social media, the truth will be expressed in the child.

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The Two-Career Conundrum

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In Matthew Chapter 6*, Jesus discusses a person’s inability to serve two masters, but I would have to respectfully disagree – that is, if we are to consider the two-career conundrum that mothers who wish to work outside of the home face. Mothers, of course, seek or return to an external occupation for various reasons, but the emotional, psychological, and, often, physical ties to their children never diminish. If a woman is to contribute to the world vocationally, she must bear the weight of an additional career and somehow find a balance between the two.

For myself, this looks an awful lot like a hangover. Continue reading “The Two-Career Conundrum”

The Bus That Leads Home

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When I shared with my father that I, a 20-year-old graduate student, would be volunteering in Nicaragua during spring break 2007, his response was, in a word, strong. I explained that I would be working with orphans. No give. I emphasized the poverty that the children faced. No give. I told him that I was ready to see the world. No give.

I couldn’t see it then, but his anger and painful disapproval originated from a place of love.

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A Sticky Catharsis

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It all started with a hoodie and my son’s unyielding refusal to remove it from his head. The day, which began like so many others, quickly evolved into a battle of wills. With our son we have learned that attitudes and physical discomfort go hand-in-hand, but, at least in this case, there was no external sign of illness.

We made his final preparations for preschool and silently offered a prayer for his teachers.

[Interlude]

As soon as I pulled into our garage after school that day, my son dashed to the backyard, grabbed the largest stick he could hold, and began hitting a nearby tree with all of the force his svelte body could muster. His hoodie may have been the color of ashes, but there was clearly a fire burning within my child.

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