What I Wish I’d Known

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It’s an overused motif, really. But every mother has some secret locked away – a confession waiting to be read.

And, after two years of blogging, I suppose it’s my turn.

Of all my life’s choices, I wish I had mastered something so simple – so vital to parenthood.

Before children, I never learned to savor the moment right in front of me.

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What Every Mother Wants to Say (My Second Year Blogging)

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When I started my blog two years ago, I was convinced that I would be the mouthpiece for all mothers – those who work and stay-at-home alike.

Wrong. Dead wrong.

As it turns out, my “you don’t fit neatly into any category” identity followed me into parenthood as well.

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Small Talk

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The Gratitude Gospel: Day 10

Okay, so I’ve missed a few days. The thing about writing about your life is, well, sometimes you just can’t blog about what happens in your day.

Small things happen that no one else will find interesting.

Big things happen that you can’t really share…at least not at the given moment in time.

But today, I was reminded of the deep love I have for something so fleeting in our technology-mediated world: face-to-face small talk.

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Second Chance Love

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The Gratitude Gospel: Day 2

“You saved me from the streets.”

It’s not something I like to discuss – the horrible things my students have encountered in their lives. But my teaching always seems to bring it out.

Drive-bys. Drug rings. Gut-wrenching poverty.

If college is designed to prepare young people for the real world, I think it falls short in doing so for inner-city youth. It takes several class periods before they even feel comfortable removing their backpacks, if it happens at all.

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No Mosquito Bites

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The Gratitude Gospel: Day 1

If you know me in real life, you’ve probably heard me complain about the mosquitoes at our short-term home. They eat the children alive, even with bug spray. We are lucky to escape a 20-minute outdoor adventure with less than 8 bites EACH.

Yesterday a trending weather pattern continued: rain. Frankly, I wanted to kick nature in the pants. So we hooded and booted up. No puddle was safe.

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The Gratitude Gospel*

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The Gratitude Gospel. Okay, so I made it up. But this is a new theme I am exploring in my blog.

You see, life has been rainy lately. And not in the “kids splashing in the rain” kind of way.

We sold our home.

We are renting a cabin in the woods outside of town.

And the university that employees my husband and myself is in the midst of a consolidation.

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A Sobering Swim

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Two. The number of times I have almost drowned.

The first episode involved one of the only adopted children I knew growing up. His birth mother had been an addict. His psychology was frail. But I was a fighter and broke free from his attempts to submerge me permanently in water.

I should have internalized the bigger lesson: steer clear of the deep end.

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You Can Do This

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“You can do this.” It’s become a mantra in our relationship.

First, it was sweet encouragement my husband and I whispered to one another during our tenure in graduate school. Eventually, we walked across the stage – just minutes apart.

Next, it was yelled by my husband over intense labor pains. Truthfully, I thought our children might be stuck forever. Eventually, two little people entered the world.

And, just this weekend, I found myself mentally replaying the words.

For the first time, we trusted a non-grandparent caregiver to put both children to bed.

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A View from the Bottom Bunk

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Don’t be afraid of what you don’t understand.

Easier said than done, of course, but this is my husband and I’s go-to advice for our three-year-old son when we know storms are imminent.

Two nights ago, however, we were no match for the incessant thunder and lightning.

At approximately 3:45 a.m. we awoke to my son’s tearful pleas: “Mommy! Daddy!” There was something different in my son’s voice this time – a blend of emerging maturity and raw fear. He sensed what was happening, yet couldn’t prevent himself from the human desire for certainty…and control.

I led my oldest child down the ladder as Mother Nature illuminated his small room with urgent pulses of white. The night’s antidote would be snuggles with Momma in the bottom bunk.

And, in that 10-minute embrace, shadows weren’t the only images that danced across his walls.

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