Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Dear little kid,

Something incredible happened 10 years ago today.

I made magic. I -- imperfect, ordinary, often unhappy, kind of chaotic, half-glass-empty-me. I created it and grew it and brought it forth into the universe. I made a little spark of the very thing I wasn't sure truly existed. It came into the world with you, a golden glow.

You are curiosity, charisma, kindness, generosity, and wild and wonderful wit in one dynamic little package.

You find fascinating things because you're always looking and you're able to see the wonder in the ordinary. Your personality fills rooms. You seek out the separate and draw them in, allowing for an understanding exit if your attempts at connection don't work out. You are confident and brave. You see the best in others, always.

If something bad happens to you, your first reaction is to celebrate that it didn't happen to someone less equipped to deal with it.

You love freely, help generously, joke easily, approach boldly.

You are everything I want to be and everything I wish everyone else was.

You are a gift from the universe, a daily reminder to me that everything I want in the world exists under my roof. You really are magic, the very best kind.

Happy Birthday, little kid. Thank you for the honor of 10 joy-filled years of being your mother, and for the everyday reminder that magic is real. And that it is in 5th grade and leaves its socks on my floor.

I like you, I love you, and I'll always protect you,


Saturday, August 13, 2016

New Heights

"Did you see that some guy scaled Trump Towers using suction cups or something?" I asked Big Kid.

"I did. That's hilarious."

"The way the media is covering it is funny too, I keep seeing him referred to as only his first name. Wait, what was his name? It was something really aver--"

"Ted Cruz."

I laughed. "No, not Ted Cruz, that was the -- "

"Mom...I know. That's the joke. Can you go with it? I mean, with this election season, it's not even that unlikely that the accused Zodiac Killer would climb up a presidential candidate's building, right?"

I can totally go with it. This kid is getting smarter and funnier than me by the second though, and that's scarier than Ted Cruz's weird little smirk.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Dear Big Kid,

If your life was a road trip, I would find myself wondering why on earth we ever did even one mile over the speed limit, why we passed any other cars, why we didn’t make more stops along the way. I already regret every, “Are we there yet?”

You’re 13 today and you wear it well. This is both a compliment and not. You are moody and emotional, complicated and complex. You have opinions and insights about the world, politics, humanity, and movie reboots. There are things in your life I don’t know, which is a relatively new phenomenon. Or so I like to think.

You’re also witty and sweet, ethereally handsome, and still boyish in all of the right ways, even as your shoulders are broadening and your feet outpace mine in size and stride.

The teenage years are like a highway under construction — the trip takes on a new element of challenge, even for an experienced driver, with detours and barricades and near constant confusion. I’m learning to appreciate the traffic and the opportunity it provides to remember that this journey won’t be forever…and that’s the best and worst thing.

One day we will roll up to our destination and it will be awesome in the un-casual sense, in the true meaning of the word awe. The adult version of you will dwarf the wonder of the Grand Canyon. You are the gift that I have given the world and I am confident in my offering. I will revel in the success of our arrival…and I will mourn our journey’s ending all the same. I will lament those cheesy roadside attractions that I chose to skip, and the boring hours will take on the rosy glow that only nostalgia can bring.

I love you, Big Kid. My actual big kid now.

I hope I’ve planned enough and not too much, I hope I’ve made the hours pass with ease, I hope you know that I knew the way even when it seems like I didn’t. Because you are my way.

Thanks for accompanying me so closely on this leg of our trip through life, and for being the best guide I could give and get.

I like you, I love you, and I’ll always protect you.


Sunday, July 31, 2016

Stranger Things

Guys, summer is forever. 

There's a lot going on, and that's part of the problem. 

There's so much going on. And nothing at all going on. It feels rather terminal, but I know it is not.  The challenge lies in remembering that it will all be over soon.  I love my kids, and I hate packing lunches, but I dare anyone to ask me for a popsicle one more time. Seriously. Ask me. Do it. 

I fucking dare you. 

My saving grace has been Stranger Things on Netflix. I'm not into horror, or sci-fi, or cool shit that everyone else likes, but I was hooked from the very second I saw the promo still for the first episode. 

It's like if Stephen King and the Goonies and everything good about the '80s had a baby. I love the cast and the costumes and the story line -- and let's face it, Winona Ryder is a bad ass and always will be. Stranger Things is like a time machine back to my childhood with a little more terror and mystery. 

Escaping back to the '80s each night has been a blessing in disguise this summer, even if it involves aliens and scary shit. 

Go ahead and enjoy a psychological thriller that doesn't involve snack food or outings with camp kids present. 

And may God bless every mom, and help us through this trying time. 

*I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team and get free Netflix in exchange for my opinions -- yeah, it's a sweet gig. 

Sunday, July 10, 2016


little kid, aged 9, is borderline weird in his love for me.

And I can't help but love it.

To say he is full of compliments is an understatement -- it's more like I have a miniature poet following me around on some days.

Today he came into my room and said, "You know, I've been thinking. I always talk about how you're gorgeous, because you are gorgeous, and I don't say that you also have a really good personality. Like, people really like you and I'm not just saying that because you're my mom. It's nice that you are even nicer on the inside."

I laughed at the sweetness and strangeness of that as he continued. "You're kind of like nature's candy; like you look good and you are good. But not to eat."

"Well...thank you? That's really nice of you to say, and wow on the nature's candy thing."

I mean, seriously.

For his future wife's sake, I hope he never outgrows it.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Power of People

I would like to just take a minute to congratulate myself, and accept your appreciation, on my lack of political opinions on the internet lately.

(Twitter doesn't count.)

Not to be dramatic, but the entire rest of the world is slowly killing me. So slowly though, like the world has straightened out a paperclip and is stabbing me with it repeatedly -- short, annoying, constant jabs that sometimes pile up until I lie in bed at night and wonder if all of these little hurts could add up one day, that all of the little pinpricks might let my soul leak out onto the sidewalk until people are stepping over the puddle of me and arguing over who will be responsible for cleaning it up.

Not to be dramatic.

I am 85% sure that the world is not a safe place for someone so easily affected, and yet I'm stuck here. I also think the internet is a big problem, because the whole world is in my lap and I can't brush it off when it feels like the sky is falling. But if I zoom in to my own tiny little bubble, it's so much easier to remember that it isn't.

So there is a constant push and pull of tightening my circle until it's so small that I am in control and widening my worldview in an attempt to have empathy for every side of every issue, so that I can understand what's happening.

And I'm not depressed, just disappointed in the planet's general vibe. Seriously. Get your shit together, entire rest of the world.

I watched Welcome to Leith on Netflix recently, a documentary about a white supremacist that sets up shop in a small, sleepy town, and how it changes everything. Their circle was tight, life was zoomed in enough to care about your neighbors, and then some loud, determined, fairly clever idiots moved in swiftly and changed their little world through careful maneuvering and politics.

It was a small stage battle, but powerful in its implications, and terrifying in its potential, and revealing in how important it is to push back, even/especially when it feels scary to do so.

You should watch it. And you should pull your real people in so close that you don't forget that they're the ones that matter. And you should speak up against injustice, even when it feels futile, because it can come for your people, too.

But do it on Twitter, Facebook is bad enough.

(*Note: I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team. I get free Netflix, which is proof that there is a higher power making sure we each have what we need. My opinions on politics, the world, Facebook, nazis, the internet, and/or idiots are my own.)