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Self, Easy

Posted on January 28, 2014

I don’t think that getting older is hard; I think that what’s hard is that as each year passes the inevitability of pain gets closer. Incremental change happens in life no matter what I do to prevent it—wrinkles, thrown-out backs, an inability to listen to 18 year olds sing about heartbreak and life without rolling my eyes. All of these things add up and I realize that I know people with terminal illnesses, friends who’ve buried children, and romantics who no longer wear a ring on their left hand. These are the things that begin to weigh on my face, not the wrinkles. It’s an intimacy with heartache and the idea that unfair is really just a moment, an excruciating, unwelcome, out-of-your-countrol moment. Unfair is a beginning and…

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Unexpected Soundtrack of Parenthood

Posted on January 22, 2014

Everyone talks about the cloying songs that are force fed to parents in the first years of parenting. You begin to to think that you’re destined for a lifetime of sing-songy saccharine. The shift happens without warning; one day you realize that the soundtrack is really more ballad than nursery rhyme. Lullabies stretch over pop numbers, lyrics intended for summer crushes melt to fit parent-child chapters, and the melancholy strains of 70s music from your own childhood haunt elevators that you travel with your kids, reflections in the glass and memories in the ether. One Saturday in December I wrote a piece at the request of Brain, Child Magazine. I found myself unexpectedly present in the music as it soaked in the marrow of…

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3 Day Weekend Expectations

Posted on January 19, 2014

Three day weekends have come to mean out-of-the-ordinary expectations. I don’t know how it started, but somehow the girls expect that something amazing is going to happen. Maybe teachers say, “Ok, kids. Have a great break, can’t wait to hear about all the amazing things you do!” Or maybe classmates boast, “Man, my family is going to go so many places and do so many things!” The thing is, it’s not just the girls. I find myself expecting great things of myself. I’ll bake bread, sew embellishments on the curtains in the girls’ rooms. We’ll craft and dance and just generally be happier than any other time of the year. Then the three day weekend hits and someone has a sty or I have…

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Throw in the Towel

Posted on January 18, 2014

I sling the towel over the shower curtain rod before I step into the shower, later I take it to pat my face and legs dry before stepping out into the cold bathroom. Some towels smell like summer on the lake, no amount of laundering can lift the scent of sunscreen and campfire. Burying my face in the loops of terry I close my eyes and hear the girls. They’re squealing as Sean turns the boat quickly; they’re splashing as they dive beneath the surface to look at fish through their goggles. Other towels smell like fresh laundry, no fancy scents because the girls are allergic to dryer sheets. These towels keep me from lingering, just pat-pat-pat and out of the shower to run…

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Melting Icicles

Posted on January 14, 2014

Sean and I have joked that the girls are like a time lapse—their stair-step ages making for a perfect peek into what is ahead/behind for each. Lately I’ve been making a concerted effort to revel in now; now being that Briar is 9, Avery is 7, and Finley is 5. It can be so easy to get led down the trail of lingering on the times when my babies were actually babies, when my purse would overflow with wipes, puffy snacks, and breast milk bags. The way my shirts had permanent creases from the Baby Bjorn and the backs of my shoulders always bore the sheen of dried banana. Equally alluring can be looking ahead to the idea of soon; when the girls will be…

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