Posts from the “Mama Sap” Category

Before Bedtime Requests End; I Hope I Hear Them

Posted on December 16, 2014

Somehow I thought that in the years of chronicling the ups and downs of parenting, maybe a lesson or two would stick. Perhaps a bit of writing it down would offer up a moment of grace to keep me from utterly screwing things up because I’m in a bad mood. Mostly that doesn’t work,  the truth ends up being that as I tally board at the end of the night it comes in at a draw, the screw ups and wins in a dead heat. The other night I was looking through my iPhoto library and was sobered by the absence of photos of Briar. What happened? There’s Ave, there’s Fin, there’s another selfie. Do I not see her? Are pictures of her not as easily sharable…

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No Penalty

Posted on November 29, 2014

Briar sang at a hockey game tonight. She’s right there in the first photo, front and center. This is my first-born, the one who froze at a photo shoot she’d wanted to be in, backed out of a lacrosse clinic she’d agreed to do, and who has lost her ability to speak in public settings at times. “You going to be ok?” I asked as I lead her toward the music teacher and chorus kids waiting in the corridor. “Yeah, of course. Why?” she asked. “I don’t know, just checking,” I said. I got back to Sean and he said, “Did you tell her the place was going to have 5,ooo people in it? It’s standing room only.” “Of course not, I don’t want…

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Don’t Blink

Posted on November 13, 2014

Night before last I was the last one up to bed. I was typing away down here, putting away the last dishes, and, of course, playing with the kittens. By the time I went up I was bleary eyed and ready to drop. I plunked my phone on the bedside table and then walked down to the bathroom. After washing my face and brushing my teeth I padded down the hall to Fin and Ave. Ave had rolled and tucked deep inside the blankets, a thatch of dark hair covering one eye. I nuzzled her face, brushing the hair aside as I whispered, “Mama loves you.” She stirred, pressing a hand against my face, “Mmmmama.” My eyes crinkled, I pivoted to Finley. She was…

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The Watercolor of Parenting—Tears and Twinkles

Posted on November 3, 2014

We used to say that when we went to a restaurant there was a window. It became Sean’s standard new-dad-but-getting-the-hang-of-it line. “We know that when we walk into the restaurant we have 20 minutes, 30 or 35 tops, before the wheels fall off. My goal is to always be through the door with the car seat or stroller before a single wheel drops,” he’d say proudly. He never judged the parents who missed the window, but like some sort of talent scout watching a football game in the midwest, he’d cock his head toward a table, click the side of his mouth, and say, “They’re on the edge of their window.” To this day we still watch parents with toddlers at restaurants, not to stare daggers…

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Hints of What Matters Amid the Chaos

Posted on October 22, 2014

  Time is doing that thing, that thing that reveals how fast it goes even while some days seem to last for weeks. It isn’t the back-to-school blur or a concentration of deadlines at work, though those are both real and present. It’s the toss of hair and expressiveness of Finley’s eyebrows, her declarations of, “It’s just odd!” followed by a quick scan of the room to see if we all caught how mature she is. It’s Briar slipping quietly into a private realm, emotions and Minecraft, daydreams and song lyrics. The way Avery thrashes in the night, limbs too long for her pjs and shocks of hair that when tucked behind her ear, reveal new hollows in her face. I buck against the…

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