Posts tagged “daughters

Testing Body Image

Posted on July 21, 2014

We were sprawled out in the backyard. Sean was spraying the big girls down with a hose and Finley was devouring a sandwich in a lawn chair. The cat and dog were at our sides, both seemingly delighted that we were spending the day in a way that they could be with us. As the grass began to get soppy Sean passed the hose to Briar and Avery and gave them a three minute warning. “Three minutes and the hose is done!” “Okaaaaaaaay!” the girls screeched. Briar was in a purple and black suit, Ave a black rashguard with paint splatter accents and matching bottoms. They darted this way and that, their bodies shiny. Briar’s legs are long and slender, the stretch from knee…

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A Good Fit

Posted on July 12, 2014

There are some milestones that I have breathlessly watched for—first steps, “mom”, reading, riding a bike. I rejoice as the girls achieve them and some times find myself a bit crestfallen at how much they make me ache. Over the past few months I’ve realized that we’ve reached a new one and it terrifies me. All three girls are sitting on an axis that is tilting them toward a new realm that involves unabashed worship of kids older than they are. I can see it in the trance-like effect of movies, the absolute silence that comes over them when we pass a group of teenagers, the way their necks crane when we pass the neighbor’s house that is always peppered with boys playing basketball…

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Horror Trending

Posted on May 26, 2014

I have a routine in the mornings, after a cuddle with our early-rising cat, I pad downstairs, make coffee and check my email, Twitter, and Facebook. The volume of junk email I receive makes the email check a nice warm-up, easily done with heavy lids and a not entirely alert mind. Twitter is my favorite, my circle of friends there are wildly passionate and quirky. They educate, challenge, and fascinate me. Whether it’s chatter about a tv show or advocating for gun reform, I discover new viewpoints and humbling daring. For the most part I am safe in what I tweet about; avoiding perilous ledges of conflict because I have a business and I know that sometimes my very liberal Pacific Northwest roots put…

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Pinned

Posted on March 30, 2014

“Mom, can I take my iPod to school?” I didn’t expect it to startle me the way that it did. We’ve always let the girls play with our electronics, our phones chock full of apps and videos recommended by Cool Mom Picks and Cool Mom Tech. I am not ashamed of the amount of screen time they have and feel confident in the boundaries we’ve set with what they can look at or play. I’ve proudly snapped pictures of them after finding them cuddled like kittens playing Stack the States together. I think the difference is the idea of them using the devices in the company of the pack on the bus. The bus having become this place where bad things happen and things…

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A Change in the Light

Posted on March 19, 2014

It’s been coming for a while now, though I haven’t quite been able to put my finger on it. It’s sinew in the musculature I’ve acquired through 10 years of parenting and writing. It’s a taut bit that pulls at me, keeping me from going as far as I might want in a certain direction. The other night as we crested the bluff near the summit, I looked away from the smattering of twinkling lights that are our little town and I turned instead to the back side of the mountain.
Sunset

 

I looked at the trees and drank in the colors of the sunset, the familiar pinks, purples, and blues of so many pictures that we’ve pinned to the wall or tucked away between the pages of cherished books. I looked over at Sean and felt my shoulders slip, wiggling out of the tense clothes hanger line that they so swiftly settle into at some blurry moment between racing to the bus stop and sitting down to my desk at work. He’d pushed for us to squeeze in a few runs; I’d lobbied to get the driveway cleared. We’d split the difference and done most of the driveway before heading to the mountain.

I second guessed the decision until halfway up the lift. It was just us. The film of guilt that so often sullies grown-up time, the indefatigable sensation that I am doing something other than what I ought to, was completely absent. Our legs swung as the lift gently rocked, my eyes stung as we emerged from the cover of trees and the wind hit. The smile of a dozen summers broke across my face as the air reminded me of poking my face out the window and of throwing my mouth wide open, allowing the gusts of wind to rattle my face and make sounds as they rushed inside.

Pushing off the chair, we headed for the trail and I felt the understanding sink in—our stories are changing, just as teeth are being lost and crushes are being lit, the rhythm of how we sway in the wake of our own momentum is new. Briar and I have talks at bedtime, the lights turned out, her sisters tucked away in their own room, we conspire—to learn, to laugh, and to begin the startling and exquisite journey to a place where the way she needs me is different, less predictable.

The times when all three girls are in agreement seem less, yet they have certain things that fuse them together. I am devouring all of it, while realizing that there are shadows cropping up, plumes of warning.

I cannot share every story and I cannot be present for every moment. We were supposed to get to this moment, despite the lump in my throat, at their ascent and my own racing heart; this is good. My clench is slowing to a pulse, allowing me moments of letting go—

“Sure, you can take a run without us, but please stay together,” I call to them as they disappear into the blur of neon ski coats, the other words about being super careful and not crashing into a tree fade at the back of my throat. They are letting go too.

We revisit before together, “Mama, ‘member how I used to always be in your arms?” Finley whispers as she strokes my face at bedtime.

“Yes, of course I do. You want to know a secret?” I ask. She nods.

“You are still there. That sweet, little Fin that you were, she’s always going to be in my arms. We get to keep each other together when we remember.”

“So even when I’m growed up and move away, but maybe not ’cause I might want to live with you and dad forever, I’ll still be with you in my baby time?”

“Exactly.” She sighs contentedly. I wrap my arms around her forever.