Nov 14 2013

Minnehaha Love Song

photo-8There’s a stretch of creek that runs in front of our house that’s just about the most bucolic place you’ve ever seen. Shimmery waters, rustling trees, picturesque bridges – it’s gorgeous. And wholesome. But not everything is entirely what it seems.

When we bought our house we told our friends out East we were moving to Minnehaha Creek. Minnehahahahaha we would bray nervously, making light of our move back to the Midwest and to a place with such a preposterous name.

Little did I know how Minnehaha Creek, the backbone to the good green city of Minneapolis, would insinuate itself into my imagination and my reality. We didn’t just buy a house. We bought a kingdom.

It takes thirty seconds to walk down into the gorge of the creek from my house and I feel my cells quicken. I feel ten years old and more than a little frothy. Places like these, woods like these – this is where the best and the worst stuff happens. This is where you’re free. Free and hidden.

I remember dirty magazines in the spot I used to go to with my friend, Effi, back where I grew up. I remember clearing ground, making forts, staring up through the canopy of woody capillaries. I remember digging in the dirt, making smooth concavities to hold our stuff. I remember a dude who scared us bad – as in, run away with branches tearing at you and your heart pounding in your ears screaming bloody murder, bad. He was probably just a teenager looking for a place to smoke.

Years ago, I was hanging out on the bridge down at Minnehaha Creek with my babies. A man appeared with a look in his eye and an energy roiling off his shoulders that stopped me cold. I tasted bitterness in the back of my throat – fear. I will never know if he meant us harm. I do know that my body responded to him like prey.

And yet, despite or because of what I know about the woods, I still shoo my brood down to the creek. Go play. Make a fort. Explore. Run around. Brush up against life, nature, people. My son broke his arm on a cold winter’s day when he fell out of a tree after one of my shoos. Another time, two of them came home cheeks aflame with outrage. A woman had yelled at them for touching the dead fish caught in the muddy pools during a drought.

It takes a village, I told them.

You have my permission to touch the dead fish, I told them.

The creek is a favorite strolling place of a lady we call the Minneha-ho. She sticks out on these paths thick with runners and bikers in high tech sports gear. Ink black hair, sky high heels and more nights carved onto her face than her hot pants would have you imagine. I don’t think she’s actively looking for action, not that it much matters to me. Everyone needs a spot to walk and think and let the sun hit your tired back.

My kids’ favorite babysitter lived across the creek from us. I wonder if she ever told her mom about the time I rolled ass over teakettle down the snowy sledding hill when I was walking her home after a boozy night out. I popped up and dusted myself off with a chipper, not-fooling-anyone woopsiedaisy! Maybe she was too young to realize.

In winter, people sit on the banks, lace up ice skates and glide down the creek. It’s ridiculous and lovely – like a goddamn Currier and Ives painting. In summer, canoers and kayakers float by, disturbing the mallards and waving to feral children (mine) hanging off the bridges.

A couple winters ago, the Southwest Minneapolis Patch reported ‘Naked Man in High Heels Flees Police Near Minnehaha Creek’. He was apprehended and treated for lacerations to his feet from running in heels in the snow. His poor feet. He should talk to the Minneha-ho about more sensible shoe options. But, the truth of the matter is that he picked the best spot in the city for his little foray.

This is where you’re free. Free and hidden.

Sep 5 2013

Tiny Floating

tinyfloatingI love lakes. I just do. So many people prefer oceans, or (egads) swimming pools, but to me nothing beats a cool, deep lake. I like that the water is sweet. I like that it holds mysteries. I like that lakes are alive, yet contain nothing that can actually eat me. Lakes are safe, but they are dark – and something about that floats my boat.

August had me returning to the lake every day. Multiple times a day. After a summer spent at the pool, I’m over its artificial blue waters and right angles – the chlorine, the bodies. Something about the late summer light makes me yearn for nature and its wild edges. I crave the inky black water and the cloud streaked sky. Morning, noon and best of all, night, the lake is different and completely gorgeous each time.

I’ve always been one to swim out way far – searching for the middle – possibly the area where I go tiny dancing. On vacation I would eye a distant rock island for days until one day I made a break for it with Saint James. We don’t swim fast, we don’t swim freestyle. A simple, head out of the water breast stroke allows us to talk and go for days. He’s always been my deep swim companion and we’d turn, panting and proud, to see our people, impossibly small and worriedly standing with hands on hips on the shore.

This August, through the heatwave, the middle of Lake Harriet became my parlor of sorts and I brought anyone who was game. Dash, Supergirl, book club ladies. I wanted to share the MIDDLE, because the middle is better than the edges.

It occurs to me that what draws me back again and again is the same exact feeling that I get from crunching my way out onto the white expanse in the wintertime. It’s found territory – a place where your body isn’t necessarily supposed to be. I love being where I’m not supposed to be.

Floating on my back, with planes flying overhead or the moon hanging like a swinging bulb, the water lapping at my temples – this is the physical sensation of summer that I am choosing for myself this year. This is what I will think about when the snow flies and the lake is frozen to land. I will imagine those waters holding my body afloat, limbs splayed and eyelids heavy, a sacred offering to the sun.

Mar 12 2013

Devil Baby in 100 Years

securedownloadLike everyone, this house is awash in drawings and doodles. Stuff from school, scribbles on napkins and scraps of paper. I look at all of it before I recycle it. Often times I take a picture, because it seems a shame to lose the sentiment, the moment in time, the humor, the color or whatever it is that made me stop and smile for a few ticks.

This was part of some 100 project that the first graders were doing and I just adore it. The little perm, the puffy sleeves, the pink shoes, the fresh tennis balls on the cane. We should all aspire to look that good at the ripe old age of 106.

Feb 8 2013

This Season We’re In

securedownloadRed Vogue emailed me a little winter promo she had put together because the jumping fish girl is actually Supergirl. When I saw it, I just sat with my chin in my hands for a few minutes and stared. It’s so lovely.

The feeling I get from seeing these two photos side by side is the essence of Minnesota life for me. The lakes loom large for our families, in winter, spring, summer and fall and to see Harriet dressed in her two most contrasting costumes is a good reminder that winter is not forever. And also a good reminder that winter is not forever.

Y’all know I’m a fan of a wintery lake. When I was the mystery guest in Supergirl’s classroom, my clues for favorite places were 1. Clancy’s meat market in Linden Hills, 2. First Avenue and 3. the middle of the lake in the middle of the winter. Tiny dancing is still one of my life’s most unique and mind clearing  pleasures, but trucking out with the kids, Dash and Foxy Brown (or any combination thereof) is equally warming – warming in all ways.

If you haven’t walked out to the middle of Lake Harriet by yourself, with your dog or with your kids, you are missing out. Truly missing out on a physical and mental sensation that is ephemeral and uniquely tied to this time of year. I’ve said this before: It is found ground. How can we not enjoy standing on its firmness and marveling at our spot in the world?

When I’m out there, my pooch tearing around like a chocolate blur, I find myself slowly turning 360 degrees to take in the white expanse, the variegated sky, the winking lights. When in life do we ever take a slow 360? It’s so rare.

I take the big clearing breaths I don’t remember or get to take the rest of the time when I’m wrapped up in my bulky sweaters, hunched against the wind or over a cup of hot tea.

I note that what’s missing in color and saturation is more than compensated for in pattern, texture and shadow – all courtesy of the wind and the clouds and Mama Nature’s deft hand.

And I am grateful for the cold that makes it possible, because that is no longer something we can or should take for granted.

Winter is not forever.

Jan 11 2013

Costa Rica

montihill1As I type and glance out the window at the white, grays and browns, our emerald green escape seems about as improbable as OZ. Two whole weeks in Costa Rica. The thought of it makes me sigh a big, deep, relaxed, blissful sigh – still, these many days later. It was good, friends. It was what I needed to knit myself back together – to tuck in all the frayed nerves, to smooth over the shards of anger. With the help of my little family and that gracious country, I feel whole. My faith in us – and myself – is restored. At least for a little while.

What did I love about our trip to Costa Rica? Let me count the ways . . .

sunset11. Sunsets. Sunsets are a fact of life and almost a cliche – they happen every day, like clockwork. Mundane, unnoticed, ignored. That is, until you go on vacation. Suddenly, sunsets are elevated to their rightful position – that of a small miracle worthy of our attention. We enjoyed wave crashing sunsets, sunsets on the tops of hills, sunsets with umbrella drinks, sunsets in hammocks, sunsets on dirt roads, sunsets on sandy beaches. But we watched them, together, allowing ourselves to be bathed in gold and suspended in magic for a few minutes.

binocs12. Patience. It turns out we are the kind of people who will stand in the rain for half an hour after a three hour hike to try to get a better glimpse of a Resplendent Quetzal perched on a branch. Also the kind of people who will hang out on a beach for hours at night to make sure a few hatchling turtles made it to the sea. Even though the baby turtles have managed just fine for centuries before our arrival, it felt important. It felt like we helped. This trip rewarded quiet watchfulness, which is a rarity in our lives.

horses13. Los caballos. It’s actually a great way to cover a lot of terrain if there are small tired legs in the family. And the Ticos make it so easy – no helmets, no waivers, no fuss – just hop on and go. We went on two epic horseback trecks – one through town, jungle and beach, one through jungle and cloud forest. I have always loved horses and it made me puff chested proud to see my entire family on horseback. Doctor Dash’s horse decided to take a dip when we forged a river, drenching him from head to toe and I have never laughed so hard in my life. I quite literally could not breathe. Poor Dash. I’m a terrible wife. A couple hours later, I would find myself galloping faster than I ever have while my horse strained to catch up with Supergirl’s. Again, breathless.

mosaic1painting14. Art where you’d least expect. Toward the end of our trip, we decided to spend the day beach hopping among some hidden beaches that we had read about. We had an awesome day – treacherous dirt roads, incredible vistas, three beautiful beaches in six hours – each as unique as a fingerprint. On the way back we stopped in a little town called Punta Islita, where there was supposed to be a fantastic art collaboration between the town and the hotel near the town. Intrigued, we stopped to take a look and sure enough, right in the middle of paradise, was this tiny colony of working artists.

Dash and I have a long tradition of rationalizing purchases in Costa Rica – beginning on our honeymoon when we would let ourselves splurge on cool and fancy hotels we stumbled upon because Hey! You only honeymoon once, right? This time, we bought a painting by artist Joseph Kaknes. He dedicated it to us on the back, scribbling that he hoped it would bring us much joy. It already has. I love this painting because I love the whole day leading up to it and how we found it and the salty Gloucester artist who charmed us in his studio. I love that my kids ran around and played with his dogs while we chatted with Joseph, slowly becoming enchanted by his work. It’s for our fifteenth wedding anniversary. And Christmas.


5. New Years on the beach. Basically we camped out in the sand with our friends in front of a bar called La Vela Latina and drank beer under the stars while our kids ran around. The entire span of Playa Samara was dotted with bonfires and at midnight it was fireworks, all up and down the beach as far as the eye could see. I have never experienced anything like it. It was just magic. Warm, loud, rowdy, frolicky and uniquely Latin. What a way to start 2013.

signsoccersoccer16. Futbol is a language. Watching Saint James take a deep breath and muster up every last iota of his guts to jump into his first pick-up game on the beach squeezed my heart. He never would have found the courage if he didn’t want to play SO BAD. After that first time, it was a piece of cake. He’d scan the beach, narrow his eyes, assess the level of play, shrug and jog on over. I noticed he’d juggle the ball a few times or do a fancy trick right off the bat as a way of introducing himself. Boys, teens, men, the occasional girl, and the occasional Supergirl, he managed to play almost every day that we were on or near a beach. Good stuff.

skypalm1clouds17. The view from still. The best thing about traveling is that point when you remember there is another way to do things, another way to live. Costa Ricans can sit like no one else. It’s like an Olympic sport. Every where you go, Ticos are simply sitting, chatting, watching the world go by. They’ll sit on the beach, in front of vegetable stands, in the yard with the chickens, at restaurants, on front porches, at gas stations, in bars, on fences. They are so good at it, that I found it quite inspiring.

This was by no means a sedentary vacation, but we did try to balance out all our adrenaline excursions with a bit of leisure and some long beach days. When I wasn’t body surfing with the kids or swimming out past everyone else or peering into tidal pools, I sat with Dash. I watched the Ticos and I copied them as best I could, and to tell you the truth, the view is beautiful from a point of stillness. You watch your family play and you really see them. You look at your feet. You look up. You breathe, you drink a beer, you make small talk with your hubby. It’s quite simple, really. And I’m going to make a concerted effort to keep up this newly acquire skill. There are other ways to do things and I’m keeping this piece.


helmets1medave8. Us. It didn’t really dawn on me until someone asked us if we had been to Costa Rica before, that we were returning fifteen years after our honeymoon with three kids in tow. Even though we went different places on our honeymoon, it turns out we kind of travel the same way. We like our independence, we like to be spontaneous, we like to go off the beaten path and we like to be where the Ticos are. Even though it wasn’t intentional, I love the symmetry of returning 15 years later with our babes.

It was actually really romantic – so much has changed and yet so much is the same. Dash and I are essentially the same. But now we’ve got 3 cool little people who are game for adventure, curious, brave and completely fun and funny to be around. We had a blast – just the five of us. Getting away has a way of letting us see the us more clearly, right? That’s what I loved the most.

Nov 14 2012

Baby Angst?

MontiluIt was only a matter of time. I suppose I was pretty much asking for it with all this old mommy/young mommy BS I’ve been slinging – acting like I’m all cool and lucky and relieved to be out of the fray. Today, I got a huge kick in the gut courtesy of one weepy baby girl sitting on a yoga mat. Apparently, I am not at all cool and lucky and relieved to be out of the fray. Thwak!


I’ve been feeling discombobulated this fall. My more yogi type friends tell me that autumn is a time of transitions and imbalances. My more pragmatic type friends tell me I’m too hard on myself.

I don’t know what’s up, but I do know this: my insides were aching today as I watched this little bean hiccup her tears away after her mama ran out at the end of yoga because she heard her crying. Her eyes were all shiny and she had that offended look on her face. She sat against her mama with her legs splayed out in front of her, taking shuddering breaths but visibly comforted. It was that easy. She simply . . .  so simply . . . needed her mama.

She reminded me of Devil Baby, yes. But she also reminded me what it was like to feel like a mama with my body. My innards, my cells, my arms, my breasts. Being a mother used to be such a physical, tactile thing. So much so, that it could get suffocating. I remember wondering: will I ever eat a meal without a baby in my lap or on my boob? Will I ever be able to stretch out in my bed?

But now. The ache. I’m not one of those women who’s going to get a baby fix with someone else’s baby. I wasn’t going to be able to cootchi coo this one and walk away satisfied. My body wants my baby. The realization that I will sooner feel that satisfaction with a grand child than with my own new baby is utterly sad to me.

I cried all the way home. It’s over. It’s so over.

Oct 9 2012

Thank You Notes

I love this project by Leah Dieterich called thxthxthx. She calls it a daily exercise in gratitude and her ability to siphon out the smallest and most inconsequential things and moments worthy of thanks is just genius. I couldn’t stop reading. It’s funny, touching, silly, deep and honest all at once.


Lovely. And just too tempting to pipe in.

Dear Rain:

Thanks showing up and giving me permission to hole up inside without feeling guilty. Plus, you smell awesome.



Dear Coffee:

Even though I ignore you the rest of the day, you are consistently faithful to me in the morning and for that I thank you. You wake me up, you make me happy and most of all, you make me feel super industrious. Together we get the shit done that I would never have the motivation to do later in the day. You rock.



Dear Vino Blanco and iTunes:

I don’t think I could cook dinner night after night without you – especially you, iTunes. My kitchen would be a lonely place without you both.

Your friend,


Dear Devil Baby:

Thank you for being the first of my kids to indulge my love of Annie the Musical. Watching you concentrate with your ears to learn the words to Tomorrow almost made me cry. Hearing you riff and scat your own version while you put toothpaste on your toothbrush was even better. I hope you always find a way to make music.

All of my love,


Dear October:

Thank you for Halloween and harvest moons. Everyone loves September, but I love you because you are a little dark.



Dear Sugar Maple that I See Every Morning:

You are a stunner. Not sure if anyone has ever told you that, but oh.



Oct 8 2012

Music Monday: Neil Young

fall_leaves_617Neil Young sounds like these Autumn days we’re having. He sounds like heartache and a slowly retreating sun distilled into music. I love him. Always have and always will. I listened to a lot of Neil Young when I was young and I feel like it let my heart glimpse what it would feel like to be older. It still works like that for me. There is no one like him.

In this video from 1971, Young plays Heart of Gold and tells the audience it’s a new song. Can you imagine? He also fusses around pulling different harmonicas out of various pockets, making small talk – just the stuff that makes a live performance so compelling.


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Oct 2 2012

A Love Letter to Minneapolis

bldgsYou all know how much I love this little city of ours. You only need peruse the Little Apple category to the right to see all my love posts about this place. We had an August stay-cation this year that seriously rivaled going away in terms of watery adventure, delicious and varied meals, utter relaxation, culture, outdoor music and good old fashion bushwhacking. If you’re motivated and you have some time to stay put and enjoy it, this city just blossoms for you. The photo above was taken on a beautiful night on the Stone Arch Bridge during that week.

Almost everyone I know who lives here, loves it. And loves the kind of people who choose to make this their home. As a transplant, I am acutely aware of why it’s good here and why we chose it – because we did choose it.

The Huffington Post is running a series of love letters to different places and Monica Nassif, the founder of Caldrea (who also happens to live on my street) contributed a love letter to Minneapolis. I loved reading it the way you love it when a teacher praises your child. Yes yes yes! you nod, bursting with pride, a little teary-eyed and wanting to hear more.


Sep 19 2012


YouTube Preview ImageI’m a sucker for a good documentary and this one looks great. Musings, meditations and analysis of the most basic thing we all want: happiness.

The question of what makes you happy is a good one to ask and answer for yourself. The question itself kind of makes me happy because it’s a reminder that yes, we have some control over this. And frankly, half the battle is simply reminding yourself to look and then knowing where to look. It’s all around us – begging to be noticed so it can work its magic on our souls.

It’s the Jewish New Year and it’s also the new school year, so in celebration of new beginnings, here are some of mine in no particular order:

1. Loud music

2. Dancing

3. Feeding my family

4. Watching my dog romp with another dog

5. Soccer goals

6. My book club

7. A great pair of boots or jeans

8. Knowing that my siblings are finding their loves

9. When cousins get to hang out

10. Doctor Dash making pizza in a frilly apron

11. Two for one bloody marys and the ladies that go with them

12. The change of seasons

13. Children singing

14. Yoga

15. Tiny dancing

16. Cool graffiti/street art

17. Salty cured meats

18. When Saint James roams for hours on his bike with his buddies . .  and then comes home, winded and happy.

video via Cup of Jo

Jul 22 2012

Summer Snaps – Part 1

Summer. It goes so fast that the only thing I can possibly do to catch it, is to try to be still when there’s time, motivate to do new things when there’s time, run from one thing to the next when there isn’t time, and take a few pictures along the way.  Last year, when I did a Summer Snaps post, I realized that our summer was indeed chocked full of moments, good moments – we were just careening through with nary a second to dwell. So here it is. A second of dwelling.

We kicked off summer with Devil Baby’s birthday. Sweet six.


Later in June we watched the Euro 2012 Championship on the rooftop at Brit’s Pub. España v. Italia, lots of heat, humidity, wild gesticulations and cheering. I’ll say this: it is good to spend time with soccer people. Never have I been more content to sweat under a patio umbrella with a Crispin Cider on ice. Saint James and Dash were in hog heaven.santiscarfloumiasecuredownload-1

The kids swimming with Foxy Brown at the hidden beach on Lake Harriet is pure joy to watch. The doodle can swim. Wish we knew more places to take her where we didn’t have to be so clandestine. Anyone?

foxyswimI love the Fourth of July because it involves swimming, barbecues, beer and fireworks. This year it fell smack dab in the middle of a brutal (by my standards) heat wave, but we managed to squeeze in all the elements anyway. Nothing like a steamy night with kids and friends, watching magic light up the sky.fireworksAfter too many days of slogging through air as thick and warm as cotton candy, the heat wave broke and this mama felt ready to conquer the world. Dash was on nights, so I took the kids for a hike at Dodge Nature Center, where we had the place to ourselves, save the quietly grazing barn animals. By some stroke of luck, everyone was happy to explore, take the more tangled looking paths and generally feel our way around the pretty grounds. We had never been there before and were lulled and welcomed by the humming insects, the whispering grasses and the cool dappled woods. Not every adventure works out, so when one does, I know to say a little prayer of thanks and put it in my pocket as a small triumph.


deerAfter the nature center we were famished, so we stopped at Mandarin Kitchen for dim sum – another first with all the kids. We sat down and were immediately enswirled in the cacophony of the restaurant. The flurry of cart drive-bys was so quick and confusing, that we just kept saying yes, yes, yes to anything that looked good, and within minutes our table was covered in mysterious delicious crispy things. A moment of stunned silence was followed by a fit of giggles as we surveyed the feast ahead of us. The kids were so game to try it all, it made me happy. We are definitely going back with Doctor Dash.


Jul 19 2012

Summer Girl

Lou_Sunset_069Photo by Kathy Quirk Syvertsen

When Red Vogue emailed me this picture she took of Supergirl, I gasped. It’s so beautiful . . . and those legs. Those legs are no longer the awkward flailing crazy legs of a little kid. They are the legs of a big kid. A coordinated, water loving, game-for-anything bonafide big girl.

Oh, my heart. We are on the verge.

I suspect Red Vogue already had this picture in her mind’s eye when she proposed a dusk dip and photo sesh to Supergirl. She knew Supergirl would do exactly this, because Supergirl approaches everything in her life from a place of yes, why not? and then how about . . . ?

I need to be more like her.

Jul 4 2012

Embracing an Ordinary Life

facesSomewhere along the line, it seems, we all put bumper stickers on our minivans that say Extraordinary or Bust. At least, that’s what this NY Times article posits. As a society, we are so fixated on success and accolades, on concrete, external and preferably loud and bedazzled celebrations of our (and our children’s) accomplishments, that we’ve forgotten what it means to live an ordinary, magical life. Everyone is a genius who is destined for greatness. Except that’s not true. So why not step into that chasm and live there, and live there well?

As someone who started out fully outfitted in the trappings of success, including the trim little lawyer suits, and dropped out, I HAVE to believe that the small and ordinary things I do for my family mean something. This blog is an attempt to find weight and truth in the things that don’t end up on a resume, that don’t get me a pat on the back from a partner in my law office, that don’t bring me money.

But even I, who has every reason to try to redefine success for myself, fall short when I start to feel like I’ve fallen short. Even I, whose last shred of self worth is tied up in this, does not know how to answer this simple question: Does she live up to her potential? Depends who you ask, I suppose. But certainly, don’t ask me.

I love this article and that someone is saying hey, there’s more to life . . .

I love the idea that my soups and sauces and swims count for something. I love that my kids know that I do serious food shopping at the farmers market, that before age 12, they know about fresh eggs and delight at the sight of a bright orange yolk. That’s because of me and it is not nothing. I may not be closing multimillion dollar deals any more, but I have a brood of food lovers, readers, dancers, swimmers and laughers. And it’s because of me.

Right here, right now, riding this jittery wave of my morning coffee, I’m taking credit. In this moment, I’m not going to be shy about not “doing” anything in the conventional sense. I’m taking back the little stuff and holding it high in the air like a banner.

Because it matters. It has to.

Jun 25 2012

Music Monday: Smashing Pumpkins

This Pumpkins cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide is an old fave of mine. Smashing Pumpkins were Doctor Dash’s favorite band for many years in the 90’s and thereby mine by extension and osmosis.

Today I’m dedicating this song to myself and anyone else feeling like they’ve been hit by the summer landslide. Everyday I’m the cruise director, the sunscreen enforcer, the camp counselor, the cheer leader, the chef, the maid, the chauffeur, the laundress and the referee, and I’m weary.

Well, I’ve been afraid of changing cause I’ve built my life around you . . .

In this many years, I still haven’t cracked the code of surviving June intact. But I have figured this much out: only a few more weeks. And then the bliss of August. And then school begins. And then I start pining for summer.

Pine now. Embrace the landslide. Enjoy the song.

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May 14 2012

Mother’s Day and Music Monday: Waylon Jennings


When my guys were tiny, I felt they had me literally on my toes. Every eye in my head, and then some I didn’t have, were trained on whoever happened to be at the age most likely to stage dive off the top step or slip quietly unnoticed to the bottom of a pool. It’s exhausting work, being the mama of small children and I’m here to say that it does get better.

For about a nanosecond.

All is well and good until one day you wake up and realize you’ve got to find those extra eyes in the back of your head again. You’ve got to keep your ear to the ground and cultivate a nose for news. You’ve got to be available and aware because everything gets quieter and more subtle.

What’s more, in the midst of developing these heightened senses, this deeper awareness of what’s going on INSIDE the heads of your kids, you have to pretend to be totally chill. You have to hone your casual opener to the finest edge, so they don’t even hear the envelope tearing, don’t even realize the contents are spilling out.

And while on this tightrope of respectful, cool, hyper vigilant awareness, you need to juggle, like, twenty three different eggs in the air. Because just as things are starting to get tricky in this new way, the shit hits the fan and your family is busier than ever.

This is where I am right now. I am barely keeping it together, barely keeping up – which is frightening, because I suspect this has only just begun. But I dig it. These young people are getting VERY interesting. Curiously, I think I might be better at this than I was at that. Maybe it’s because I have a keen connection to my goofy, confused, scared, and overly imaginative 12-17 year old self. For some reason, that part of my life is really vivid for me, and for better or worse, it may just come in handy.

How about a little country croon for all the mamas out there, muddling through with grace and humor? And when I say grace, I mean tripping and falling and flubbing and sucking and brushing ourselves off and starting again. Because every day is a new day, and every day we get to try again. Thank heavens.

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