Wednesday, June 5, 2013


The other day little Ainsley's face was awash with fresh tears and she was calling out to me. When I asked what the matter was, she could barely speak the words through heavy sniffles and sighs. But when she finally caught her breath this is what she said: "When I'm in second grade I'm going to have to learn about silent E's". We should take note that she will be in the second grade in no fewer than three years.

Listen. I know silent E's don't scare everyone. I know silent E's may be some people's favorite. But for this little moment in time my baby is afraid of their looming nearness. In just 1,095 days she'll be chased down by the likes of well, like, side, and drone. It's freaking her out. We don't always understand why people are afraid. We certainly don't always understand why they are afraid of what they are afraid of. But all of us, somewhere deep in our inner parts, know what it is to be afraid. And we can extend the hand of grace and meet people where they are in their battle with fear.

It might be tempting for another mom to hold her tongue and resist saying, "Are you serious right now? You are a sobbing hot mess over a silent E. A silent E you will probably not have to even talk about for a thousand more sleeps!!?" But that's not me. I blow it in other ways I'm quite sure. But empathy for a fearful heart is where I rock the casbah. I've.Been.There. And I just never want to judge a frightened heart. I also don't want to give fear titanic power over anyone, least of all one of my children. Because there's something else we all have in common in our fear, our battle, our struggle. We just want one moment of validation. We want someone to say that they understand that life is scary sometimes and remind us that we know the dragon slayer. The fear conqueror. That never, not for one instant, are we alone in our fear. It doesn't always mean the fear disappears instantly but it does mean we are not alone in it, and that my friends, is very good news.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Life With the Flintstones

Look. There are three days left of school and here's what I know for sure: 72 hours never seemed so long. And I'm not the one going to class. But I am the one waking the little nugget up at o'dark hundred since Dirk's in Seattle for work. And yes, he's good enough to do it every other day that he's in town. Still it's hard to feel inspired to wake up before the sun, serve up a healthy breakfast (and by that I mean a glass of Ovaltine), and send the little first grader off to her prescribed learning coalition so that she can be present for pillow and blanket day. Yes, that was today's theme. Tomorrow it's Craft Day followed by Game Day and finished off with Outside Play Day. Um, I'm pretty sure this is called summer vacation so I don't really see the point of getting up before God to do any of that. But alas, the truant officer has big ideas so my alarm is set.

Maybe I'm just a little touchy because I'm trying a new eating plan. Since I'm living with caveman I figured you know... when in Rome (or when in the cave) do as the cave-people. Dirk's been following the Primal Blueprint for a few months and though I made merciless fun of him for it, I now see that it's done a world of good for his fitness, health, and happiness. So what could I do but agree that yes, "Me want to be happy and healthy, too." So on the bandwagon I jumped. Although there aren't any bandwagons in caveman's Neanderthal world, or any baked goods for that matter. Nary a grain of sugar or wheat to be found anywhere in this prehistoric place and yet it is where I have moved. And I love moving! It's been great fine. I mean I do like the whole food options and I cannot deny that I already feel better after just a few days on the plan. But I'm not gonna lie - I have had fantasies about chasing down (with a large club) anything between me and my eating a family size bowl of gnocchi with vodka cream sauce followed by a one pound bag of plain M and Ms... or some such carbohydrate/sucralose combination. Baby I'm a want you. All of your carbo-sugar laden goodness. But I know that it takes time to retrain the body and mind of a woman who cut her teeth on Sugar Babies and fettuccine alfredo. And change is good. Me like change. Me need to go to bed to wake up Bam Bam for craft day.