Thursday, April 28, 2016


She’s fifteen.

Though it feels like just yesterday she was that chubby little bundle that slept like a turtle.  I remember noticing the day we brought her home from the hospital the lilac bush had come into bloom while we were gone.  This Saturday, our lilac bush was coming into bloom once again.

I have the words to fill hundreds of notebooks on this girl, with all her struggles, her accomplishments, her quirks, her downfalls.

Did I ever imagine who she would become?  I know I must have, but right now it is all so about whom she is becoming that I don’t remember what I wished for. 
My stubborn girl, who won’t do something if she doesn’t want to, has NEVER gone along with the crowd, who prefers the company of two friends she has kept from elementary school  to a gaggle of girls, who has never bought into the drama and always speaks her opinion loud and proud.

The girl who talks about anything and everything out loud to the embarrassment of her sister, the one who leaves banana peels and yogurt containers lying around the house, tidiness is not one of her virtues, you can follow her trail anywhere. The quiet one, who doesn’t talk just to fill a void.

This firstborn, the one who was filled with anxiety, always in distress through the hardest years of our lives, the one whose stomach has never been right.  She, the one, who bore the brunt of my learning to deal with hormones and attitude, who had her phone taken away far more often than her sister and who had to deal with the terror of her mother’s screaming at a situation where she felt out of control.
The one who so often opts out of the system, never typical, always I look forward to what she will do next.  She, the one who opted out of school and has taken over her own learning, who finally found confidence in Math, who with this time is discovering and exploring her passions.  The blooming feminist who cannot stand what is unfair.

The girl who at ten was doing her own makeup , not like I did, but with perfect subtlety so that I couldn’t say, no you are not walking out of the house like that.  She is the girl who can take five random items out of her closet and look smashing, who designed outfits for her dolls out of napkins and fabric scraps, who sits at the computer for hours not playing the game, but designing the hair, makeup  and clothes for her characters.

She is and always will be the little chick under my wing, needing hugs and time close together, my girl who I can snuggle and talk with for an hour before bed, the one who hated to apologize but who would leave notes on my pillow.  She is not afraid to still love her Mom and she makes me laugh so hard sometimes I think I will wreck the car.

I love her so, couldn’t imagine my life without her, and really I can’t wait to watch her, to guide her to the fantastic things she is yet to become.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

stepping away from life

My Grandfather moved on from this life last week.  I did no writing here because my time was filled with caring for and from my family.

You see, I have the most incredible family.  I have told several people over the course of the last week if everyone had a family like mine the world would be a better place.  Care taking is something we do well and something I spoke about at the memorial service as being one of the main things both my Grandfather and my Grandmother taught me about.

I've cried a lot of tears knowing how much I will miss him, seeing him walking outside with his favorite outside cat Buddy, sharing bird watching stories, watching him on the tractor outside, sitting on the porch swing.

But I'm not sad for him.  He lived a long (almost 90 years) and full life and was ready for what was to come.  I'm sad for my Grandmother who is alone after a marriage of 70 years.  I am sad for my thirteen year old daughter who is feeling it very deeply.  I'm not quite sad for me, though it keeps tapping me on the shoulder in odd places.  I dream nightly about death in some form.

I just want to continue to live my life in a way that would make him proud and I want more than anything to take care of my Grandmother.  Last week I spent more time at her house than my own, returning home did not feel right and back up the path I would go.

I had no obligations last week other than being and caring for my family around me, work, school, even cooking were put to the side.  Though it was very difficult, it was the most contented I have ever felt.  Now, as reality sets back in, I feel the crush return. Back to work, back to school, back to the daily business of life and I long to step back to last week when all was needed was loving care.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

the search for quiet

This house (the real one that is) is anything but quiet these days.  Two teenage girls will do that.  In all actuality there is never any quiet in this house, I go to bed earlier than the girls now, and peace, well, that is a thing of days gone past.  Nothing outrageous, just, you know, hormones.  I find myself craving peace even more now, yearning for quiet spaces.

I had considered doing a silent retreat.  Just for a weekend.  Oh, wouldn't that be nice, just some time alone with a few books on St. Francis of Assisi and no one to have to talk too.  I even researched and found a little place not too far away here in Maryland, with rooms or a hermitage.  Then I got a new litter of foster kittens, and oh well, there goes that idea.

My father bought one of those little Amish made sheds for his backyard.  I stopped to see him and went for a look.  I opened the door and stepped inside and oh my, I thought I could stay in here.  Its bare bones., just wood braces and a rough floor, but there was a window on one end and my delight when I found it even opened.  Oh how I wanted one so bad in that moment.  A little shed in the backyard with a window that faced the woods.  A  hideaway, an escape, a little writing cottage, don’t all the best writers have those.  Just a little place to step away from the opinions, the noise, the demands.  Then I feared I might not leave it and the girls would have to wander out to ask me if I was coming back.

I know that the day is coming soon that this house will be too quiet.  When it will just be the cats to keep me company.  I imagine I will be yearning then for the return of talking and laughter and even the occasional slam of a door. 

Being present is what matters most I guess, and finding peace in the midst of the chaos.  Yesterday I began yoga again and daily prayer.  I've been lapsing and I guess it's showing in my frayed nerves and the recurring panic attacks.

I cannot afford the little shed.  There are other needs, braces, glasses, a new car.  But I am tucking it away in the back of my mind for one day.  I am seriously contemplating it.