Skip to main content

Dinnertime

I was sitting at the dinner table with my kids tonight and I literally felt my heart swell.  I love my kids.  I've been in a funk these past few weeks.  There's a lot going on which really just amounts to a lot of distraction.  But the past few days have been better.  Not that any circumstances have changed, the storm is still brewing - but there has been a subtle shift that has helped realign some of my world.

And tonight, part of that shift allowed me to sit with the kids and really enjoy them.  Enjoy their goofy kid humor and antics.  Enjoy Henry still making a mess at eight years old with spaghetti, his favorite meal.  Enjoy the lightness of their laughter.  Enjoy Lauren's fruitarian appetite, she would live off of mangoes and strawberries if we let her.  Enjoy their ease and carefree ways.  Enjoy Grace dancing in her chair to the music while she eats.   Enjoy hearing about their days at school.  Enjoy Lauren's open-palm hair swipe to keep her crazy hair out of her eyes.  Enjoy the hilarity of pretend farts (really guys?!?).  Enjoy Grace's mispronunciation of "brother" (it still comes out "blother" and I can't bear to correct her). There was so much to enjoy...  I wish all dinners could be like that; unhurried, unstressed, with nothing to do but enjoy being with one another.

I think I thought I would wake up one day, and I would have turned a corner.  The past would be laid to rest and I would be ready to walk forward; chin up, shoulders back, no more looking back.  But I'm finding it's more of this long arching curve I'm on.  No sharp corners, and the road behind me never fully obscured from view, but behind me nonetheless.  Little by little, we're getting there.  And some days are the two steps forward kind, and some days are of the one step back variety.  But each one is a step on this long winding road.  Sitting at the table with my kids tonight, savoring their innocence and wondering at their nuances, I could see how far we've come.  I could feel the turn in the road and the subtle shift of the sun on our skin as our direction changes.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Dear Grace

Dear Grace,

Happy 12th birthday!!!  I know I usually write a list of reasons telling you why I love you on your birthday, but as you approach your twelfth year I can't help but notice how independent you are becoming.  Time is flying by and before I know it, you will be a young woman.

So here we are... I'm trying to step back and let you stretch your wings more and you're busy going about the business of becoming the beautiful young woman I know you will be.  How I wish I could freeze this moment in time and keep you my little girl forever.

But time doesn't listen to the pleadings of a mother's heart and keeps marching on.  So this year, I want to do something different.  I want to make you a list of 12 things I hope you will always remember and keep in your heart as your journey through life continues.

1.  I love you, forever and always.  You are my joy and no matter what, I will always love you.

2.  You are enough.   There may be times in life when you might f…

Dear Kind Friend

I struggle with depression.  To the point that two years ago I was hospitalized three times in the span of six months, each admission lasting 10-14 days.  That was when my depression was untreated and at its worst.  It was so debilitating that I had to take a year off of work just to get my feet grounded and start functioning again.

Two years later, I have come so far, but I'm still learning how to live with this.  At this time in my journey I have to be intentional about staying present in the moment, disciplining my thoughts, and making healthy mental and spiritual choices - each and every day.

One of the hardest things about depression is trying to reach through that thick cloud of despair to find my strongest self and summon her forth.  If even a tiny piece of her had a voice, this is what she would've said to you.  This is how she would have asked for help.  To my tribe that has endlessly stood by my side through it all, thank you for listening to her when I had no words.

D…

The Monster in My Basement

I want to tell my story.  I need to tell my story.  To speak it aloud and release the shame and regret I feel.  To absolve myself of the responsibility I have taken for other's actions.  To learn how to live with my past decisions.  To discover how my past is a part of me and shaping me, not ruining me.  Because even though I am moving forward, I feel stuck.

When my kids were growing up, I would read them this book where a boy saw a monster in the basement.  His mother was busy in the garden and didn't believe him, so he tackled the monster himself.  At first the monster was a looming presence, but with each swipe of a broom and words of bravery, the monster shrunk.  And shrunk, until it was just a tiny little guy, no bigger than the size of a mouse.  The monster, realizing he could no longer scare the boy, ran away and the boy had nothing left to fear.  My story is my monster.  And speaking it aloud is how I face it, shrink it, until there is nothing left to fear from it.  N…

What if...

I just took all three of my kids for their annual physical and there's nothing like a plot on a growth chart to remind me of how fast they are growing.  Time just keeps marching on, and at my urging, all those vegetable and fruits they consume are doing their job.  They are growing.  Sometimes it feels as if these days of their childhood are just slipping through my fingers, like grains of sand that I can't keep from finding their way through the cracks in my hands.

My middle daughter is having a hard time.  She's going to make it, I know she will.  She's tough and she's loved - it's just the getting through it that's hard.  Tonight she asked me to lay with her until she fell asleep and I found myself staring at her;  all 46 inches of her curled up next to me, chest rising and falling in a deep fresh air induced sleep, skin bronzed and kissed by the sun.  She was the picture of childhood and summer days.  She even smelled like the sun and the pool and a fr…

Be Amazing, Fantastically Amazing

I am an amazing Mom.  Not pretty amazing, more along the lines of fantastically amazing.  My house is a mess.  There is dog hair everywhere and toys in - Every. Single. Room.  Laundry is done on a strictly need-to-do basis only.  Four kids later, I'm rockin' the "Mom Bod" hard core.  I co-sleep with my 4 year old, and have no plans of stopping any time soon, just don't have the fight in me at the end of the day.  I won't drop her afternoon nap because I need one too.  When I come home from working a midnight shift, I put on cartoons and give the 4 year old my phone and let her go nuts for 2-3 hours while I sleep on the couch.  Because of my work/sleep schedule, I rarely volunteer in my kids' classrooms.  I don't buy them brand name clothes, I'm too cheap.  I haven't taken a family portrait since the baby was born (she's the 4 year old), so I only have three of my four kids immortalized in a professional photo.  My go-to meal is frozen chic…

Grace

My little girl is so sad.  Deep, from the gut, sad.  She is always missing someone.  In the moment, it is whoever isn't there - either Mom or Dad.  But really, I think she misses the family we once were.  The wholeness of the unit.  The complete picture.

"Can you find a picture of 'The Five of Us'?" To keep under your pillow next to your baby album full of pictures of your Dad and I beaming as we stare in wonder at the miracle of you, beautiful you? Sure, baby. Of course.

I can see the memories of "us" beginning to fade and slip through her fingers.  Like the image of a loved ones' face starting to fade with time... And no matter how tight you squeeze your eyes shut and ball up your fists, you just can't make your brain recall the image in focus.  And all you're left with is a fuzzy blur that seems more like a feeling than a memory leaving you wondering - was it ever real?

"Mom, did you ever come to the cabin with us?  Have you ever …

Hug a Nurse, Hug a Nurse's Aid

I am a nurse.  I have been feeling stretched thin and a little burnt out lately.  The demands and stress of work have been at the forefront and I just wanted to remember why I am a nurse.

So much of nursing is about compassion.  Nursing is hard work; often thankless work.  If it weren't for compassion nursing would be near impossible.  As trite as it sounds, so many of us go into nursing to help people and make a difference. We may gripe about hours, staffing, census, doctors, glitches in the overall health care system and so much more - but at our core, we are a group of nurturing, caring people who have chosen a noble career dedicated to helping others.  In a nut shell, I suppose that is why I am a nurse.

I work with some really wonderful nurses and aids.  We work on a busy unit with a high level of acuity and it is very demanding and stressful.  For the most part, we all seem to get together and help each other out and I have to believe that what brings us together is our comm…

Broken Hearted

Last night some ghosts from the past rose up and it felt as if my heart was breaking all over again.  I was so sad.

Over a year ago, I remember feeling ready to lay down some of that grief I had been carrying for so long.   Grace, time, healing and love had softened the edges of that grief and I was left with a gift.  Grief had turned into acceptance, forgiveness and peace.  And I realized what a treasure this grief had become.  So many lessons learned from that experience.  As scary as it was to sink into my grief and find my way through the sadness, I knew that somehow, this grief would always be a part of me.

But last night I wasn't prepared for how quickly those old hurts could resurface.  The ache was so familiar and deep that for a moment I wondered if I had indeed experienced any healing over the past years.  It felt as if my heart was broken into a  million tiny pieces... and then I realized, my heart had broken into a million tiny pieces at one point.  The past 3 years ha…

Bird Tattoo

I got a tattoo.  A huge tattoo.  It was about as impulsive as I get, which means - I let it percolate in the back of my mind for about a year, then researched it for about a month, then made an appointment with the tattoo guy - and impulsively (ahhh, that's where it works itself in!) got the outline done on Design Day as opposed to 2 weeks later when I had actually scheduled Tattoo Day... that's me living on the edge.

I got a phoenix on my back.  I told Mr. Tattoo Man that I wanted a phoenix with its head up, wings out, ready to fly.  I wanted it to look strong, but beautiful - and it does, just like me.  Up from the ashes, ready to fly.

Part of me loves the fact that looking at me, and even knowing me, one would never think I would have this gigantic bird on my back - make no mistake, it's freaking huge.  Part of me loves the fact that I was able to lay on a tattoo chair and have a stranger look at my bare back without being filled with shame and self-doubt.  Part of me…

Out of the Darkess and into the Light

I haven't written in weeks… It hasn't been due to writer's block, but rather the fear of judgement.  I've had all these topics floating around in my head but have stopped myself from sharing because I didn't want to alienate anyone or make them feel uncomfortable.  Isn't that silly?  Silly but true.  Why are we so afraid to share our inner truths?

I'm spending the week in a beautiful log home in northern Michigan with my family.  All the cousins are together and there is constant chatter and laughter.  The soundtrack of innocence and the essence of childhood.  They are unapologetically authentic and vulnerable.

Where along the spectrum of maturing did we learn to let the fear of judgment lead us to hide those parts of ourselves that we deem shameful, or "bad"?  How did we develop a culture of perfection?  One that values the image we project over the authenticity and rawness of our humanity?   What if we celebrated our diversity beyond the color…