Let ‘Em Fail

The notebook was on the counter when we left for school.

I knew it was a homework notebook and that the work inside was due. I also knew that I had asked my child twice to pack it into a backpack. And there it sat.

It took everything I had not to grab it and carry it to the car because I knew the anguish that was coming… for both of us. Keep reading


Skid Marks

I’ve done the first-day-of-school dropoff a few times now. And I’ve discovered that it brings a few lessons of its own.

  • The first day of kindergarten never gets easier, no matter how many times I do it. In fact, it gets harder. Because as each child heads off to school for the first time, I become painfully aware that they are growing up. I realized today there will be no more first-day-of-kindergarten. This is it.
  • The first day of 5th grade and 8th grade are just as tough. Keep reading

Your Life On An iPod

Your life has a soundtrack.

The songs on it tell your story: where you’ve been, where you’re going, and what matters to you. They would no doubt tell of lessons you learned and mistakes you made. Maybe even of hardships and celebrations.

If you could compile them all, it would be like having a comprehensive playlist of your life. An iPod with your story on it. From youth to today. Keep reading

Whose Idea Was This?

After 13 years, I’m preparing to be alone.

My youngest daughter is starting full-day kindergarten next week, and I have mixed emotions about the whole thing. Of course my friends assure me that I’m going to love having time alone to get things accomplished at home. And that she is going to thrive in the classroom with other children. And I’m sure that’s all true… sort of. Keep reading

“The Please Comes At the End”

Sometimes it’s the way he folds towels. Or the way she drives. Maybe you think he should have chosen a better route to dinner.

There is a very fine line between helping and controlling. When I found myself giving driving tips to a man who has been to numerous tactical driving courses, I realized it was quite possible that I had crossed it. Keep reading

Hamster Wheel

Miss a workout. Get discouraged. Lose motivation. Repeat.

I’ve been on this “workout hamster wheel” many times in my life. It is self-defeating and pointless. And when I’m on the wheel, getting off feels insurmountable.

Being on the wheel changes my perspective on everything. Problems feel bigger. I feel less capable. I hate the clothes in my closet. And my fun-house mirrors become much more effective.

Ironically, I’ve successfully ditched the wheel before. Keep reading

“Tonto, I’ve Got A Feeling We’re Not In Kansas…”

I’ve enjoyed the company of my youngest brother and his family this week. As we laughed about funny things we remember from childhood, it occurred to me that there are lots of funny and poignant moments that can get lost in a day if we let them. I keep saying I’ll start writing them down, but I haven’t done it yet, probably because I haven’t found an efficient system for doing so.

So I’ll start here, and this will be my jumping off point. Keep reading

Your “Thing”

I learned to ride a motorcycle because I’m a cheapskate…

Not because the gas mileage is better, although if I could figure out a way to get all three of my kids on mine, I’d sure use it more often. It’s because my husband paid for a slot in the rider course and then found that he didn’t need the class. The college wouldn’t refund the money, and I wasn’t about to chalk it up as a loss. So, with a little urging from him, I showed up for class. Keep reading