• Family,  Grief,  life,  Love,  Motherhood

    Lipstick Legacy

    I have it now; this little blue mug that says “MOM” on it all uneven like it was mass printed and sold for last minute gift-buyers on Mother’s Day sometime in the 80s. Maybe my Dad got it for her from me, their new baby, between sleep deprived shifts at one of his several jobs and maybe it made her cry the way you do when you’ve earned something that has not been easy. Mornings were quiet in our little cabin. Dad needed to sleep after his swing shift and Mom readied herself in the early, dark hours to join the other commuters on 101 by sunrise. Sometimes she would…

  • life,  Motherhood

    My Little Man

    I’m a new mother. Again. Because every new child makes me over – I am four babies redone now and it gets no less remarkable every time. Today as I changed one of probably 300 diapers in the past two months, I began to see my little son as who he might become. “Will you be an artist?” I asked him, “A doctor? A construction worker?” I laughed at the thought of a big hard helmet on his soft little head. But soon my thoughts landed on what I really hope for, what I will actually care about when he’s an adult. “Will you be kind? Will you love well? Will…

  • Christian Teaching,  Family,  life

    There was a school shooting…

    There was a school shooting near my home today. Not many details have been released, but there was a school shooting near my home today. Parents – friends – received automated voice messages from the school district informing them that their children were on lockdown. News footage covered the school like it’s covered so many – too many – before. There are cliches around this now; how did that happen? A friend of mine texted me a link to a news article while I was plunked down at the YMCA getting some work done, my babies safely playing mere feet away from me in the child watch, oblivious to the absolute…

  • Baby Berry,  Family,  Grief,  life,  Motherhood,  Pregnancy

    It's a Boy! (dammit)

    So. I’m pregnant. And full disclosure: I really wanted another girl. I wanted our eldest to have a sister to relate to, I loved the idea of my two boys being bookmarked with a little less testosterone, but mostly? I wanted another little girl to share in the thing my mom and I had. She used to buy this terribly amazing ice cream that had actual Butterfinger swirled into it. It was like our emergency fire extinguisher: we broke the glass for mean girls and stupid boys and post-fight-make-ups and really bad period cramps. Two spoons, one tub, no shame. We’d sit in her bed with our comfort food and…

  • life,  Motherhood

    You Do Life

    You came to me so perfect. All of you. You cleared cobwebs in the spaces of my heart that forgot how gorgeous we are, how Good we can be. Because you are All Good. Things from my tradition made sense when you got here. God as a tender father, doting mother. Restoration as the only response to whatever could break between us – I would crack the world wide open if you ever dropped my love for you. I would trudge past Hades and dig it out from wherever you left it. I’d sweat blood and be made a fool if you needed me to do it so you’d believe me over whatever lie…

  • death,  Grief,  life,  Motherhood

    Eggs and Ativan

    I made eggs today. I woke up before the kids did (only by a few minutes, but still) and when two of the three were up and hungry I said, “Do you want eggs?” which surprised me a little and made me smile. A month and a half ago I thought I might be dying. I went to the emergency room because the pain in my chest was only getting worse after two and a half weeks of trying to convince myself it was just stress. I felt foggy and dizzy, I didn’t trust myself to drive and for good portions of the day I couldn’t mother in any active sense…

  • Birth,  Family,  life,  Love,  Motherhood

    Highest Hope

    I gave birth to her on the floor of the Birth Center – right outside the tub where I thought I might die, where I hated her from a reserve of fury I didn’t know existed, where I’d cursed the moment of conception which had brought me to this agony. She came quickly. Her eyes were steely blue, her lips resembled a rosebud, her chubby olive cheeks were too kissable to resist, and she smelled like Heaven. I am convinced. If there is a Heaven and if it has a smell it is that one. The midwife handed her to me and I don’t think she even reached my chest before…

  • life,  Motherhood

    But first, this.

    I am at the YMCA and I am using the child watch shamelessly because we pay for it and even though I have no intention of exercising today (ha! it’s sweet that you thought that, though) I am going to use my two hours for something good. I have lots of deep thoughts to write about, lots of drafts I could go back to, lots of things I want to chew on, words as teeth, keystrokes like jaw bones, but first this. First, I’m going to soak up this moment alone in an uncomfortable chair by the window drinking coffee I didn’t make next to a perfectly unassuming purse which…