The Percentage of Love

kindleeditOn long trips, my six-year-old son plays dinosaur games on his Kindle. As dinosaurs race and roar across the screen, he also keeps a close watch on the battery power.

From the back seat, I occasionally hear an announcement stating the percentage of battery power remaining. As the number declines, his voice gets louder, more frantic:  77% … 52% … 40% … 25%!

By the time he calls out “TEN PERCENT!” he is in obvious distress; the thought that the Kindle will suddenly shut off and end his game is just too much to bear.

Recently, after arriving home from a long trip, he threw open the car door as soon as it stopped, held his electronic device tightly to his chest, and sprinted up the front steps of the house while anxiously calling over his shoulder, “Mom, hurry! It’s FIVE PERCENT! We need to plug it in!”


Now, my son measures his time away from me in percentages. He sneaks down the steps after bedtime and runs toward me. “Mom! I’m low. TEN PERCENT!” he calls as he throws himself into my arms for a round of hugs and kisses.  This, of course, occurs a mere 20 minutes after I have snugly tucked him into his bed for the night.

He gradually slips out of my embrace and smiles, “Now, I’m at a MILLION PERCENT. That will last ALL night!”

Logically, I know this is a delay tactic – anything to prolong the inevitable bedtime. However, it is a rather effective strategy. I usually pull him close once more – just in case that MILLION percent doesn’t last until morning and just in case he might not need as many hugs tomorrow.


That Time We Dabbled in PG Movies

popcorn2editFriday evening, the kids, my husband, and I all settled down on the sofa with blankets, snacks, and a movie. Tired of cartoons and with recent successful viewings of Dolphin Tale, Wizard of Oz, and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, I perused the Netflix “Family” section and settled on Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.

At first, the kids were fascinated with the concept and kept asking, “When are they going to shrink? When are they going to shrink?” They were in awe of the possibility of a cookie bigger than themselves and found the idea of being smaller than a Lego hilarious.Read More »

Letters from My Aunt


My great aunt passed away last month. I hadn’t seen her in years, but we remained connected through the mail. Yes, actual pen to paper cards and notes sent via the United States Postal Service. In a world where texts, tweets, and Facebook updates are more of the norm, I treasured the moments I opened the mailbox to find a brightly colored envelope addressed to me.Read More »

Hot Chocolate Party for One: Conversations with My Son about School

hotchocolate.jpgMy son tells me very little about how he spends his half-day of kindergarten. However, once in a while, a clue to his day slips out at an unexpected time, and I immediately pounce:

Son: Do you see my face? (He proudly points to a brown smudge around his mouth and smiles slyly.) Do you think it’s dirt?

Me: Hmmm? Maybe …Read More »

Digging in Dirt

excavating2My children love to be outside. My son learned to walk on the rocky, uneven hills of our woods, and my daughter scampers over rocks and boulders as easily as she can hop into bed. They much prefer to be outdoors than indoors, and on cold and rainy days, they stare longingly out the windows until I relent and release them back into the wild.Read More »