Here We Go Again … A Return to Writing

croscus.revised.jpgIt’s been awhile since I wrote anything.  In fact, for five months, I have been quite content to abandon writing. Suddenly, though, I find myself missing it. 

I miss the routine, the sense of accomplishment, and the frustration. I miss the challenge of piecing together the precise words that adequately express the amazement and wonder I experience every day with my two children. 

And, that, I suppose is the root of my writing rut. Both of my chidlren are in school this year, one in first grade and the other in half-day kindergarten, and life is completely different now. They aren’t with me all of the time, our days are more structured, and we are all a little more rushed. This change felt so sudden after a summer of adventuring and spending so much time together as a family that I didn’t quite know what to do about it. So, I stopped writing.

My children, meanwhile, have become even more independent and are learning crazy things like how to read and what the term “mathematical equation” means. No doubt, they LOVE school. They love their teachers, they love their classmates, they love learning. And, truthfully, they love their independence.

Oh, this growing up is hard. I feel more than ever that time is moving so very quickly, and I can’t slow it down.

In the past few months I have justified my absence of writing by believing: my house will be cleaner, I will have more time to exercise, and I will be more present with my children with the shorter amount of time I have with them.

None of these are true. I still can’t keep my house clean. I gained back some weight over the winter, and although I may spend more time with my kids, I often find myself simply thinking about what is next for us …. What time is soccer practice? Did I pack my son’s lunch already? When are parent-teacher conferences?  

When I am writing, I tend to think in a different way. Each small moment from an outing holds new meaning …

As we walk through our yard, my daughter gasps in excitement when she spies the first crocus of the year. I feel words start to unfurl inside of me.  She tells me, “It’s a clue, Mom! First, it is sunny. Now, we see a flower. SPRING IS ALMOST HERE!” Her excitement is contagious, and instead of focusing on all of the yardwork that we must do before spring arrives, I instead focus on this exact moment. Tendrils of an idea stretch toward the surface, pushing their way through the mundane list of chores and errands that occupy my mind. These tendrils are anxious to surface and bloom on a page.  

This moment cannot be forgotten, so I will write it down.


Report Cards and Kindness

My son came home with his first grade report card last week, and I am thrilled. He loves school, and his grades demonstrate just how hard he works.

I was, of course, interested to see how he is doing in math, language arts, science, and social studies, but I am most proud of the tiny plus signs indicating that he exceeds expectations in the following:  Demonstrates respect with words and actions, Accepts responsibility for behavior, and Willing to try new ideas/skills.

20171114_221009In a way I feel that these are my grades. I’m on my way to raising a good human, and here is my proof.

I wrote about his grades on his kindergarten report card last year in an article recently published on Parent CoThe Most Important Grade on the Kindergarten Report Card.

I was very excited to have this one published because in the essay I try to relay something I think cannot be stated enough:  kindness matters.

What grades were you most happy to see on your kids’ report cards?

Sunday Night Adventures

river 2Some Sunday evenings you abandon the healthy dinner you planned and the back-to-school routine you recently established. You ignore your anxiety about having outfits picked out the night before and lunches packed in the fridge ready to go. Instead, you simply watch your children play. You breath and listen and don’t think of the week ahead. You only think of this one beautiful moment unfolding right in front of you . You close your eyes and promise you will do this more often.Read More »

A Letter to My Children’s Teachers

backtoschool.jpgDear Teachers, My kids are so excited to start school this year. Really! My daughter wore her book bag around the house for a week prior to her first day of kindergarten.  And my son? Months before entering first grade he started planning the lunches he wanted to put in his new dinosaur lunch box.  And the fact that he will have recess this year? Words just cannot express his feelings. Read More »

Adventures in Pine Grove Furnace State Park

pinegrove1My daughter cannot manage to walk up the hill from the bus stop without whining, taking a break, groaning loudly, or just altogether stopping and refusing to go farther.

However, place her in the woods on a hot and humid summer afternoon (after five miles of bike riding!) and make her a hike a rocky trail with a steep incline and a pack of mosquitos hot on her tail, she is good to go.

Children are confusing.Read More »

5 Things I Learned in the Everglades

everglades4Recently, my family and I traveled to Florida for ten days. We spent the majority of our time lounging on the beach but managed to squeeze in some adventuring, as well. One of the highlights of our trip was a fifteen mile tram ride through Everglades National Park in Shark Valley. On our ride, we saw a variety of birds, alligators, snakes, and turtles. And, a lot of mosquitoes!  Part of the journey included climbing up a 65-foot observation tower for a birds-eye view of the “River of Grass.” It was stunning.Read More »