I am at my daughter’s Kindergarten orientation last month in a poorly lit cafeteria, hearing nothing the administrators are saying, instead lost in poignant memories of my own elementary school experience that rush back, trying to convince me that I am the rising five year-old, not my daughter. Continue reading
Like every female in the known world, my life is rife with #metoo moments. I consider mine to be minor and those details are not what I’d like to talk about today. By now it is at least clear that this problem exists. Less clear is why and what we can do about it. Prevailing consensus seems to be that men don’t know how to behave and the solution is for them to simply learn how to treat women or be appropriately punished. While it is always necessary to hold people accountable for their actions, the issue of sexual harassment is so much more widespread and actually has nothing to do with gender and nothing to do with sex.
The design of my life has been so perfect and so complete that I no longer question this truth: our trials are gifted to us for a reason. But in the midst of an unusually challenging season of life, that knowledge alone is unsatisfying. I want to know what the reason is and I want to know it now, please and thank you very much. Of course the beauty of divine design is that we are given only one piece at a time, only enough to take the next step, to stretch our characters slightly.
It’s beautiful, but it doesn’t stop me from asking myself, “What am I learning right now?”
My family barely survived today. One of those days. I haven’t been grocery shopping in a week and I’m wondering how long I can continue packing dry cereal for my four-year-old’s lunch before her teachers start to say something. It’s okay because Dad packed lunch this morning and sent her to school with dry cereal AND bacon. How did I get Dad to pack lunch this morning? By taking him hostage and refusing to get out of bed to help feed, clothe or chauffeur our children.
Up until two weeks ago I was dead-set on having six children. Take the expression currently on your face, multiply it by 1,000 and you will have accurately approximated the looks of my friends and family the first time — no, every time — I talked about this. After the past two weeks, I can guarantee you that if I have even one more child, it will be because I have forgotten how tortuous pregnancy is for me.
I took the first swim lesson of my life last week, at age twenty-five. Water and my family have issues. It definitely doesn’t like us and we’re not sure we like it outside of a cool glass on a hot day. No one in my family knows how to swim. An uncle I never met drowned at sixteen trying to learn how. My mother has had some incident with water on every vacation I can remember. And I, personally, am haunted by memories of failed swim tests, water day at summer camp, lifeguards running after me with bright orange life jackets after I run out of excuses to avoid water day, and all of my classmates calling out in seeming unison, “You can’t SWIM?”
Ah. No good answer to that question as an awkward thirteen-year-old.
I picked up my oldest daughter from preschool today and she walked out of class with a paper bag decorated with flower stickers and a gentle reminder from her teacher, “Remember, tell her not to open it until Sunday!”
Zoe did not so much as glance at her teacher — or me– and proceeded to set the bag on the floor in the middle of the crowded hallway, pull out all the tissue paper and informed me, “These are the salt dough hearts that I was telling you about. So can I share your presents, Mom?”
No, she didn’t mean share them with me. What she meant was, “I just made some fun crafts at school and was told they were supposed to be for you, but I would really like to keep them. Is that allowed?”