Big or Little, We Can’t Decide

This has been a funny summer where both of my kids, in their own ways, have been pushing for independence, and then suddenly pulling back from it. Our daughter will turn 20 in a week and a half. She’s been counting by weeks since she turned 19; her race to adulthood. She’s finished two years of college and is home this summer, taking more classes to accommodate a change of her major. To her, the marks of adulthood have to do with summer road trips. She wants to make some long journeys, on her own, or with friends – make her own mistakes, be accountable to no one. This is her adulthood. Continue reading

The Mother Son Dance

Last night was the 8th grade dinner and dance. I’d use the term “dance” loosely. There was a DJ. We were in the gym. The lights were up as bright as they could go and one parent of each child was required to stay through the dance. The kids on the dance floor were in a large clump. Every now and then some of them would come out, sweaty.

I guess I don’t remember what dances were like for me when I was this age. I don’t recall a sweaty clump of kids. We had a ballroom in my hometown. I think we used the full space. Continue reading

Little Kids in Big Bodies

A couple years ago I was dropping something off at school and I happened to be there at dismissal time. The 5th graders are the crossing guards and I walked past a couple of them just behind some 8th grade boys. “Ugh, 8th graders!” one crossing guard said under his breath. I thought it was funny and mentioned it the teacher next to me. She smiled and commented that 8th graders are still little kids…in big bodies. Continue reading

Rain = Happiness

When I woke up this morning – after sleeping in far longer than usual – I heard the rain. Somehow, it just made me happy. Maybe you share that deep-down-happy-rain feeling. It’s almost genetic. It’s a feeling of peace that comes with growing up a farm kid.

I know we’ve had a dry year and as these storms pass, they make many of us happy. Continue reading

The Most Amazing Moms

I started writing thank you notes this morning, to some of the amazing moms that I know. And then it occurred to me that I would never finish the job in time for Mother’s Day….the job of personally recognizing all of the stellar moms that I know.

First there’s the mom from our church who went to Africa a number of years ago and decided to do something about the children she met there. She started a charity to educate the orphans there. Sure. That’s on every mom’s list: do laundry, get groceries, build schools in Uganda. She’s amazing. I don’t even know her very well, but she’s always friendly, and her hair is never even the least bit messy. Mine would totally be if I were in her shoes. Continue reading

Life is Like a Roller Coaster

roller coasterIt’s amazing to think about all of the ups and downs in a regular day and how they can affect the psyche. Earlier this afternoon I was feeling the high of just having figured out a new piece of technology that could make my life easier and my presentations more beautiful. I was pretty excited. Top of the roller coaster, I had my hands up in the air ready to enjoy it. Maybe it sounds goofy, but for old people like me, mastering a new piece of technology is a victory. And besides, I get sick when I get on roller coasters these days, so I’ll have to get my thrills where I can. Continue reading

They’ve Learned to Stick Together

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My son’s 8th grade class has largely been together in the same school, since Kindergarten.  They’re about 100 strong, navigating themselves around technology, friendships, fashion, adolescence, sports, school and a world that only brings more uncertainty with each passing day.  They were babies when terrorists threatened the United States on our soil on September 11th.  They were first graders when one of their teachers resigned to battle depression.  Continue reading