Monday, June 17, 2019


i can't grasp the feelings i had when i was longing for you. almost like a fevered dream- what's real and what's delusion.
i had an image in my mind when i was pregnant with you, i imagined you as a little girl. i'm sure i said i was going to be the strongest mother.
the most fair.
the most creative and original.
we had the ultrasound and found out i was pregnant with a boy and though we hid it well, there was a ping of disappointment and then immediate guilt. the first feeling that i can't control.
two minutes later the doctor is in the room expressing concern of a cyst on your brain that could clear up in the next two weeks, and we'll check again.
the next two weeks a blurry haze. fog filled my mind. i went to the library and immersed myself in medical books i couldn't understand looking for answers that my doctor didn't tell me.
one night i parked my car under a full moon and it was so close and so bright that it made me feel i could reach out and take whatever i wanted. and all i wanted was for you to be healthy.
i kept one hand on my stomach at all times, willing and wishing for clarity. thinking i can't reach you but can you feel me? can you feel it?
i'm sorry for expecting someone else. all i want is you. you are all that i want.
two weeks and it had cleared and gone. and i cried with happiness. i promised to do good for you.
and now here we are knee deep in real life and i can't take the title of the mother i wanted to be some days.
challenges and change and i can't protect you from it all but i have to try and am i doing a good enough job? can you be compassionate and kind. and what about that one boy in your class that cries every morning for his mom? do you ever go up to him and say it's okay? i need you to be that person, but when we talked about it once you said he yelled at you and you never tried again. but i need you to try one more time.
because next year in a school of uncertainties and newness, if you're scared and want me, i need there to be one boy who comes up to you and says it's okay.
did you know the first year of your life was the best of mine? we spent that first summer month in our new little house and the upstairs was hot and i'd nurse you in bed and you'd leave sweat on my forearm.
i'd watch you sleep and dream and we'd play records in the bedroom and we listened to tom waits one morning and your eyes got so big. you really heard it.
we'd go in the back yard and i'd drag a little mattress out and we'd lay underneath the big oak tree that grows right outside your window. you'd follow the leaves in the wind.
you need me much less now. and the bike rides and walks around the block and wimpy playground with the little bridge you once ran across with adventure and wildness now feels mundane and boring.
you find excitement in different places now. even if it's not what i expected. you're all yourself.
but then, at night, after your little sister is rocked to sleep, and the sky is getting darker, i find you in your room and kiss your head and every time you whisper sweetly, "can you lay with me?" and so i crawl under your sheets and you wrap your arm around my neck and breathing into me you fall asleep. and i want to run away from everything and keep you small, but i don't tell you that because you might try harder for me.
and this is for you.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

june 20th 2007

remember all those nights we lit up the room.
i pressed my face to the window and the moonlight pressed back.
or, when after a long night of drinking, we'd sit on your balcony the next morning drinking coffee. my mind spinning like tiny gowns dancing in a hazy ballroom.
i made room for you in bed.
 or was it you making room for me? your body was warm with trust lying next to me.
i believe there is so much more that we can't figure out so we fall in love instead.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

all of it

milk breathed. less milk. still asleep on my lap- the indentation of her ear on my forearm when i lay her down to nap . the outline clear and vivid.
the words get stuck. we feel stuck inside- the snow keeps coming. she opens her window shade in the morning- stretching to reach- " there's more snow, mama. go away snow" she whispers because she knows how much i dislike it. the sun was shining today, through the car window lighting up her little face. she asked if it was summer. i took a photo of her.  her one leg was stretched out so straight and long and her eyes so blue. sent it to her dad and he replied "she's ours".
she's so full of everything. life, love, emotion, laughter, she feels so much. she gets that from me. when she's happy she's overjoyed. when she's sad, she breaks. and it takes her some time to come back. finn was easier to distract back to happiness, she holds on to it with steadiness. like when she used to hold my hand in the car to fall asleep. i'd reach back and she'd hold my hand with both of hers. when she'd drift off i'd try and pull my hand away and she'd still be holding on tightly.
she calls her brother buddy now. or bud. or finnyboy. and she has to kiss him goodnight.
i never wanted to get married. i never dreamt about a wedding or a dress, or venue, or guests. but i have always wanted to be a mom. it's the only thing that i was always sure about.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018


two years old. so sweet. so funny. so charming. and a little bit naughty.
she fights back with her brother now with passion, yesterday in the car she yelled "i'm done talking to you, finn!" and then we pulled in the driveway they jumped out of the car and ran to the backyard playing together.

i don't want to forget what she says- how she says it. every day it seems she's less of a toddler and more a little girl. two years old- full of challenge, and emotion and change, and yet if i could, i'd pause time so i could keep her this little forever.

we've been having so much summer fun- boat rides, bike rides, playgrounds, swimming in the lake before the sunsets, the water warm and calm. daily trips to the pool, finn jumping in the water with confidence. diving under, taking his floaties off to jump off the dive. i sit by the side of the pool with caution and nervousness. each time he launches his skinny, tall body off the dive i hold my breath with him. he comes up and does his doggie paddle to the ladder and i exhale. he seeks more adventure now, climbing, jumping, always running. he'll be six in three days and i can't grasp it. i can't put into words the feelings. mostly excited and thankful, but also heartsick and panicky. he was just my two year old, nursing on my lap, sweaty in the summer heat, and now he'll be off to kindergarten come fall.

after a weekend at the lake with gigi. boat rides, fireworks, the tiny festival on the water, waking up in that little yellow bedroom with the sun shining through her white curtains, the lake outside the window, sylvie waving at the ducks, we pulled back into our driveway monday morning and sylvie said "thanks for everything, mom" and tears filled my eyes.

i need to remember. i just can't forget this happiness.

Monday, April 30, 2018


it's going to be my season. my favorite season.
no schedule, no time commitments, my kids can sleep in as late as their little minds will let them.
finn wakes up early now and thinks to himself. i see his eyes staring up at the ceiling after he's called me upstairs to lay with him.
"it's 5:45- go back to sleep" i whisper.
"how old will grammy be in 40 years?" he asks quietly "She'll still look the same, right?"
"yes" i say softly.
it's going to be our favorite season.
barefoot. wild hair. tall grasses blooming in the backyard. baby birds growing in the bird house on the tree right outside of finn's window. i still picture him, ten months old and that crisp fall morning waking up and noticing the leaves bright orange. like it happened overnight. now my almost six year old. like it happened overnight.
i watch him now when he doesn't notice. at school on the playground directing a game with friends. at birthday parties playing with party goers. i watched him sit a table of kids while we sang happy birthday. the other children laughing and joking with each other, there's finn, smiling intently and genuinely at the birthday girl the entire song. the little smirk on his face, the contentment.
"he's turning into a leader" his teacher tells me and i smile, "but he's also very kind and thoughtful of other people's feelings" and my eyes fill with tears.
where is my baby. arms so fat and smooth- wrists so chubby they looked like rubberbands were in the creases. his big buddha belly and gummy smile. i'd nurse him to sleep and later look on my forearm and see an imprint of his ear.
almost our favorite season. the last one i'll get with my prekindergarten boy. before he's a fulltime student. the thought makes me lose my breath. reminding myself to inhale. am i equipped for the challenges that lie ahead. the influence. the struggles. the others. the others. inhale. inhale.
almost our favorite season. of campouts. and the beach trip with our family in that big house. pool days and dark nights lit up with lightning bugs. the smell of sunscreen. dew on the grass in the early mornings. skinned knees and dirty feet.
holding on to my boy. running away from time.
 i can keep him small if it's always summer.
let's play in the sun finn, look at our shadows.
you're the wolf. i'm the moon. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

the white butterfly i saw pressing against the glass when you were born. after 36 hours- anxiety driven and high strung- then all of a sudden there you were. eyes wide open, born face up after 30 minutes of pushing- of screaming- and then you're here. in my arms. and a butterfly is pressing its wings against the hospital window panes.

a new baby and a moment i continue to think about is this: summer time outside our windows- the upstairs in our little house sweltering with heat- a milk breathed baby asleep on my lap and eating an entire bowl of fresh, sweet blueberries. i can still taste them. i can still smell him.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

dear james.

you're working. and you're busy. like you have been the past, i can't count how long it's been. waking up at four am almost every day to get to work way before sunrise to try and catch up on things. sylvie was in our bed the other morning and heard you open the bedroom door to go get ready. "Dad!?" she yelled, her voice tired and raspy. "I have to go to work Syl" you whispered back in the dark.

she wakes up in the morning now and immediately says, "aww, dada workin". She knows you're busy, but she knows she misses you even before she's opened her eyes all the way. i feel the same way. even when you crawl out of bed quietly, without trying to wake me up, i still feel you leaving.

we miss you in the mornings. remember about a month ago you stayed home and told finn you'd take him to school. he made you french toast and insisted you ate it next to him at the table. he looks up to you even when you don't notice. the way you cut your toast with the side of your fork, he watches and absorbs your movements. now he cuts his the same. and the other morning finn insisted he needs to wear a belt like you. we found one in the back of his closet and he then spent ten minutes trying to figure out a way to put it through the loops even though it was sizes too big. he wrapped it around his little waistline almost two times, we were late for school because of it, but he persisted. he wants to be like you.

and then the other morning when he woke up at 6:30 and it was still dark outside, i told him it was freezing in our house and he said he'd make me a fire. he put on a hat and a headlamp and we went outside, me carrying the wood bag, and he picked out the pieces from the pile you guys split the other day and filled up the bag. i carried it inside and he got everything ready just the way you do. putting the fire starter on the bottom. arranging the logs just the way he wanted. when i tried to help he got defensive, "you've never made a fire before, just watch" he told me.

i know there are going to be situations with finn that are going to be tough. we just faced on last weekend. we both felt challenged. we both felt upset. we both felt a little unprepared. he's growing up and becoming more and more his own strong willed, opinionated boy. he provokes us, and holds his ground and can be so uncompromising. but it's also a part of finn that i admire. even if sometimes it makes me crazy, i think him having a stance for what he believes in will be a good thing.

i don't say it enough, but thank you for being the type of man that makes me proud to watch our son emulate. reminds me of a quote i read that said "don't marry a man unless you would be proud to have a son exactly like him."

i'm proud of you.  and our son.