Tuesday, January 17, 2012


it's in the seventies during the day. finn is learning about the seasons at school and she sees pictures of snow and talks about ice skating. she asks if it will be snowing when she wakes up tomorrow. how about after? what about after that? i tell her that no, it won't snow here. we could drive to snow and bryan shakes his head with his eyebrows scrunched and i smile because i know we are the people who want to have the family excursion of driving to the snow to watch her play in frozen dirt and mud for ten minutes before deciding she is too cold and wants to go home. but we aren't really those people, if we're being completely honest. i am in my pajamas. i have been in my pajamas all day. this is the type of people we are. the type of people who think 'oh crap' if there is a knock at the door because what if we won publisher's clearinghouse and i answered the door with my breast milk stained tshirt and camera bulbs flashed. do they even have publisher's clearinghouse anymore? i would still enter except for the fact that someone read my palm once and told me i thought i was luckier than i actually am.
we learn a lot about ourselves when we have children, yes? like my flash of bright white overreaction when finn denies something i know she just did. looks me right in the eye and says 'no.' bryan's bubbling over when she ignores him when he's talking to her. we both know these are our issues, not hers. that we teach her more about herself by the way we react to the worst parts than by the praise she gets for using her kind words. that our broad, sweeping generalizations about her being in 'big trouble' fall into her palms with the same weight of not being allowed to have one more juice box. we all have our boundaries. yesterday she walked into the bathroom while i was in the shower. and she said 'mommy i love all of your parts. i love your heart. i love my heart.' and i remember that she isn't even four yet. her boundaries are paved with juice boxes and markers on furniture. mine are paved with the intention of prevention. and trying to explain that even though it doesn't snow in los angeles, it still snows. in winter. and that, yes, we can go there. 'after this day? how about after that?


  1. Just in case people don't tell you this often enough--and really, for writers there is no such thing as often enough--but you are a really good writer. Really, deliciously good.

  2. Gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous.

    For the record, I think most people are luckier than they know. Perhaps your gift is that you know exactly how lucky you are, not a bit more, not a bit less.

  3. I love it. I'm not the only one yelling "how about after?" "how about after that?" "then what?"

    What else could we possibly need, than to have all our parts loved.

  4. The snow looks much more fun and inviting than it really is being in it… in it for so many years makes me react with nothing but brrrrrrrrr. The perfect solution would be for us to win the lottery and do what that guy on the lottery commercial did – hire a snow blowing company and do it for a couple hours.

    We all, as parents, have the best intentions of what we’re going to do with our children and where we’re going to take them so they can see everything possible. Work, opportunity and money all enter into the equation and it just flies out the window. I always wanted to take you to all the places I’ve been in my life and I’d love to take Finn and Dash – but it’s just not possible except through memories, pictures and stories of my travels with Grandma and Grandpa over the years. Moving every year and a half of my entire childhood was a pain while at the same time a fabulous experience. When at all possible, we will take them places outside their neighborhood – that I can promise.

    The boundaries inside your home are just right – and you are right – parent’s reactions to children’s venturing and testing the boundaries of everyday life may help shape their personalities; Finn and Dash will experience “getting into trouble” while learning the consequences of thinking the “things not to do” are really “things to try”. You can guide, hug, console, cajole, and help them learn what happens when they try the forbidden because the lure of the untried is greater than the fear of the punishment.

    All in all, you and Bryan will do your best, chastise yourselves for the reactions or words you can’t take back, but you both need to just pat yourselves on the back for being great parents – love is the best albeit not complete answer to raising children – and it is available in abundance in your family!!!!

    I love being your Mom!!!

  5. laughing, laughing into this and always startled by your simple beauty, this - the nugget of simple (and sometimes painful) beauty that is family.

    and always your photographs - i look at them and try to understand how it is you do what you do but there is no understanding. it is just you!


  6. This is a delight to read. Truly. I love how you take simple family moments and turn them into joyful treasures.


use your kind words.