Dear 17-Year-Old Me

High school was a series of dark, dreary lows and dazzling reach for the stars highs.

That’s not true. Not really.

Except for the occasional moment, there actually wasn’t much drama in my high school experience. Every morning I slept as late as possible and rushed to throw water on my face, brush teeth and pull a shirt on before my ride cruised by my house honking. We were rarely late, but not a minute early.

#thankgodmykidsarenotinhighschoolyet

Adolescent mood swings notwithstanding, some routine was built into my high school experience. For example, lockers were organized alphabetically. I remember my locker neighbors, for better or for worse. Routine can be a very good thing for works (and human beings) in progress.

Some schools around the country are removing lockers for safety reasons… kids hide stuff they shouldn’t have in lockers, obviously, and also for changing norms… Kindle Fires and other e-readers require less storage than heavy textbooks.

But beyond the locker, nearly everyone’s high school experience seems full of events that are either real, not real, fantasized, or flat out made up. High school is quite terrible and wonderful. Or so my high school was, all those years ago.

In high school, I had a huge crush on a BFF’s boyfriend – which is to say I experienced a thing quite common and impractical and mostly not acted upon – because he was nice to me.

Never in a million years would I have copped to the crush at the time, given that I didn’t really understand that it was happening. While surrounded by loyal and not-so-loyal friends and beautiful and not-so-beautiful people for four years, my adolescence was more or less romance-free.

Instead of making out, I got good grades and lettered in track, cross country, swimming, and soccer. I didn’t excel in any of those sports, but I wasn’t the worst, either. It sounds crazy, but I would love to show up for practice tomorrow… in the pool, on the track or field. I loved being a part of a team in spite of the tough parts (read HERE for my thoughts on team sports).

This past Saturday my husband and I were walking toward the stadium to watch our dear Timbers draw another match, and we spied a young couple dressed to the nines, the girl in bright rose, the boy in a tux and a pink bow tie.

Prom? Prom! we both noticed simultaneously.

They were holding hands and happy as they strode past us in downtown Portland. Unknowingly, the young couple brightened up the street.

I secretly thought they were very brave, but I kept that thought to myself.

Seems a bit early in the season for Prom, I observed out loud instead.

Because once I got asked to the Prom by this guy who was a friend. It was cool because we were friends, and also friends within a larger group of friends, and it seemed right at the time.

Somewhat awkwardly, we got dressed up and took pictures.

I thank God regularly for a lot of things, like for my amazing family and my health and Pharrell Williams’ song Happy, but mostly right now I thank God that I am old enough not to have had social media at my fingertips when I was 18 years old. Those who scan old photos of that era, well, you know I love you but please keep me out of those publicly shared memories.

Now back to Prom. My date and I headed out for dinner and dancing, teenager-style. At some point I danced with another guy. A guy who, I guess, was interested in me. Thinking that my “date” was no big deal because he expressed zero interest in me, I thought nothing of said dance. A few weeks later, we drank too many Miller Lites plus an unknown quantity of cheap tequila, got into an argument and the sad story played itself out.

Fast forward to High School Graduation. I was a capital W Wreck. But I was also thoughtful and surrounded by wonderful friends. I was happy and worried and excited. I was eager and motivated and ready for summer, post-high school style.

And did I mention I Was Surrounded All The Time By Other Teenagers?

Who wouldn’t be a Wreck?

Oh, and by then I was a practicing bulimic.

In other words, totally ready for college.

Right?

Recently a distant friend from high school suggested that we meet up at a local race this summer and grab a beer afterwards… a lovely invite, absolutely welcome. But a little, long ago voice inside of me inquired: Why? Why on earth would she want to hang out with you?

It made me remember those days, high school days, filled with highs and lows and in-betweens that I would not change today. Well, maybe I’d change a few of them. But mostly I’d change the way I perceived myself, and others, as a result.

Dear 17-year-old Me, please know that you are not all that ugly or different or bad.

Please reach out more authentically to those smart, interesting people that don’t play sports or direct student government and produce talent shows.

Please connect more willingly and openly with your closest friends and teammates. 

Please notice that one of those people was nice to me, and especially realize that this same guy who once gave you a rose before taking you to a movie isn’t deserving of you being a jerk, and please stop being so unresponsive to his kindness.

Dear 17-year-old Me, please consider that what it takes to bring people together is more important than what may be taught by your peers, teachers, coaches, siblings and parents resulting in people remaining apart. 

My kids are little guys. They embrace and reject their friends all the time, depending on the wind, day, sport, class. It’s a joy to witness their friendships and observe how they learn, grow, stretch, and challenge one another.

I suppose we “grown ups” continue to do so as well, but we don’t hold hands spontaneously anymore.

Every night at the dinner table we take turns around the table sharing our gratitudes. Once a novelty, now it’s a tradition. Both boys raise their hands frantically, competing as to who gets to state their gratitudes first.

It is a time when we can each think briefly about something – anything – for which we are thankful. Some nights, like tonight, it’s hard to think of things for which I am thankful. I’ve got a parent who is hurting and friends who are wandering. I haven’t met personal goals that I set earlier in the year. We put the boys down unhappily last night –  I try to time it so we avoid meltdown sibling squabbling, but didn’t close the deal tonight before they fell apart. It’s so frustrating.

And yet…

they slept nearly twelve hours last night, blessedly ignorant of what awaits them in High School.

Today I asked them what they wanted to be when they grow up.

The oldest responded confidently, A professional soccer player and a shark explorer.

The youngest said, I want to be the Happy Guy.

You mean you want to be like Pharrell Williams, the singer who sings Happy?

No. I want TO. BE. THE. HAPPY. GUY.

So you want to become Pharrell Williams when you grow up?

YES.

Ok.

I love my guys. And High School wasn’t awful. It was actually pretty good. I am grateful.

BUT.

IT. GETS. BETTER. 

hermanitosabril

 

Ashes – My Messy, Beautiful

A few months ago someone I know liked a business on Facebook that creates cremation urns.

You know how we like stuff on social media. Sugar sweet piles of puppies, spinning dolphins who live in crystal blue seas, dazzling rainbow sunsets in far off lands. We like sleeping newborns, political jokes, break dancing toddlers, important messages, pleas for prayers and hundreds and hundreds of photos that we cannot unsee and occasionally we wish we could. Social media descends on our lives every day like so many birds, assailing us with images that remind us of days long since lived, or of places where we one day hope to go.

We scroll down, down, down… clicking on the occasional link that someone we truly like has posted or for whatever reason catches our eye at the moment.

Well, it turns out that on social media there’s a bunch of us that like cremation urns.

I guess.

Urns are tenderly created bowls of earth made for the purpose of housing ashes. Dedicated to offering a space in which one’s remains can be kept safe and sacred, they have been used by many civilizations across thousands of years. Like seemingly everything else on the planet, today you can buy them on Amazon.

You can bury ashes. You can scatter them. You can keep them. You can do whatever you feel is right, and you can possibly almost forget about them because they may be tucked into a brown paper bag in your closet, by the neatly folded sweaters that you never actually wear.

Truth: just seeing this “like” of urns on Facebook destroyed me a little bit for a few minutes.

A portion of my sister’s ashes has been housed unceremoniously in a paper bag on a shelf in my closet in my bedroom for over eight years now. Safely out of sight in a quiet corner, I rarely notice them. Occasionally I get up there to sort out sweaters and whoa – there they are.

It never, ever occurred to me to acquire an urn until I saw that Facebook post.

A few months after she died, my family and I scattered my sister’s ashes in the way back of my parents’ generous backyard, close to the basketball court where she spent plenty of time dribbling, free throwing, rebounding, and laughing (I didn’t play but I paid attention).

A breeze nudged the warmth of the day aside, but did little to temper our feelings. My feelings were red-hot, smoking, passionate in the anger I felt toward my sister’s death. Not toward my sister. Never ever toward her. Well, maybe just a little bit.

WHY had she gone out that day? Why to work? Why on a bike?

Why Why Why?

Then a roaring crippling sadness tumbled down the mountainside trapping me beneath its weight.

We said nothing as each of us in turn gently tossed her ashes across the creeping green ground cover that blankets this bit of land and protects it from erosion and drought.

The physical and poignant process of scattering my sister’s ashes is one that remains matchless in its depth, love and sorrow in my experience to the present day.

All the spoken words before and during and after her memorial service were beautiful and brilliant and funny and heartbreaking. I loved all the words, all the voices. They lifted and carried our family through those bleak days, but when it was my turn to hold my sister’s ashes in my bare hands I couldn’t have stood it if anyone dared whisper another goddamn word.

Hushed, we scattered some of her ashes in silence, then trekked back indoors. Our hearts and bodies were heavy.

The days and weeks afterward happened, and we began again to do the sorts of things we used to do. I moved again, and kept waking up every day.

But some of her – a piece of her – was kept aside for me. My husband and I moved a few months later, and among the boxes I tucked a flimsy paper bag full of ashes. It may have traveled on my carry-on, or lay beneath clothing in a suitcase… I cannot remember anymore.

Should I house my sister’s remains within an urn?

Do people really have urns any more?

Who imagined they would sell so well on Amazon?

I did a little research, but not much. Did you know you can turn yourself into a tree when you die? There are biodegradable urns made from coconut shells, and inside they contain seeds. You can even pick the type of plant you would like to be.

Even after eight years, it’s still too hard and horrible and impossible. I’ve been dreaming lately, and they aren’t good dreams. I believe my sister would forgive me for hitting the pause button a few times in my journey toward accepting her absence.

So I am satisfied with the paper bag in the closet. It is her life that I remember – not her remains – as I move throughout my days, as I sleep, struggle, smile, cry and think — this is the way in which I know and honor her.

I am not going to procure an urn anytime soon.

But I am going to make more of an effort to honor her memory, and realize that the life that I am living is the only one I’ve got, and love the lives around me to pieces more often. I can appreciate the joyful messiness that is parenting, working, living, loving, and being.

And the funny thing is that I feel pretty okay today, actually, a feeling I thought would never come back when my sister died. I feel happy, humbled, and realize that happiness is fleeting – is cannot be sustained. It can’t really be caught, either. I think it’s more a consequence of being in the world as one should be for the moment.

And since life is just a series of moments (as social media would confirm), I feel happy to be among them today.

This essay and I are part of the Messy, Beautiful Warrior Project — To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE! 

grande girasol

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You must not blame me if I do talk to the clouds. ~Henry David Thoreau

dreaming of wellness

Hello Friday, I’m so happy to meet you today!

Today I’m linking up with Cynthia at yousignedupforwhat?!, EatPrayRunDC and MarontheRun for the weekly Friday Five. I’m excited to have discovered three new bloggers who focus on health and wellness. Evidently I’m in need of both, because last night I dreamed about being sick for what felt like all night.

In this particularly vivid dream a close friend showed up at our house with her family during a raging snowstorm. She energetically insisted that we had signed up to run a 10K foot race located across town… I didn’t recall registering, but what are you gonna do. We piled in the back of this enormous vehice, tucking our kids sans seat belts under a fleece blanket. I was unable to breathe for several minutes, congested and bleeding and tired, but no one seemed to notice.

I woke up still dreaming. It was very strange. I almost announced to my family that Mama is very, very sick and needs to stay in bed today, but then I looked in the mirror and took a few deep breaths and walked outside on the deck. The sun was out. Unbelievable. I wasn’t congested. I wasn’t bleeding. I was, in fact, no sicker than anyone else in our family, which is to say not sick.

Still, the feeling lingered for a while, and I felt cloudy. Instead of reaching immediately for caffeine I put a bunch of raw kale in the blender, threw in half a banana, some frozen blueberries and unsweetened coconut milk plus a healthy scoop of protein powder. The sound of the blender is delicious. It makes kids come running into the kitchen, but this smoothie was for me.

I drank deeply, and then I poured a cup of steaming coffee. Coffee as a side dish = perfection.

I am looking forward to a little wellness this weekend.

Sunshine

My Friday Five include:

1. First soccer match of the season. My oldest will play tomorrow morning under the direction of his coach aka his Dad. Chance of rain = 80%, but that’s ok. We live in Portland!

2. Pedicure. This is happening today. I’ve promised myself (any local readers want to join me?)

3. Free Friday with my little guy. He doesn’t have school on Fridays, and we get to hang out. He still challenges me on a regular basis, but he also makes me laugh. This morning he asked if he could taste my kale smoothie, but before taking a sip, he asked me if it was poison. 

4. Getting in the garden:  Our broccoli, cauliflower and sugar snap pea starts are looking good. Two days ago I carefully planted two dozen teensy containers with mixed greens, kale and carrot seeds. I placed them outdoors to get a few hours of sun. My youngest boy came running in beaming, tugging on my hand.

Mama! I planted aaallllll the carrot seeds! Come see!

Um, okay? you did what?

I planted allllll the seeds!

We walked outside. He had opened the bag of carrot seeds and dumped all of them all over my planted containers. Carrot seeds are tiny, and removing them with tweezers proved unsuccessful. Also, you’re supposed to plant carrot seeds “sparingly” which does not mean thirty per seed pot. So frustrating. The kid ruined my seeds, and was happy about it. So we’re hitting up the Portland Nursery for some cheerful starts and ladybugs.

5. Movement: a solo run and swim are on the calendar.

Happy Friday, readers!

fridaylinkup

Let’s go to the Llama Store

The boys and I walked to school this morning because the car was unavailable. It’s a spring-y, breezy, blossomy kind of day. My little guy stays home with me on Fridays, and our schedule is much more relaxed than Monday-Thursday. You can  practically hear the clouds sighing with relief on Fridays, as they float aside to let the sun shine down.

On the way home Max started talking about popsicles, and a mystery presented itself unexpectedly.

So Mama? Remember that time a very long time ago when I had a mango popsicle?

Yes, I remember (kind of, um I mean I can’t remember every single popsicle or mango feeding).

Well maybe when I get home I can just eat a mango popsicle.

We don’t have any mango popsicles. I’d have to get some at the store.

Yeah we can just go to the Llama Store. That’s where they have mango popsicles.

The what?

The Llama Store!

I confirmed that he did not mean to say Fred Meyer, New Seasons, Target or Costco. He was absolutely sure that mango popsicles are available at the Llama Store.

What on earth was the Llama Store?

It was a mysterious mystery. I kept asking him questions to get to the bottom of it, but he just kept insisting that the Llama Store was the place to get mango popsicles.

On the corner of our street there is a coffee kiosk, a taco shop, a sushi restaurant and a colmado – a small corner store that sells overpriced convenience items, lottery tickets and rolling papers. I’ve rarely gone inside.

We turned by the colmado to head home, and passed signage in the window that looked like this:

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See, Mom? There’s the LLAMA. And that’s the LLAMA STORE.

Yes, I did see. And no, I didn’t correct him that it was actually an image of a camel, not a llama. The fact that it was a tobacco ad went way over his head.

Later I asked his father if by chance he had ever taken our smart little guy to the colmado to buy a popsicle.

He sure had.

Mystery solved.

P.S. The best popsicles I’ve ever had can be found not at the Llama Store but throughout the city of Oaxaca, Mexico. Known for its paletas, the city’s local  ice pops are made from fresh fruit and come in flavors like prickly pear, watermelon, coconut, and of course, mango. Magical mango nutrition on a stick.

After my last post I thought I’d take a break from blogging for awhile.

Too boring. Too depressing.

But.

Today my youngest made me laugh more than once and it feels like worth documenting, at least to me.

Every week his preschool teacher assigns the kids a job: line leader, meeting leader, in-school cleaner-upper (I like this one), etc.

One of the jobs is called Backpack.

Backpack means you get to take a cheery red backpack home for a week. In the Backpack there is a Snowy Owl. The job is to take care of the Owl and take him with you on your adventures.

This is very exciting.

On the way home, M told me that Snowy Owl would like to have some hot cocoa today.

Really? The Owl wants hot cocoa?

Oh yes, Mama. He really wants some hot cocoa.

Why?

Because he is very, very thirsty.

Well, combine an owl’s thirst with a chilly, darkish cloudy but it just might turn into a sunshiney day, and that’s good reason for hot cocoa in my opinion.

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We proceeded to have an Owl and Hot Cocoa Party.

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Cups were drained.

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Afterwards, the owls decided to take in some sun on the deck.

Unfortunately, M sustained an injury while the owls were resting.

Mama! I have splinters in my butt!

Deep Breath.

Really? What happened?

I don’t know! I was sitting here playing here with these friends when I got splinters in my butt!

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Me, speechless. These garden gnomes were living in the Garden until recently. Evidently they are up to no good this season.

I checked out the so-called splinter area and observed zero splinters. So that was good. We went on to pick up his big brother from school, hang out at the local playground, and came home to read books, grump about dinner options and share the sweetest stories about first grade and trading notes.

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That’s it, readers. Good night.

Care for hot cocoa?

As my long-time readers are well aware, my sister’s death in the year 2005 paralyzed me in many ways. I was deeply sad, but I was also angry. I was angry that clocks kept ticking, and I resented people who kept being normal. They kept shopping for groceries, planning parties, and going to work. They kept on saying good morning and wearing life is good T-shirts. They kept running, practicing yoga and smiling. They kept getting on planes and working and drinking and sleeping and eating. They did all sorts of things which I, in fact, used to do, too.

How dare they?

It was stunningly difficult to move forward, or on, or through it all, so I didn’t for a awhile. It’s been eight years, and I still find myself deeply grieving her, but I keep shopping for groceries, planning parties, and going to work. I keep doing all sorts of stuff.

I wrote those words about a week ago, but I didn’t hit publish.

I’m not sure why loss was on my mind so much last week. It seems like a lot of people are dying unexpectedly, or earlier than they were intended to. When my sister died I crashed into a grief process that didn’t allow me to check back into life for a long time. Many people reached out bravely and warmly to comfort our family, but all I could think was they don’t understand. They don’t know. They can’t know. Others stumbled over their words, intending to offer condolences but instead made a mess of things. Sometimes the best intended words made me just laugh. The belief that my sister was now in a better place seemed (and seems) to me the most preposterous idea of all… you’d be surprised how often I heard those words, despite the truth that she was 28 years old and more alive than most of us.

You know what they say about good intentions. Well, it turns out that intent is often irrelevant. It flies in the face of truth. This is why people say they didn’t “mean” it when they use a vulgar expression or a shameful term… they don’t “intend” to hurt someone or enrage an entire community. But it happens, all too often.

The unreal thing about grief is that most of us do get through it, pretending to be normal while tending to both those who acknowledge our loss as well as those who ignore it. Practical tasks like eating and bathing may save us from drowning in the “sinking sand” of loss, as my youngest calls quicksand, and if we are lucky we are lifted up both by grace and by a profound strength that we never envisioned having or needing.

Death brings to mind the randomness of humanity, because I don’t think every thing happens for a reason. Depending on the circumstances into which we were born, we may eat, bathe, work, move, rest, want or learn – or do none of these things in a healthy way. Emotionally, too, life’s a bit of a crap shoot. Many of us hail from strong and supportive families, but many of us are also born into a dysfunctional mess, a recipe made up of mixed up relatives + complex life stuff. Add in hormones and aids I like to call mood-makers, and you’re bound to have issues.

[Sidenote: mood-makers may include but are not limited to the following: alcohol, running, sugar, caffeine, drugs, music, silence. I like to practice all of them, some more moderately so than others. What are your mood-makers?]

Last week I read about a woman who died unexpectedly at age 39, leaving behind three young children, her husband and countless friends.

Three days ago I was 39.

Now I am 40.

Rather than dreading another birthday, I am absolutely ready to take on another decade. My 30s were tough. And beautiful. And horrible. I was newly married when my sister was killed. My life, upended, changed for the worse. I didn’t know me anymore. I didn’t know my family – our dynamic of five changed abruptly to four, and we weren’t ready. I cried constantly, shook with fear, and doubted my place in the world.

Running helped. As much as I could get myself out the door, I used to go out for five and six and seven miles, meandering through the neighborhood and occasionally on a trail. If I hadn’t gone outside, I might never have left my room, that first year after my sister died.

[Sidenote: we adopted an energetic eight-week-old Lab puppy three months after her death. He was practically a service dog. Puppies don't wait for you to feel better before they get a walk. Eight years later, he is a more mellow version of his puppy self and he brings me this incredible joy - his sweet big eyes are full of love and compassion. I highly recommend puppies as a remedy to sadness.]

To celebrate turning 40, I signed up to run 13.1 miles with a close friend. I hadn’t trained adequately, but the race was flat and scenic. Incredibly, it didn’t start raining until ten minutes after I’d finished. Around mile 10 my body was pretty much done, and my phantom broken toe was burning (stupid faux injury that I can’t seem to get rid of), but I kept going. The final mile hurt, and so I lifted my thoughts to those spirits who could help: my sister, my grandfather, my friend Dominguin. I asked them to be my angel wings.

I ran for my sister, silently, because she is gone and yet not gone.

I also ran for the woman who is lying in a hospital bed right now fighting for her life after being hit by an SUV while riding her bike.  She is a family friend, runner and cyclist. She is broken, but she is healing.

I ran for me.

Within us we all have this enormous power to heal.

Slowly and painfully the final mile ticked by, and it was over. I could stop running. A kind volunteer handed me this medal.

angelwings

Angel wings.

I started to cry.

So life goes on. I am 40, and I am ready for another full (and fulfilling) decade, or at least just enjoy today, and I feel good about that. I’ve got much to look forward to, plus an incredible family, a wonderful new job, amazing friends and a home in a beautiful part of the world. I went home after the run to party with my boys. 

birthdaycard

I don’t know exactly where my path will lead over the next ten years (or even tomorrow), but I sure plan to be on the trail.

In gratitude.

trail

it’s my party, i can cry if i want to

I’m a bad mom. I yell too much and daydream about spending a week (or seven) on a Mexican beach BY MYSELF with alarming frequency. I sleep well in a hammock, enjoy light clothing and speak Spanish, so it’s terribly tempting. The sound of the ocean weakens, or prevents, my anxiety issues from taking over better than prescription medication or running six miles can do, although those are excellent strategies. I used to keep a journal – in writing, private-style, not a blog – and some of my truest thoughts came into view as I sat silently and listened to the crash of the surf, cool and salty, rippling gray to deep green to dark silver blue, and wrote down what I was thinking in front of the ocean, sometimes while chasing the sunrise.

Now I just listen to the crash of two small people as they tumble and roar through our landbound house. This afternoon I asked the older one why, why, WHY for the love of all that is good and holy (to quote a friend) he cannot get along with his brother, when he doesn’t fight with his friends, and in fact, has developed some sweet, respectful, funny and heartwarming friendships over the past few years.

His response was immediate. It went something like, Well, I get along with my friends because MY FRIENDS don’t break my stuff and MY FRIENDS don’t punch me when they get mad and MY FRIENDS don’t say mean words and MY FRIENDS don’t get too much into my space.

Okay. I nodded. I heard him.

Then later in the day there were these moments and even stretches of time when they played together and made each other laugh and think and smile and I was all like yeah I have these awesome kids before one of them started in again causing me to intervene at some point and use my strategies and my words and then finally YELL.

And then one of them — twenty minutes later – looked at me in his room and apologized. Like a real apology. Not one that I encouraged or invited or forced. Taken aback, we enjoyed a real nice hug and a smile. God I love these kids.

Earlier in the day, the same kid was playing with these tiny soccer player guys in the basement. I mentioned that there were a few more players upstairs, and he nodded.

Mom, would you be a dear and go and get them for me?

I could hear his teacher’s words echoing in his mind… and so I said of course, I would be happy to help.

Later, he asked his brother to bring him a toy from their shared room, and the little one accomodated (he likes to be a helper, especially on his own terms).

Big brother smiled and whispered to me: it’s like I have a tiny servant.

Seriously? I thought.

He did thank his brother for the delivery service.

My boys are keeping it real, thanks. All those Christmas letters (that I adore receiving – really) detailing evidence of the joy and dreamlike state in which the new babies and adorable toddlers on Santa’s laps provide for their parents make me cringe a little, tear up a little, and fake holiday cheer a little. It’s so not all adorable when one’s three going on thirteen year old tells you that he doesn’t love you anymore because I made him hold my hand in the parking lot after he took off in a public space. He deliberately did not mind me, and I confess to threatening — in calm, kind voice — to have to put him on a leash like a dog if he continued to run away from me. He burst into tears and said he didn’t want to be on a leash like Coppi (our dog).

You know those kid leashes, right? I’ve seen the occasional child on a leash at a grocery store or the county fair. I’ve thought they were horrible, and now my kid’s almost four and I absolutely get why people use them!

I’m not going to put him on a leash. The threat is already out there, folks. But if he takes off on me one more time I am… I am… I have no idea right now what I’m going to do. I’m sure there are like a thousand books out there like How To Not Get Your Kid To Run Away From You Even Though It’s A Fun Game For Him And Scary And Frustrating For You, but quite frankly I don’t want to use the Google to find them right now. I’d rather vent, and I love this space where I can put words out there and let it go.

Have a great night, especially you parents as we approach this magical time called Bedtime.

P.S. Here’s a glimpse of my non-minding child during swim lessons. He’s cute, because otherwise we’d have serious problems.

maxswims

And P.P.S. This is the photo Miles selected to send into the Lego Contest. If he wins, he gets $100 in Legos! He is super excited even though I’ve cautioned that there are likely to be many, many other six-and-seven-and-eight-and-thirty-nine-old-Lego-contenders participating in the competition.

mileslegos

Tumble and Roar