31 December 2011

THE best for last

I am a mother to 4 boys, 5 if you count the dog. This one is my favorite. He doesn't talk back. He follows me around, sits at my feet, comes when I call and sleeps in a crate. It's a good thing he came last!

30 December 2011


When I was pregnant with my first child a friend told me something that changed my life. She said, "Growing up, I always knew my mother enjoyed me." I have savored that word enjoy for going on 13 years now. I have rolled it around in my mouth like a delicious piece of chocolate. At times I have ignored it. On occasion (more times than I wish to admit) I have considered the word with contempt. But for the most part it has become the trajectory of the way I live as a mother.
Deciding to forgo a career away from home in order to raise my children was one that came to me almost like deciding to drive to a familiar place not knowing how I got there. It just happened. The road to motherhood has been full of many twists and turns, peaks and valleys, moments of euphoric delight and instances of fury that rival Joan Crawford and those infamous wire hangers.
I cannot imagine my life without these souls who are my children. Our relationship is tender, but complicated. They were made to be relentless in their needs. I was made to be selfish in mine. And here we are put together to spend our hours, all 24 of them, til they find a path that takes them out my front door, down the lane and into a world that does not include me. So for today, I will muster all my motherly might to Enjoy my beloved boys who I desperately love, but who make me desperately aware of my own depravity.

29 December 2011

The gift that keeps on giving

My dear father has been wanting to get us a dog for a while now. I finally said okay. O, we lurve our puppy.

28 December 2011

Stop. Drop. Roll.

I get bored quickly. It takes a lot to impress me (much to the frustration of my husband). Sometimes I lose my temper. Saying I'm sorry comes quickly especially with my children because they are the ones who usually bear the brunt of my weakness. I have been known to over commit and crash my car into the garage from exhaustion. Pitching my tent (figuratively speaking-I am not much of a camper) beyond my comfort zone is where I thrive. All of this comes from having an entrepreneurial father who married an industrious woman.

A few years back my second born lay in bed weeping. "I am going to pray that Daddy loses his job." His father's job was going to take us 800 miles from cousins, grandparents, aunts, uncles and best friends. The job was going to take us away from our darling cottage situated on an oversized shady lot that had been the destination for many a party, play date, impromptu neighborhood bonfire. For me this job was an opportunity for our family to grow, thrive-to pitch our tent outside our comfort zone.

Three years have passed since that journey began. We are all a bit worn from all the unexpected detours this adventure has cost us. We look back to our homeland with wistful glimpses. We Skype. We write. We visit. We welcome. We hope. But mostly we appreciate that we are so loved to be missed and so enjoyed to be welcomed.

27 December 2011


This photograph is a metaphor for my life. Today I choose to laugh for in a short while they will be gone, and then I will cry.

We went on a family vacation and all I got was this amazing memory

When I was little my parents traveled a lot. Some times they would take me. Often they didn't. They would always bring back a souvenir such as a stuffed animal or perhaps a t-shirt that read, "My parents went to the Bahamas and all I got was this lousy t-shirt." In my parents defense their trips were often work related (Bahamas is the perfect meeting place for closing a deal) and often interfered with my schooling (which is why I now homeschool). This past fall we loaded up the family wagon-mobile and hit the racy town of Williamsburg. Not the Bahamas. We traded in our tiki torches for candle sconces and our sandy shores for cobblestone streets. Ahh. We, ahem, I loved it! The under 12 crowd loved the rocking hotel where we stayed that rivaled a CrackerBarrel with a serious indoor water park. The magic of Williamsburg was lost. Or was it? The last day of our great family vacation, my husband had to drive back to the city from whence we came. I was left with 4 boys and a cipher guide that mimicked that of Ben Gates ala National Treasure. Now let me stop right here to explain something about myself. I can find the most obscure treasure in a thrift store, but reading ciphers is not my forte-especially as the lead in a quaint colonial village with an unruly, raucous, peanut gallery bunch of wise crackers. But we Silence Dogood-ed our way to the "Quest for Freedom" where we chanted with the other victors. We wore our blue bandanas proudly as we were awarded golden coins for bravely stopping a plot to end the life of the first Continental president's life. O, what a memory we made. Imagine my glee when we were summarizing our year end's high points and the 10 year old said, "My favorite part of 2011 was "Rev Quest", the silly little cipher scavenger hunt of which I write. So, they really are enjoying these broadening ventures disguised as family vacations. It may not be the Bahamas, but those Colonists sure know how to make a mean ale.

Little boy blues

I have these boys in my life. There are 6. My Mister. Four offspring. One dog. All male. All different. All delightful. So last night the youngest boy who is human (our dog is the youngest) was snuggling in bed pontificating on things way above my pay grade at that hour at night. We were remembering a sweet friend who is no longer on this side of life, he died a few weeks ago. The 5 year old said, "I think Gus is sleeping in heaven. He gets to be with Jesus for Christmas." O, what a lovely vision. But in my vision there is a mama many states away celebrating with not 4, but 3 little ones. The 5 year old broke in to my thoughts with a heartfelt question, "Mom, why do we say Jesus lives in our heart when our brain is the most important? I mean, the brain controls the heart." And there I lay silenced, sorrowful as I sweetly snuggled my baby boy. O, how the sweet commingles with the sorrow. That is what gives life such meaning.