While he practices climbing up the stairs and going down again for the tenth time today. While I stand beside her as she misses the connection on the buckles of her car seat over and over before she finally gets it right. While I listen as he tells a never-ending, seemingly...

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  My church happens at home in the middle of the night with a fevering baby in my arms. I pray for strength. My church happens on the beach when I see through them for the first time what has been right in front of me for a lifetime. I pray for depth. Their eyes are my eyes. Their soul from...

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Today they beat me down to a pulp. They whined and poked and bickered with each other all the livelong day. In other words, they acted like children. The nerve. When they did come together, it was to unite against me. They plotted and gamed me, and they won. I lost my cool, my mind, and my desire to do any of it well by...

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Silence’s Gift

If you could sit alone in silence for just a little while, you’d have the time to remember how much fun they are, how much you wanted them, how much love and life you want to give to them. And how much they give to you. If you could sit and hear the thoughts in your...

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Parent Teacher Conferences

Tell me they’re wonderful, and tell me it’s because of how I mother them. Tell me my cooking is making them smart and healthy, and that my yelling, my rushing here and there, and my occasional inattention haven’t affected them at all. Tell me how bright and charming they are. (Please...

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Calming Brag

He’s reading now and bike-riding on two wheels, too. He’s jumping off diving boards into the deep ends of pools, and writing me love notes for no reason at all. He has friends now and a sense of humor. He’s on the traveling team (that’s what we wanted, right?) and he’s going to a wonderful...

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A Gift Idea for Mother’s Day for Mothers of Young Kids

No need for flowers or breakfast in bed; a handmade card will do. What I want most of all is for this day to be different than tomorrow. I want the children dressed, listened to, fed, and entertained by someone other than me. I want the house tidied, the toys put away, the dishes done, the food prepared, the groceries shopped, the linens...

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Foreplay, After Having Kids

He kissed me when he left this morning. And said, “Thanks for all that you do around here,” while nodding his head toward the sink, the kids, the laundry room. He put those kids to bed when he got home. He cleaned the bathtub so I could take a bath while he straightened up. He did the...

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I hold him tightly while I rock him. I exhale slowly and release all of the tension in me, all of the love in me; it filters through him. I hold him and he tucks into me, into the place from which he grew. He will call me one Thanksgiving and tell me...

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