Baby Therapy


There is nothing on earth quite as therapeutic as rocking a little baby.  The silky cheek resting against yours, the sweet powdery baby smell of his skin, the impossibly delicate brush of his fingers on your neck.

Life goes flying by us, zooming beyond the speed of light or sound or love or thought.  We hold a tiny one in our arms, closing our eyes to breathe in the tenderness, and before we can even release that breath, the baby is a woman, tall and strong and smart. Married and ready to hold a baby of her own.  We cuddle a toddler close to our chest, one hand on his sturdy little back, another feeling his velvety curls.  We rock and we dream and when we open our eyes, he is a man, independent and solid and standing on his own two capable feet.

We’re left off balance, blinking in surprise.  Didn’t I just fall in love with that little one?  Wasn’t it only a day ago that I first held her, kissed her, tucked the softest blanket around her?

As my children have grown, I have begun to wonder if I’ve lost my place in the world of babies.  If perhaps I have lost that special loving touch that once made me the only comfort for those I loved so much.  I started to feel that I’d been passed by, and that it was simply no longer my turn to rest my cheek on the head of a sleeping baby.

I remember a day, almost eleven years ago.  A young colleague of mine brought her new baby boy to a meeting at school. I took him from her arms, and settled into a rocking chair in the meeting room. As the baby relaxed and turned his head to rest against my shoulder, I felt all of the tensions and worries of the day drain away from me. My arms still knew how to cradle him, how to rest one hand under his bottom and one behind his warm head.  I rocked and I hummed, and the little baby boy settled into the comfort of my touch.  I felt renewed. I closed my eyes, and breathed in his sweet baby smell, and I felt his tiny fingers reaching out to me.

But time has passed swiftly once again.  Now that beautiful baby is a tall handsome fifth grader with a mischievous grin and the brightest blue eyes.  He is in my class this year, and I am getting to know him as a student.  That sweet baby memory is something that I have to keep as my secret, so that I can be his teacher.

Its been a long time now since I have held and rocked a baby.  Oh, every now and then I get a few minutes with a grand niece or nephew, or with the baby of a colleague or the grandchild of a friend.  But I have been feeling myself getting rusty once again, wondering if I would still know how to comfort and soothe, how to snuggle and hug, how to hold a baby in my aging loving arms.

Today my friends came to visit, brining their beautiful three month old son.  He fit right into my arms, and my hands and wrists knew what to do. My back knew how to curve around him, and my cheek was drawn to his hard, smooth head as if by magic.  My body remembered the rhythm of baby rocking, back and forth, from right to left, from foot to foot in a gentle, intuitive dance.

I closed my eyes, and breathed in his sweet baby smell. I felt his tiny gentle fingertips, so lightly brushing my skin.

There is nothing on earth, no pill, no drug, no wine so potent as the therapeutic effect of rocking a little baby.59



Today was a perfect day.

I didn’t plan to write about it, but as the day draws to a close, the perfection of it all demands to be heard. Words are bubbling up in my brain so quickly that if I don’t write them down, something up there just may burst.

It was that kind of day.

This was the first weekend of the school year.  I came home on Friday, after a mere 2 1/2 days of teaching, completely exhausted and thoroughly exhilarated.  It’s still early, I know, but I get the feeling that this is going to be one of those years when I just fall in love with my class.  I can’t really explain how or why it happens, but there are certain collections of children (for lack of a better word!) that simply reach right out and touch my heart.  This group seems to be that way.  Already.

So I came into the weekend with a lot to do, but a happy soul.  Yesterday was mostly errands and chores around the house.

Yesterday was also the sixth day in a row where the temperature went almost to 90 degrees and the humidity was nearly the same.  It was an uncomfortable, breathless, sweating, nasty day to be shopping and cleaning, but I did what had to be done.  In the evening we weathered a tornado alert and a huge, torrential thunderstorm, and I went to be praying for the stickiness to dissolve.

And we come to this morning.

I woke up at 7 to a cool breeze.  I went into the living room, trailed by my faithful doggies.  I stepped onto the deck and into a world of golden beauty.  The trees were drenched, but as they dripped, the sun shone through every drop, as if they were coated in diamonds.  The breeze blew, and a shower of sparks came down through the woods, lit up from within with a rainbow of incredible fire.

Paul woke up and we started the day with a long soak in the hot tub, breathing in the cool, crisp scent of almost-fall, and drinking our coffee as the steamy water eased the kinks out of our backs.

I had a lot of school work to do, but I was excited to be doing it.   Right after breakfast, I jumped into those tasks. I scored some math tests, prepared tomorrow’s math lesson, read some student folders and started a vocabulary sheet for our first science unit.

As the day went on, I realized that I was also determined to enter the upcoming week as fully prepared as possible.  I did all of the laundry, thinking that I would need enough clean clothes to see me through to Friday.  I washed the floor and cleaned the bathrooms: I knew I wouldn’t be doing that on a Wednesday morning any more!

And I cooked.  The coolness of the day, and the adrenaline of the new school year, combined to push me into full on Italian-woman mode.

I boiled six eggs for easy breakfasts; they were local eggs, but were two weeks old!  On Friday I picked up 2 dozen fresher chicken eggs as well as six beautiful duck eggs.

I marinated tempeh for this weeks lunches: we’re trying to cut down on the meat, but I am determined that its still going to taste good! Marinated tempeh in spring roll wrappers it is.

And I cooked down ten fresh and gorgeous tomatoes, adding spices and wine and homemade meatballs. Dinner for at least one night this week!

When everything was done, and tonight’s dinner was still waiting to be started, I sat outside on my deck, turning my face to the sun.

I am acutely aware that very, very soon, my afternoons of sunshine will be gone.  My garden-fresh foods will disappear under a layer of ice.  My casual soaks in the hot tub will be replaced with a frantic run between the hot water and the house.

Everything comes to an end.  Even this wonderful summer.

And so I am stocking up on everything I need to get through another long, cold New England winter.  I am stocking up on love for my class and on jars of fresh tomato sauce.  I am freezing fresh and local peppers and corn, and making refrigerator pickles out of those crisp and delightful little cukes.

And I am writing down the memory of a perfect September Sunday, so that I can pull it out in February, when the winds are blowing and the noses are running, and when winter feels as if it will never ever end.


I am so crunchy and healthy……

I am SUCH a crunchy granola aging hippy!  I tell ya.

I recently wrote a post called “Abbondanza” where I wrote about how excited I was at the incredible bounty of fresh foods at my farmer’s market.  I was thinking about the fact that pretty soon it will be the dead of winter, and we’ll be reduced to eating canned tomatoes and frozen peas.  Yechhh.

I saw this.

I saw this.

So this morning I woke up and thought to myself, “I’m an Earth Mother type!  I should buy and can a whole bunch of tomatoes!”  I was overcome by the image of my healthy woman self whipping up a delicious lasagna in February, using those vibrantly delicious tomatoes, onions, basil, garlic and oregano from the summer.  Mmmmmmm, good!  I could just picture my grandmothers, great-grandmothers and great-great grandmothers nodding in approval.

And I pictured this.

And I pictured this.

I was psyched!

I headed off to the local farm stand.  I was about to grab a whole bunch of fresh, perfect tomatoes.  I smiled at the farmer, and announced “I’m going to can tomatoes!”  She looked at me like I was insane.  “You can’t use THOSE!  You’ll go BROKE!”  She hustled out the door of the stand and grabbed a huge box of slightly imperfect tomatoes.  “You want THESE.”, she announced.

Oh.  OK.  I quickly chose a bunch of other ingredients and grabbed the big box of “canning tomatoes”.  I was so impressed with myself!  Heading home to “put up” vegetables for the long winter!

“Bring back my box!”, the farmer called as I pulled out of her driveway.  I waved in response.  She’s a little scary.  I’ll be bringing that box back tomorrow.

I got home, and spread out all of my treasures.

Holy healthiness! Look at this!   I was so excited.

I breathed in deeply, smelling the golden late summer air.  I felt just exactly like “Ma” in “Little House on the Prairie.”  I thought about putting my hair into a long braid, or a nice little bun at the back of my neck, but I had just had a hair cut, and it was only about an inch long.  Still, I felt pretty wholesome as I wrapped myself in my organic, sustainably raised cotton apron.  From “The Kitchen Store”.

I began by chopping up huge piles of veggies.  I’ve done this before! I hummed to myself, thinking of the millions and millions of women who have come before me, seeing the incredible richness of summer as a time to prepare for the long, cold winter.

I decided to get myself fully into the mood by listening to some old folk songs.  Just like all of those women in those healthy olden days, I thought that music would ease the burden of all the hard work ahead of me. Feeling one with my ancestors, I popped my iPhone onto the dock and booted up Pandora.  Bluegrass music enveloped me as I dropped the chopped veggies into my Cuisinart and hit “high”.

I pureed the entire box of tomatoes, plus two fresh onions and ten cloves of garlic.  I added in the organic basil and my own garden fresh oregano.  I let it all simmer on my electric stove, thinking of all the women before me, forging a new life in a new land, facing untold obstacles.

Even though I was pretty sure that I knew how to do this safely, I decided to be extra cautious.  After all, I am a Mother! This food will no doubt be used to sustain my family in the harsh winter!

I googled “canning tomatoes” and watched three You Tube Videos to make sure I was getting it right. Yup. Just like a Pioneer Woman. I knew what to do!

So here I am, five hours after I started.  A real, honest-to-God, back to the earth, all natural hippy granny woman. All I had were my hands, my local farmer, Michael’s Crafts for the mason jars, the internet, YouTube, an electric stove, a thermometer, a set of oven mitts, some “can grabber” tongs and my internal drive and innate knowledge.

I ended up with this.

I ended up with this.

I. Am. Amazing.

What a self-reliant, simple, back to nature woman I am!  I can’t wait to google some awesome recipes for all this deliciousness!


Writing just to write

Oh, oh.

This is about to become one of those incredibly self-serving and self-conscious posts about blogging.


I hate those.

But I’m in a weird place!  I need advice/comfort/support/head slaps/eye rolls/”get over your bad selfs”/hugs.  I started this blog way back when because I was really, truly depressed about the emptying of my nest.

I was picturing this:

Wicked cute babies.

Wicked cute babies.

When in reality, my children looked like this:

My sweet occupiers.

Whoah. They grew up. A lot.

I was a very sad out-of-work Mommy.  So I poured my heart out into “Post Departum Depression” (get it??) and I cried and I mourned and I grieved.  And I found some wonderful kindred souls and some very smart and talented writers.  And slowly, slowly, I grew out of my sadness and my depression.

I grew to the point where I began to appreciate the pleasures of the post-baby phase of life.  And I began to write for the pleasure of writing.  I no longer needed the therapy, I no longer needed the outlet. But I kept on writing.

Why, you ask? Why did I continue to write, even when the therapy was no longer needed? Well, first of all, WordPress has these horribly addicting things called “Freshly Pressed” and “stats”.  You start to look at them.  Like every day.  Or maybe 43 times a day.  You notice those rare and exhilarating days when you have been “Freshly Pressed” or when a famous educational blogger like Diane Ravitch has shared your post. You become entranced as your stats go from 30 daily reads to 3,000 daily reads.  You start to feel moderately famous. You grab your laptop and frantically search for a topic.  You write because you want to be read!

I know that these little blips of success are fleeting. I know that I am not actually on my way to that Pulitzer Prize.  Still, I keep writing.

I write because every time I start to think, “Who the hell do I think I am, expecting people to read my drivel?”, I run into a smart, thoughtful, wonderful friend who tells me that she reads my words and that “they touch my heart”.  Gulp!  Talk about a boost of adrenaline and a boost to the ego! I write because the people I value find something meaningful in my words.

I have discovered that blogging has opened my world. I have blogging friends now in Scotland, England, California, Connecticut, Maine.  I have blogging friends who share my ideas, and friends whose ideas are totally foreign to me.  I have exchanged thoughtful comments about parenting, teaching, marriage, dog training, gun laws, the Arab Spring, Gaza and Israel, local foods and herbal medicine.

I learn something every time I check my reader.

But here is my dilemma.

I no longer feel that “Post Departum Depression”.   I no longer mourn over my empty nest.  Truth to tell, I am gearing up to be (hopefully) a grandmother one day in the not-too-distant future.

So.  Do I end this blog, and start another? Do I change the name of the site? Or do I honor the time in my life that helped me to find my writer’s voice, and keep the site and name as I grow into my “Nonni” years?

I’d love it if you would weigh in on this, everyone.  What should I do?

I can see every side of the issue, and I am not sure what to do.

Let me leave you with this. The image of my beloved babies, as they celebrated together at Kate’s wedding.

My favorite photo of all time. Truly.

My favorite photo of all time. Truly.

What’s your advice?


Don’t be fooled by the MOB.

Well, the wedding has come and gone.  Phew!


Don't mistake this look for serenity.

Don’t mistake this look for serenity.

This seems like a good time to give you an insightful glimpse into the mind of the MOB (which is what they call you for a about a year before the event in which you will be the “Mother of the Bride”.)

For some of you, it may be helpful to learn about what happens in the mind of the MOB as the big day approaches; after all, a lot of you will be a MOB yourself before too long!

For others, this post may help you to cope when your own wife/mother/sister/friend becomes a MOB.

And the rest of you will probably just laugh and think, “Thank God this will never happen to me because  a) I am a man; b) I am never ever ever planning to have a kid;   c) I am an old lady raising cats who now feels a lot better about my life choices.”

The pressures on the MOB before the wedding cannot possibly be overstated.  This is especially true if the bride is a mature, independent, capable young woman who doesn’t need or want you to do much.  At first this will seem like a blessing, but as the wedding day gets closer and closer, you will begin to wish that you had been included in every single tiny detail.

You see, the week before the wedding, people will start to ask you a lot of questions that you can’t answer, so you immediately go into a panic.  Kind of like this:

“What are the groomsmen wearing?”   “Um…..pants?”

“What time will the caterer arrive?”  “Not sure. In time to cook!”

“Where should we put all the wine?”  “Ah…I…um…just leave it with me.”

You’ll also start waking up in the middle of the night (as the day gets closer, the wake-ups happen more often.  By the night before the rehearsal, you’ll wake up every 14 seconds). You will be jolted out of sleep by burning questions like, “What if a sudden tornado blows through and everyone is lifted up and dropped over Kansas?”  and “What if I fall off the dance floor?!!”  In the brief periods where you do sleep, you will be overwhelmed by nightmares featuring giant black bears invading the wedding venue, drunken Uncles brawling on the porch, and suddenly realizing that you are on the dance floor stark naked.

What this all means, of course, is that by the time everyone you know and love appears in a giant throng to take endless pictures of you, will look like a refugee from a war zone. The bags under your eyes will be bigger than the big white wedding tent.  Your hands will shake, and the golden tan that you so carefully worked on last week will have faded to the color of pasty oatmeal.  This is the image that you will have of yourself:

The internal MOB.

The internal MOB.

In spite of all the stress, though, the big day will eventually come. You’ll carefully pack every single item that you or the bride could possibly want or need, and head off for the weekend.  You’ll arrive at the hotel that you chose months ago, only to find that there are no more “non-smoking rooms” available, and that you and your kids are booked into “rooms-so-filled-with-smoke-that-we-offer-free-asthma-inhalers”.  You’ll do your best to put a positive spin on the situation, telling yourself that it will be awesome to sound like Lauren Bacall at your daughter’s wedding, and ignoring the fact that you will smell like Humphrey Bogart at your daughter’s wedding.

You’ll go to the rehearsal with your family and the wedding party, where (if you are half as lucky as we were) the wonderful minister will manage to keep everyone under control long enough to do a run through of the event before they dive into the Irish Whiskey. You and the MOG (figure it out, people) will gulp your wine and compare notes on your respective neuroses.  You’ll try to figure out if its a good thing or a bad thing that you’re both having nightmares about black bears.  You’ll reassure each other a thousand times that “everything will be fine!”

And then the wedding day will dawn.  You’ll drink four gallons of water because your throat is so dry from nerves.  But you will immediately realize that you’ll have to pee 700 times before the ceremony. You are a middle aged woman.  This can be a problem. This fact will make you more nervous, meaning you’ll need more water. You will wonder when you can switch to wine.

You’ll take the kids out to breakfast at a cute little diner where everyone moves at roughly the speed of a melting glacier.  Your face will smile and chat with the family, but your brain will run a constant loop of reminders: “flowers, basket for flower girl, petals for basket, gift for the bride, make-up, computer for the music, deodorant, green tablecloth….flowers, basket for flower girl….”  

Even though you know that you have brought every single thing you could possibly need for the celebration, the bride will text you to ask you to stop for hairpins and cold cuts. You’ll be happy to have something constructive to do as the clock inexorably ticks down toward the ceremony, but you’ll have a mini-panic attack when you realize that you’re in a far off land where you don’t exactly how to find a grocery store or a CVS. Lucky for you, the young people at the table know how to use an iPhone, and you’ll plan out your route.

At last, at last, the time will come for you to rush frantically back to the hotel to get dressed and ready.  This is a day that you have dreamed of for years.  Your emotions are on high.  You and the FOB keep looking at each other with sappy grins.  The two of you share memories of the cute little girls who once played “brides” together on your lawn, and who will now fulfill the roles of Bridesmaids, Maid of Honor and (gulp) Bride.  Your nerves begin to settle, and you are filled with love and appreciation for the wonderful privilege of seeing your daughter married to a man who loves her to distraction.

You will step into the shower, humming the song that will always make you think of your baby girl and how intensely you will always love her.

Then you’ll step out of the shower and think to yourself, “What kind of freakin’ idiot thought it was a good idea to put a full size mirror opposite the shower?” 

Just remember, no one has ever said, “It was a great wedding, except for that scab on the MOB’s elbow.”  You and the MOG were right; everything will in fact be fine. Everyone will smile, and hug and wipe away tears as the truly happy couple exchanges vows. You’ll dance and sing together, you’ll toast each other, you’ll introduce your friends to your family.  It will be incredible.

And at the end of the night, your beautiful daughter will kiss you and thank you and say, “Mom, this was so perfect! Thank you!”

Oh, Shenandoah


A million or so years ago, my young husband and I took a drive down South.  We wanted to visit some college campuses, because we were looking for graduate schools.  We made some appointments, got into our old brown Toyota Corolla and headed South.

We stopped in New Jersey, on the very day of Bruce Springsteen’s 31st birthday.  We went on to Delaware, to Maryland, and then to Virginia.  We camped, in Shenandoah National Park, in a place called “Big Meadow”.

We were young, and open and ready for the world to show us what it had to offer.   Shenandoah showed us mountains, and fields and deer and music and a gentle beauty that we could not forget.

We went back there, of course.  We stayed in a cozy cottage for two, in the fall. We watched the sun set over those mountains. We walked at dawn in a dewy field filled with does and fawns.

And we returned, first with our little girl, showing her the rosy light of dawn in the Blue Ridge Mountains. We brought her hiking, taught her to pick blueberries and raspberries in the wide, wild field.  We fed her pancakes and bacon in the homey restaurant of the Big Meadow Lodge on Skyline Drive.

We came back again, with her brothers. Camping on the edge of the Appalachian Trail, singing with the guitarist in the lodge, walking the wide meadow at sunset, hiking the beautiful trails.

And every time we’ve been there, every memory that our family has made there, has had a soundtrack that has run beneath it all.  The songs have changed as we have grown and changed. But one song has been there through it all.

“Oh, Shenandoah, I long to see you

Away, you rolling river.”

In a few days, my daughter will be married.  That little girl who I held on my hip as we watched the sunset on the Shenandoah Valley will bind her hand and her life to her love, and will become a married woman.

At some point during the celebration, she will stand and walk to her father, who will take her hand in his.  They will smile, and embrace, and dance together as they both think back on the history of all that they have shared.  The song will be “Shenandoah”, by Van Morrison.


Listen to this, and think of us: Shenandoah

Hoo, boy

I’m losing my ever loving mind.  I am.

I am the “MOB”, the “Mother of the Bride”,  and I am having a breakdown.  I actually did pretty well for the first eleven months of this engagement.  Honest!  I was very calm and collected.

Of course, that’s probably because my daughter is the “anti-bride”.  She is completely relaxed about the whole thing and couldn’t be less demanding.

Its a hippy wedding, for goodness sake!  The bride and groom met when they were arrested together with Occupy Wall Street.  We’re having the wedding at a farm that his family owns, under a rented tent, with tons of wine and beer and delicious catered barbecue. We’re going to dance and be silly.  The flowers are coming from a local farm stand. The bride is wearing green and the groom is wearing shorts.

So why, you may ask yourself, is the MOB having a freak out?  Well……….

Just because, I guess!

I have a beautiful embroidered linen outfit to wear, some pretty jewelry, some new sandals.  The music is set. I talked to the caterer to finalize the appetizers.  I talked to the farmer to finalize the flowers.

I’m getting a hair cut two days before the event, so I won’t be shaggy but the little pointy bits will have calmed down. I hope.  I even bought (gasp) new eye makeup!

Then I looked at my hands.

Holy hangnails.  What a mess!!

What should I do?!  Do I keep my hands behind my back all day?  Do I get a manicure? What the hell is a manicure, anyway? What would I have to do? What’s “gel”?  Would I be able to take it off after the wedding, or would I be compelled to go back every two weeks for the rest of my natural life?  What a commitment!!

If you think I’m being ridiculous….take a look at this.  This is the real me!  Holy God.

Jeez. What you you do to make her look presentable?

Jeez. What would you do to make her look presentable?

Sigh.  Good thing the bride is gorgeous………

Turn around…….

unnamedI am in that very strange, surreal space that descends upon parents when their babies are about to get married.

Two weeks from today, our oldest child, our only daughter, will be married.

She is an adult. A professional.  A strong, independent, capable woman.  She is more than ready to be married.

Wait, what? No she’s NOT!  For God’s sake, she was just born about a month ago! I can still remember every pain, every push, every ear infection, every diaper.   What do you mean she’s ready to get married?   No, no, no!!!! Every milestone in her life flashes before my eyes.   I see her playing “wedding” with our next door neighbor. I see her getting on the big yellow bus for the first time. I see her first date, her first job, her first day of college…….

She is marrying a great guy.  He is smart, lots of fun, and he clearly loves my daughter to pieces.

Hold it!  He’s a BABY!  Is he even old enough to shave? (OK, well he has an absolutely epic beard, but that was just a euphemism.) How can this boy be the future father of my future grandchildren?  What?!

The wedding is all planned, all ordered, all pretty much set to go.  Kate has her dress, I have mine. The food is ordered, the tent is ordered, the music is being organized.  Kate and Sam are all set for decorations, for rings, for flowers.  The wine is ready to go, sitting in its cases in my basement.  The kegs are on order.

Now all we have to do is wait.

And think, and ruminate, and dream that she is a baby again, held in my arms.  All we have to do is blink hard, admit that time has flown more quickly than we could ever have predicted.  Admit that this day is really, truly coming.  Our baby girl will be beautiful and radiant. She will walk with us toward her young man, and they will bind their hands and their lives together.

All we have to do is keep our eyes fixed firmly on the future, never acknowledging the pull of the past.

When she was very little, I would sing this song to Katie, and she would hold her hands on my cheeks as I cried.

Where are you going, my little one, little one?

Where are you going, my baby own?

Turn around and you’re tall,

Turn around and your grown.

Turn around and you’re a young wife

with babes of your own.

How can this day be here?

Mr. Moon

This is the weekend when my daughter’s impending wedding becomes an absolute reality.

I mean, I knew that she would be getting married.  I celebrated her engagement with her.  I booked a caterer, rented a tent, paid for one of those upscale air conditioned porta-potty trailers.

I have a new outfit, a new hair color (gray) a new pair of dressy sandals.

Of course I knew she was getting married!

Its just that I didn’t have to actually totally face it until this weekend.  The wedding shower weekend.

School got out on Wednesday, and on Thursday I went into full-on Mama Bear mode, cleaning, organizing, shopping, wrapping, weeding, cleaning. We are hosting the shower here, and I will be serving lunch to a whole pile of new family members.  I’ll be doing my best to introduce our family to Sam’s and will hope that everyone has a good time as they socialize on our lawn and in our living room.

Thursday was a full day of getting ready.  I was home alone, and I thoroughly enjoyed the freedom and pleasure of cleaning the kitchen as I danced to the Boogaloo Swamis. I’m an unrepentant gardener, too, so I had a very good time mowing and weeding and transplanting in an effort to change my crazy wilderness meadow into an actual garden-party-worthy garden. It all felt pretty cool until I woke up this morning.

And every single muscle fiber in my entire body was screaming in pain. I got up very early (my throbbing hands and shrieking back took care of the whole alarm clock thing).  I poured a huge cup of iced coffee and sank into my hottub, the greatest single investment of my entire life.

I thought I was doing OK as I came out of the tub and settled onto the couch to await the day.  But by 7:30, when Paul and the dogs emerged from bed, I was fighting off the need to simply lie down and sleep.  I have no clear memory of doing it, but somehow I managed to grab a pillow and a nice fleecy blanket, and to curl back up on the couch. For the next hour, I alternated between a deep sleep and a semi-wakeful state in which I did my best to make sense of my surroundings. (“H’mmm. Paul seems to be wrapped in a towel.”  “Ouch, Sadie is sleeping on my feet.”  “Huh. Paul looks like he is dressed for the day, but he has no shoes on.” “Ouch. Tucker is sleeping on my feet.” “Wow, Paul is all dressed up and wearing his work clothes and shoes.  I hope he remembers his lunch.” “Ouch; Tucker and Sadie are both sleeping on my feet.”) I just couldn’t seem to make myself come fully awake, no matter how hard I tried.

Finally, at about 9:25, Tucker’s head cut off all circulation to my feet, and I finally came to.  I pulled my feet up toward my chest, and curled on my left side.  I raised my eyes to the bright blue sky that filled the window.  And I caught sight of the crescent moon.

And just like that, I was pulled far back in time, to the house that we rented when Kate was only a baby.  I looked up at the improbable moon, holding itself steady in the bright sky of day.  And I remembered a song that Kate used to sing to me, back when she was only one or two years old.   And I sat up on the couch, and I sang.

“Mr. Moon, you’re out too soon;

The sun is still in the sky.

Go back to bed,

and cover up your head,

And wait till the day goes by.”

This is the weekend of my daughter’s wedding shower.  This is the first celebration of her new life with her love, her partner, her other half.   I have cleaned the house and made the food and weeded the garden beds.

I can’t deny it any longer.

I sang the final lines of that simple song from so long ago.  I brushed a tear from my cheek.

I got up off the couch and headed for the shower.  There was still so much to do today!


‘Round and Round

I know that I keep writing about this, but I am so often struck by the ways in which my life keeps showing me all of its connections.

I find myself reminded, over and over again, of how every relationship, every person we love, creates a connection to other people and other loves and other actions.

I’m sorry if this is repetitive.

Actually, no I’m not.   This theme is repetitive because it just keeps on happening to me.  Life is a series of synchronous connections. We are all enmeshed in a web of love.

Today I had yet another reminder of the circular nature of life.  It was…….

I can’t describe it.  It was lightning striking.

Two years ago, my young colleague was planning her wedding.  Our good friend, Lesley,  was the seamstress who was making her dress.  Two years ago, nearly to the day, my friend tried on her homemade dress in the bathroom at our school. We all peeked in, we oohed and aaahed and told her that she was beautiful.  Because she was!  I wiped a tear as I looked at her, remembering my own wedding so many years before.

Two summers ago, my young colleague got married, in her home stitched dress. Paul and I were there to celebrate with her. Our daughter Kate was there, too, with her new boyfriend. It was a magical night and all four of us had a wonderful time.

Today my daughter tried on her wedding dress. She is marrying the “new boyfriend” in a few weeks.

The dress is being sewn by our good friend, Lesley, who made the one two years ago.  In fact, the pattern that Lesley is using is the very same one that she used to make my colleague’s dress.

One dress was palest pink, one is vibrant green; both are beautiful and both fit the bride who chose it.

Today, almost two years to the day after watching my friend try on her dress, I stood in the same school bathroom, smiling at my radiant daughter in her lovely green gown.  I wiped away a tear as I looked at her.

And today, two years after her wedding, my friend is in labor, working to give birth to her first child.  I’ve spent all day worrying, thinking of her, sending her support and love and deep, cleansing breaths.

Around and around and around.  Life goes on and passes its magic and flows from one dream to another.

Tonight I am so filled with hope; waiting for my daughter to be married in her sylvan gown; waiting to hear that my friend is holding her son in her arms at last.