Category Archives: Parenting

I am Anne, I am Marilla

Anne gives herself freely to each emotion as it passes through her psyche. Surrendering completely, into the depths of despair or the heights of ecstasy.

Marilla is afraid to feel. A life of hard experiences has taught her not to expect too much, lest she be disappointed.  Her moments of passion have led to some of her biggest regrets.

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Sometimes I am Anne and sometimes I am Marilla. Often I am nervous to give in completely. In some ways this is good. As an adult I need to function on a day-to-day basis and one can’t do that very well in the depths of despair. In other ways it is terrible. I struggle to give in to the sweet moments that come, moments saturated with love and safety.

When I get excited about something, echoes of “next time dad gets paid” ring through my head and I remember all the “next times” that never came. The clothes that didn’t fit, the activities I didn’t even ask to participate in. Other times I remember being on the giving end of a Secret Santa and I struggle to express how excited I get to be able to do the same for another struggling family.

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The blessings of being a mother to daughters that feel deeply are not lost on me. They show me every day that you can give in to those feelings and still be worthy of love. I know this because they have my love. Every day I find it easier and easier to give in to my highs and lows, to feel them fully. During these times, I am Anne. Feeling the delights of extreme happiness and the depth of sorrow or grief.

Where do you find yourself? Are you mostly Anne, mostly Marilla, or somewhere in between?

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Beacon

I am privileged to be able to participate in this week’s Flash Fiction Challenge on The Carrot Ranch. The prompt I am responding to is “Beacon”. I hope you enjoy!

Beacon

“I know your name,”

She was standing at the kitchen sink, feeling low as she sipped her coffee. She looked up to see Moana.

As the tears flowed out she realized how invisible and alone she felt.

“What’s wrong, Mama?” Her little one ran over.

“I just love you so much,” she said.

Her little face lit up with a smile a mile wide that shone like a beacon, cutting through the darkness in her soul.

“I love you too, Mama.”

As they embraced the smile of the baby became another beacon of love that shone through the dark.

Wonder

This past Tuesday we were fortunate to go “up north” to Nateanite’s family cabin. E and I spent way too much time in the lake, particularly for the amount of sunblock we had on (thankfully the girls didn’t get burned).

As I’ve moved through this parenthood journey I have looked forward to the lazy days of summer with mixed feelings. But this photo of E during out boat ride (we even got to do a water rescue and pretend to be Zuma!) captures the beauty of these “lazy” days.

July 7 Photo

Seriously Funny

I generally think of myself as a serious person. Anybody who has read this gem knows that this self-impression is 100% false. I have serious thoughts and I take important things seriously, but I really am pretty goofy at heart.

Embracing these dichotomies about myself, for my post this week I’ve added a little poem to this fabulous photo my Nine Kopfer. This is similar to the regular, everyday, little rhymes that are just a regular part of life when you have little kids.

June 30 post
Wait a minute, we’re fish! Fish don’t blow dandelions!

Recipe for Love

For those of you who are married, I bet you’ve heard the advice “Don’t go to sleep angry” a million times. I am going on the record as saying that I think this particular piece of advice is really stupid.

Based on my own experience, Nateanite and I are more likely to fight when we are tired. Things that seem huge, like our marriage might end over this, seem small and insignificant after a night of decent sleep.  Based on the peer-reviewed literature, sleep deprivation can have a seriously negative impact on our relationships.

I think this is why so many folx say that the years when your children are little are the most challenging. You are both chronically sleep deprived. Babies waking in the night because they’re hungry, getting teeth, or were startled and need to be soothed are common place. A side effect of toddlers’ improved cognitive ability are night terrors.

I have felt the effects of these in recent weeks as A has been cutting some new teeth. Nateanite will tell you, and I will grudgingly confirm, that I have been on edge recently. Several mornings ago, after a particularly challenging night, when he timidly suggested that I treat him with a little respect (not such a tall order for your best friend and love of your life, right?) I angrily said that it was asking “too effing* much.”

 

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash
Sometimes you just have to sleep in random places Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Take a deep breath and cue to the next day. Yes, I am tired. So is he. Trying to rise above this I decided to listen in as Nateanite joined me in our efforts to convince E that the cup we gave her to bring to bed had juice in it (it was really water). It was during this time that I developed a recipe for falling back in love during these challenging times.

**Disclaimer: Your relationship needs to be founded on mutual respect, but you’re just experiencing a hiccup. If there is no respect there, please find someone safe to talk to and give you the support you need and deserve.**

Falling in Love With Your Partner

  • 1 effort to back up the other person
  • 1 promise that Batman will protect you over night
  • Multiple expressions of love (as many as you want!)
  • Blowing kisses on your way out the door
  • Wish sweet dreams to your child

Have this conversation with your child or listen to your partner have this conversation with your child as often as you need.

*Maybe this goes without saying, but I am censoring myself here. Not one of my proudest moments.