Delights & Shadows

Blog title borrowed from poet Ted Kooser

Hello!

Sep 29

Just googled ‘is it safe to use seventh generation dish soap as bubble bath for my kids’, while sitting beside the tub, while they played in the best bubble bath ever.


A note to Lu ~ One day, without warning, your brother was too heavy to hold with one arm. This. Your arm thrown over my shoulder. Your face in my neck. This is what I want to remember.

A note to Lu ~ One day, without warning, your brother was too heavy to hold with one arm. This. Your arm thrown over my shoulder. Your face in my neck. This is what I want to remember.


Sep 28
nomadsoul, we have a dot in Africa as of 9:50 a.m. EST ;-)

nomadsoul, we have a dot in Africa as of 9:50 a.m. EST ;-)


Mean Girls

The parents at D and Lu’s school are really involved. Like everything, there are two sides to the coin. We are in the classroom at regular intervals, observing our kids, checking in with the teacher, throwing fun parties, going in to read multicultural books with themes like patience and compassion and teamwork. There is another side, though, from which I am recoiling, just two months into the school year. It’s the side where mothers gang up on another mother who is trying to organize something, a window decoration, for example, because she isn’t doing it the way it was done last year. A thread of passive-aggressive emails begins, and they are replying to all, so we’re all witnessing it, and Luis and I are reading them together, on the couch, between episodes of Parenthood, in disbelief. I think about parents encouraging programs like the one with the diverse, themed books, and I wonder how we can teach our kids to be patient, compassionate team players when we are engaging in mean girl behavior. One could argue that our kids aren’t reading the emails, that they’re oblivious to our tiffs. But they aren’t. They will, eventually, overhear us talking to another parent about another parent. They will pick up on unkind tones. They will sense our attitudes towards everything, and they will mimic them. I am thinking a lot these days about being conscious. It’s so valuable to pause, I think—to respond rather than react, and to do so from a place that is in line with the values you hope your kids will embody.


An app that dings every hour (or however I set the intervals) to remind me to pause and re-ground. And it has this feature that shows where it’s being used around the world in real time. It’s so smart to have that feature, from a psychological perspective, because we tend to be more motivated in groups. I love knowing that all of these people are actively focusing on being present in their lives.

An app that dings every hour (or however I set the intervals) to remind me to pause and re-ground. And it has this feature that shows where it’s being used around the world in real time. It’s so smart to have that feature, from a psychological perspective, because we tend to be more motivated in groups. I love knowing that all of these people are actively focusing on being present in their lives.


Sep 24

It’s a rainy Wednesday. The house is quiet, even though there’s so much noise. Traffic. Horns. The fish tank filter bubbling away. I just finished a piece about breast cancer—it will be a busy writing month, you know, October, or Pinktober, or Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I am finally focusing on other things after 14 months of intensive treatment, and there was a time that I longed for the day I would grab my certificate of completion and walk away from this ordeal. I didn’t want it to consume me, my writing, my future career choices. I don’t think it will. But I realize that it will be part of all of that. I am a psychotherapist and a writer and a breast cancer survivor; the triangle just makes sense. Besides, breast cancer is everywhere, it seems. My close group of girlfriends met for dinner recently and three of us talked at one end of the table about our breast cancer. Yes. Our. Two of them were diagnosed within a year of me. It’s one of those times when you say If someone had told us ten years ago that we’d be in a restaurant bathroom comparing scars and we laugh because it is funny, sometimes, cancer. I remember when Luis and I were in pre-op before my double mastectomy, and we were laughing about everything. The weird suit that plugged into the wall and blew up like a baloon to keep me warm. The anesthesiologist with whom I cracked jokes about vodka being a clear liquid. My plastic surgeon came in to mark my chest with lines for the temporary implants, and he was surprised and said Wow, you’re really having a good time. We can’t always laugh, of course, but thank god we do when we can. Because breast cancer isn’t going anywhere. Not yet. There’s so much we need to pay attention to before it does: Chemicals in our environment. Drugs that actually cure. So, it’s almost October. I feel quiet and thoughtful and motivated, and I’m also laughing. Always laughing. When I can. 


Sep 22

Binge-watching Parenthood on Netflix. So good. Anyone else a fan?


“Nobody will protect you from your suffering. You can’t cry it away or eat it away or starve it away or walk it away or punch it away or even therapy it away. It’s just there, and you have to survive it. You have to endure it. You have to live through it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal.” Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things (via creatingaquietmind)

Well isn’t that the truth.

(via caliazuk)


Sep 21
Yesterday we moved our acrobatic two year-old out of her crib, so that she wouldn’t get hurt climbing in and out. After much (much) wiggling and getting in and out (and in and out), she finally fell asleep. Our little girl in a big girl bed.

Yesterday we moved our acrobatic two year-old out of her crib, so that she wouldn’t get hurt climbing in and out. After much (much) wiggling and getting in and out (and in and out), she finally fell asleep. Our little girl in a big girl bed.


Sep 19

Autocorrect fail

This morning I am meeting, for the first time, with an editor (with whom I’ve been working over the past several months). She also had breast cancer and just wrote a piece about how she has intense anxiety every time she has a follow-up with her oncologist. We all do, because we are afraid of tests and recurrence and death. When I sent her an email to confirm our meeting my phone autocorrected ‘coffee’ to ‘coffins’. I did not review the email before I sent it. So it said ‘I’m confirming our coffins date’.

I did laugh, because I laugh a lot and I think humor is really valuable, especially because I am a deep thinker at risk of taking things too seriously, but she called me out on it and didn’t seem amused.

Good lord, autocorrect! Worst choice ever.


Sep 15
  • Me: Did you play on the playground today?
  • Luci: Yes, and I got a mosquito bite, look.
  • Me: Oh, man!
  • Luci: I'm not a man. I'm a little girl.

Sep 13
San Francisco! No kids! Trip sponsored by a wedding invitation, airline miles, saying YES to life, and Gaga & Grandpa, who are minding the munchkins in Miami.

San Francisco! No kids! Trip sponsored by a wedding invitation, airline miles, saying YES to life, and Gaga & Grandpa, who are minding the munchkins in Miami.


Sep 10

Is it weird that I just ordered a wheat grass shot and a coffee at the same time?


Sep 9
“It’s messing people up, this social pressure to “find your passion” and “know what it is you want to do”. It’s perfectly fine to just live your moments fully, and marvel as many small and large passions, many small and large purposes enter and leave your life. For many people there is no realization, no bliss to follow, no discovery of your life’s purpose. This isn’t sad, it’s just the way things are. Stop trying to find the forest and just enjoy the trees.” Sally Coulter (via clarewhatever)

(via caliazuk)


Helpers

Helpers


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