Their Mothers

We celebrated our friend today, who is preparing to give life to a newborn son in a few weeks. She was glowing with joy and anticipation, thinking about what to name him and getting his nursery ready for his arrival.  We were so happy to see her and to share her excitement and to shower her with gifts and love and friendship.

Although we were celebrating new life, my mind kept wandering to Paris and the shock and loss of life and terror that has risen again over night. I kept thinking of the men who chose to end their own lives by blowing themselves up and wondered about their mothers and their childhoods. Who are these children that grew up to think that death was the way of life? How did they come to choose this path? I don’t understand, from a mother’s viewpoint. I don’t understand hate.

One mother raised three suspected terrorists. Seriously? Can you imagine being a mother who raised three evil beings? How does she live with herself and what led her children to darkness? I would be horrified.  I don’t understand this will. I don’t understand this life choice. I don’t understand. And I don’t necessarily blame the mothers for their children’s behaviors, but I do wonder how she would explain having raised 3 suicidal terrorists and want to know what she thought led them in this direction.

Life is a mystery.

Wishing you peace, mamas. Love your babies well and be well.


11-17-15 – After I shared this curiosity and couldn’t find any story about the mothers, one showed up.  Here is a link to the heartbreaking article about how their children abandoned them to join a cult. The title is Mothers Of Isis and can be found on if the link doesn’t work.

Mothers of Isis


So we took our baby girl to the airport today and did the whole group photos, lots of kisses and hugs and sharing thoughts and don’t forgets and call me or text and all that good stuff.  


We wished her well and stood anxiously waiting behind the black wall, watching her go through security until we couldn’t see her anymore. And then we left.  No tears, actually! I was proud of myself. Maybe I worked through the anxiety yesterday and was ready and prepared today. Maybe. 

 I am happy for her. 

 I am proud of her. 

 I am okay. 

 What made me sad and anxious was realizing that I’ve done my job and that she’s flying away. Not literally, as in flying to Japan, but she’s flying the nest. She’s got the hang of this life thing and she’s confident, strong, independent, courageous and curious and kind. She’s everything I’ve always wanted her to be. And she’s still young. I wasn’t expecting this to all come together like this, right here, right now. And so it is.

I came home from the airport and just sat still. I didn’t know what to do with myself. There was nothing I wanted to do and everything I could do and yet I did nothing. I ate some leftovers, not because I was really hungry, but because food is my anti-anxiety drug of choice. I looked at Facebook and created a FrameMagic collage and posted an update from the moments just passed. I practiced using SnapChat and chatted with Juliana while she waited another 2 hours before her plane departed. 

I sat and waited with her yet in my living room. She asked me what I was doing and I told her I was waiting with her. She asked if I was going to sit still for 11 hours too, the same time she would be sitting for the duration of her flight. I told her no way, that wasn’t possible and she laughed. She also told me she was only going to be gone for 240 hours and asked if I was going to sit and wait for her too, and I said absolutely not. 240 hours sounds a lot shorter than 10 days.  She made me laugh.  

Kristin invited me over for a visit and I was thankful that she got me out of the house. I needed to do something and I enjoyed her company and conversation. I continued texting Juliana until her flight took off. It was fun to stay connected and I’m anxiously awaiting her next text around midnight tonight, letting me know she landed.  All is well. 

I called my mom this afternoon, and the first thing she said to me was, “So, do you feel lost?”  And I said, “Yes!! That’s exactly how I feel. How did you know? I didn’t even know that was what I was feeling, but yes. I feel lost.”  She said that’s how she felt when I left to go to Australia when I was 12 years old!!  I so get her. She is one brilliant woman. I am so glad she was brave enough to let me go. She shaped my spirit for adventure and wanderlust and I have now shared this with my kids.

I’m okay feeling a little lost. 

This is real and it’s normal and she’s fine and I’m fine. I am vulnerable and just a little lost – like I don’t know what to do with her not here and not having to pick her up or make her lunch or make her gluten-free dinners or take her here nor there.  She’s okay and I’m okay – it’s just different and we’re growing up. Both of us.  

Laurie called today to check on me and several friends and family texted to see how I was feeling and to wish Juliana well. I am grateful, especially to Laurie who could see me and my anxiety and reached out, despite her own feelings of loss. How did she do that? I am in awe of her, always. She’s one strong woman who I admire so much. 

The sisterhood of motherhood is strong in my village.  

I don’t feel so lost anymore. I can’t wait to hear all the stories about adventures in Japan! Have fun, baby girl and live it up!!

Carry on, BeLoveRs!!

nAMaste sisters!

Motherhood Perks

My stiff neck and I got to chaperone a field trip today with my last elementary school aged kid.  I am fully aware that this is it. “I am” graduating soon to Junior High and High School.  I’m an older mom now with older kids. I get it. My neck and I feel it and my wrinkles show it. Yep. And I am going to enjoy every minute that he chooses to share with me, as he becomes more and more independent.

He was so excited for today to come so that we could walk together to the theater and sit next to each other. When the older kids were saying goodbye at 7:15 am, he said he was lucky because he didn’t have to say goodbye to me until 11:30 am today. I love the way he thinks.

I loved that the class president still wants his mama with him. Motherhood perk.


I loved watching him with his friends. I loved his smile. I loved putting my arm near his leg while we watched the performance, because I can’t hold his hand when his friends are around. I loved being in his world, seeing his friends and teachers and sharing his space.

Life is good. I love the perks!


My Receipt

I remember in preschool one of the kid’s teachers told me that art work wasn’t a receipt for my child’s time in the classroom. I liked that visual and knowing not to expect anything, except for my child to hopefully enjoy their time with their friends and teachers and learning. And if not for anything else, having them in school for a couple hours was a blessing as it gave me a couple hours to recharge and have time for myself and gave them a break from my parenting.

I don’t expect receipts or a raise or a report card for being a mother. But sometimes I feel validated in ways that feel like a receipt for a job that is appreciated by my family. I am grateful knowing that they are content.

Today I had one on one time with each of my kids, as they had a bonus day off from school. My teenagers wanted to hang out with me. That alone makes me happy.

Charlie and I spent time sharing a book, and reading together throughout the day. When we had 30 minutes before his basketball practice, we slipped into Starbucks to share a drink and to read a couple more chapters.


Christian and I went on a 6 mile hike together and enjoyed 2 hours together, checking out all the animals, enjoying the quiet of nature, exercising, and sharing conversation.






Juliana and I have begun playing cards together, which is one of my favorite things to do. We also spent time getting beautified and shopping and cooking together. I love her company and that she will still hold my hand. I didn’t take any pictures with her today, but I did capture a picture of the beautiful sky tonight that she told me to come see.


Tonight Charlie asked me to be his basketball coach, as they don’t have enough volunteers. I’ve coached him in baseball and soccer, and was touched that he still wants me to be his coach. I declined the invitation and thanked him for thinking of me and wanting me to be a part of his team this way. We were talking about this in the car with Juliana on the way home. She said maybe I didn’t want to be a basketball coach, but maybe I’d want to be their life coach. Did that really come out of her mouth? I said I’d love to be her life coach and guide her on her journey. Later I thanked her for making my day, and she said something to the effect, maybe she would follow me and find and create happiness like I do. For real? She already does!! How cool is that?

I love my job, and am thankful for my receipt today.

Life is good.