Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The First Two Years: Happy Birthday, Elwood

Unsure of how I wanted to say Happy Birthday to Elwood, I found myself searching around my unpublished posts and found this, written when Elwood was a tiny baby:

Elwood,you are just a few weeks old. Such a short time to know you. We haven't scratched the surface on you. You are hardly a thing. Your demands are small, Sweet Elwood. Giving birth to you was easy. Loving you is easy.

I prepared for you differently than your sister. I was depressed and anxious after she was born. I was in a lot of secret pain. While waiting for you, Elwood, I was afraid. Scared to feel the same way, afraid to feel worse.
But when you were born all I was left with was you. 

With your sweet, fuzzy head. Your squeaky cry. Your peaceful face. And this new beginning for our family. Holding you near my heart, you are a balm. In the wake of you, I don't worry about money or how much tv your sister is watching. I don't worry about SIDS. I don't worry.

At dawn you cry. I gather you from the bassinet by the bed and hold you in my arms. Our faces close, we sleep.

Our picture was taken. And I see my tiredness, my slight sadness sitting lightly on top of everything. I see me not trying to hide anything. I see me loving you. I see me holding you, holding what I have. 

Dear sweet Elwood Woody Ellie WooWoo, you sweet boy who passes out kisses and hugs, Happy Birthday. What on earth did we do to deserve each other?

Thursday, May 1, 2014

To Ramona on her 5th Birthday

Happy Birthday, Beautiful. Love, Mom

would be
easier without
because you
all of it-
sprinkles, quarks, giant
donuts, eggs sunny-side up-
are the ever-expanding
to me.” 
― Kate DiCamilloFlora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

What to do when

It's really hard to make stuff happen sometimes. I'm not the only person who's ever been there, but it's just the worst anyway. 

you know what they say...a day without book shelving is a day without reading. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

John the Rabbit

Watching rabbits hopping around my garden this morning. It's a love/hate kind of thing I've got going with them. 

"And if I live
to see next fall
I won't plant a garden at all"
- traditional African American folk song

Monday, March 10, 2014

close to two

My sweetheart Elwood (who sometimes goes by Woody, but really likes being called Ellie) is getting so close to being two years old. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

hoarding in miniature

It's really obvious to me where suffering comes from. It comes from living in a state where half the time I think I'm just too precious and simply wonderful, and the other half I'm belittling myself and soaked in doubt. I notice that I live this way. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

So, I have a new blog

The content is book stuff, library stuff, personal reading and what I'm reading with kids (my own kids and school kids). I feel great about the project, with a new focus on why I got into the business of reading in the first place.

Monday, January 6, 2014

ready to say goodbye, 2013

Death came in waves. Small, but relentless.

My grandpa died, in a few months it will be a year. He was so old, I was unsure what kind of hole might be left by his absence. There is a helpless space before we eat dinner. The time when we prayed. It was his time, and now we just stand there, choked. My aunt steps in at Thanksgiving, she says his blessing. And I get a huge lump in my throat. I hold Elwood close and breathe into the side of his sweet baby head. I take comfort, thinking how pleased my grandpa would have been with what a Fine Boy Elwood is. "Such a Fine Boy." He would have said that.

A little girl from my street died this year. And it's not my story to tell, but I stare at the house of her mom and dad every day and I'm afraid of how sad and scared I am. I don't know how to go on with So Much Sadness and Change All Around me.

Our dog died a few weeks ago. I could write a whole book about what happened in my heart that week when we let go of her.

Death is a thing that has been swirling around me. Not taking out any of my key players, but touching in a medium sized circle around me.

This year, I read furiously. I read the new testament, native american history, syliva plath, the battle of gettysburg, and on and on and on. And had Big Thoughts. And things just got Bigger and Bigger for me, until CRASH.

I had my first Zen interview this year. My question was essentially, how can I go on knowing there is an end? I think the answer might have something to do with a little pebble rolling between two hands. My teacher would think that was nuts, probably. But I don't remember her answer, I remember what she did with her hands when answering. And that became the answer for me. I love her face and her loud laugh. Like a bell that shakes you.

Today is January 6th and I'm just now starting to ease my fingers away from 2013. I have nothing to arm me in the next year. No new practice, no special word, no resolution. Just a sore heart and my breath. Again and again.