Be ‘Including’ My Children

A few weeks ago, I received a comment, an innocent comment, that I have pondered and chewed on for weeks.

“Wow, you guys always do such a great job of including your children in what you are doing!”

I am surprised by this comment because:

🌀 On a daily basis, I love including my boys bustling energy of curiosity with what we are doing.

🌀 I never imagine doing anything without my boys hovering near by or asking to help. Even when I am just folding laundry they often help or play hockey behind me.

🌀 If we do ‘want’ to do something without the boys, we will plan for one of us to take them on an excursion outside of the house or do the activity during Naptime or after bedtime. I must admit that these times are few and far between.

Here is our family in action over the last few weeks working together on landscaping, pool opening, crib disassembling and dog training:

20140513-232626.jpgSexy Neck moves one load of dirt then one load of boys.

20140513-232731.jpgJC heard that we were going to take down the crib… One morning he awoke, got the tools, disassembled the crib and brought it all downstairs. He’s seven and had remembered working with Sexy Neck to put it up last summer.


Loading up the trailer for the dump and then getting a ride in the trailer across the yard.

Laying brick with Papa Bob.



Rolling out turf.


‘Preparing’ the new garden.


Dog training and walking.


Before and after: Taking off the winter pool cover.

Working together.



Takes longer?


Raising boys into men.

Harnessing energy.

Pouring in.

Pouring out.

Sticking together.

Perfectly imperfect.

Patiently teaching.

Creating lovely memories.

Putting down roots.


Be Saying ‘The Long Goodbye’

Grief is like one very long goodbye. My willingness to say goodbye is what is going to propel me forward.

Right now, I am a very sensitive being. I am very conscious of who I engage with and who gets a superficial ‘hello’. My senses are on high alert as I continue to grieve mom’s suffering in the hospital and as I grieve the loss of my mom each day. I can sense when someone is ‘on the same page’ as I am. I feel a harmony that exists on a spiritual/emotional level.

One friend that has met me exactly where I am at, recommended this amazing book. It is a memoir of a daughter losing her mother to colon cancer. It is real, kind, cruel, beautiful, pure grief and completely harmonious with where I am at.

There were two things that struck me:

First, the ideas about other cultures having rituals around grief that we in the Western world don’t have. I wish I could wear black to symbolize my grief or at least make a sign like you hang on your store when you are having lunch that says: “On a grief break. Back in about ____ months. Fill in the blank. Your guess is as good as mine!” Every time I step out of my home, it is an effort. Every relationship I have is conscious and with people I feel God has placed in my life and are healthy for where I am at.




Beautifully fragile.

A flower awaiting the sun.

Holding still.


The second idea that stuck with me from this book of great wisdom for me is this quote that comes from chapter fifteen. The author is speaking about a woman she had met. Here is the quote:

On December 30, I went to a party at my friend Stephanie’s, a reunion of friends. Maureen, a woman I’ve met earlier this year, took my hand and said,” I have been thinking about you, how are you?” She seems always to be seen what she believes, or finding a way to see what she believes, and so I told her about the ashes, about the difficulty of the anniversary., And idly mentioned the quarrel I’d had with a friend.

Maureen said, “these are the 18 months when you find out who can really go there and who can’t. This is a vulgar way of putting it, and there are many wonderful things about our culture, but I’m sorry, it is a phobic culture. People do not want to confront the existential mess that is life. They want to check things off – okay, you’re okay. I just because you can talk about your grief, you know,” she said, looking sharply at me, ” doesn’t mean you are in control of it, or that you know what’s going on. You’re in the ocean. And what you think, what you analyze, that is just descanting of that ocean. Your mind is an ocean and it has scary things in it. While you may be able to analyze your grief at 3 PM, that has nothing to do with how you feel at 3 AM, in the dark center of night. “





Out of control.



The Long Goodbye.