Before the Bloom

A vulnerable seed plunged into the cold, dark earth. Enduring the unseen process of crushing. Breaking. Always pushing.  Twisting roots in anticipation of the challenge ahead.   Reaching, grasping, straining in the dark. Daring to peek into the world with a dainty tendril. Squinting in the sun. Bracing for each gust.  Learning to bend and sway.  …

Chasing the Horizon

We slathered sunscreen to appease our parents and spread out colorful towels to save our spot next to them. Soon the sand flew beneath our bare feet, and we ran squealing into the foamy waves.  Jumping and slipping on shifting sand, splashing, and diving into the next whitecap.  My brother and I, daring each other…

My Strong is Gone

“Be strong!” I always challenged my little girls when they’d fall and scrape a knee, come home with an overwhelming school assignment, or express concern about a stressful childhood relationship.  Strong is important to me.  Power up, pull through, smile, show up, get it done. Don’t accept anything less. I am strong. Life swelled into…

Addicted to Enough

I’m a recovering addict.I’ve been addicted to busy.I’ve been addicted to approval.I’ve been addicted to perfectionism and performance.I’ve been addicted to wanting you to think that I’m enough. Even if I’ve never met you. I’ve traded away many meaningful moments in the quest for meaning.I’ve considered myself too important and missed what is most important….

Hands

I used to run my finger across the back of her hand to feel her soft skin as she read  Little Golden Books to me. Who knows what was on those pages, but I can still smell the powder she used each morning. I can hear the steady ticking of the cuckoo clock in the…

Backspace

My thumbs glided across the letters as I responded, “I’m ok, how’s your day?” in reply to my new friend’s inquiry as to how I was doing. My predictive text knew I’d answer this way…the way I’ve answered a thousand times.  This time, the text blurred through my tears. My finger hovered over the “send”…

I don’t need you.

I slipped and fell one day.  It was a windy, icy day in Chicagoland.  I had a 4 year old by my side. On one arm, I held a diaper bag, and my brand new foster baby in a car seat carrier.  In my other hand was a heavy bag of books and leftover craft…

Crushed

My sparkling eyed middle daughter flounced off the couch, twirled through the family room, and took a flying dance-leap up the double stair into the living room.  The crash that ensued as her foot caught the top step sent a silence over the whole house as we all waited for her reaction. The reaction found…

I am…

She doesn’t cross the threshold with a cultivated greeting, or polished small talk.  She doesn’t politely cross her legs while perching in an armchair across from me as my other friends do.  She bounces through my door and plops down on the ottoman where my leg is propped. Just close enough to rest her arm…

Do You See Me?

Of course, a tour bus driver dumped a full load of women at the door of the restaurant where I had been a waitress for the last 6 years.  Of course, both levels of our dining room were already full, with a line out the door.  Just another Friday.  It happened all the time.   I…