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On the Cusp

I’m beginning to get whiplash as I watch my daughter speed past on her way into teenage-dom. Before too long, she’ll be thirteen. And she can’t get there fast enough.

I am almost daily reminded of this in one way or another now. And I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that this realization often comes with a twinge of sadness for the little girl I’m losing.

As all teenagers are, she’s become quite concerned with looks and what other … Read more

Of Brick Walls and Petty Tyrants

She launched in, “Mom, she’s incoherent when she’s giving directions. Nobody understands her!”

I didn’t even have to ask who she was talking about. Knowing the litany, I joined in on the next refrain, “She won’t even answer questions when … Read more

The Happy Box

“Mom I can’t get to sleep,” Cait yells from her bedroom. She’s been in bed for almost an hour.

“What’s the problem?” I yell back from my study.

“I’m having bad thoughts. I’m worried I’m going to have a nightmare.”

Since birth, my daughter has been inordinately sensitive to her environment. She takes things in that others hardly notice. The upside is that she’s very compassionate and caring. The downside is that any images, especially from TV, that are at … Read more

Training “Quiet” the Brilliant Aussie Way

At dinner, Kiera lies by my chair while we eat. She likes to monitor my eating, as she knows she gets my leftovers when I’m done. If I take too long, she starts “talking” to tell me to hurry up.

Andrew finally gets annoyed and wants me to discipline her to get her to stop being pushy. So I remember Suzanne Clothier’s time-out lesson where you remove the dog from where you are for a few moments to essentially help … Read more

Grasping the Concept of a Reflection

“Mom,” Cait came running down stairs, “that robin is at it again! Even with the puppets in the window.”

We have a male robin who’s spending a great deal of his energy dive-bombing our glass door upstairs. Why? Because he sees his reflection in it, and perceives the image he sees to be that of a male intruder in his territory. He has been bashing himself into the door to get at this “aggressive intruder” for a few days. No … Read more

The Steering Wheel

Cait has a fear of fire. She seems to have been born with it. It’s been a frequent topic of conversation since the time she was first able to express herself. To help her with this concern, we’ve practiced fire drills at home, we have an action plan for what we’d do and where we’d go, and she helps me replace the batteries in the smoke detectors quarterly. Even with all our preparedness, she still occasionally needs to talk about … Read more

My Kitchen Table

I’m typically not a very sentimental person. I can do without all the Hallmark Holidays. The only feelings I care about are the ones that are unsolicited and genuinely offered, the ones that don’t have to be coaxed or coached, or require an appointed day.

I’m also not a saver of any kind of stuff, really. Except for a few pieces of Cait’s baby clothes I think she’d like to have, anything not in use gets given to friends or … Read more

Rhythms of the Season

Geese

Twice a day, for the past few weeks, the Canadian Geese have been flying overhead from the fields to the lake and back again, as they work to store up food.

Morning and evening, hundreds of them decorate the sky like fluid strands of necklaces. There are so many of them that I can hear the concussion of their wings beating the air like drums. They honk in chorus, flying in formation, getting ready to sing their way south.

The … Read more

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