The Sounds of Silence

Loud silence. A contradiction of words that somehow seem to be the only accurate way to describe certain experiences of noiselessness. This week brought two of those experiences to me. Typically, silence is a concerning thing for a mom. The first full night of sleep for a baby has its mother up all night waiting for the crying. Two siblings suddenly quiet in their play has a mom worried about what mischief is coming next. Loud silence, though, isn’t as much worrisome as it is curious and occurs only after bouts of loud excitement. Luckily, my two bouts of loud excitement stemmed from happy experiences, or, in the case of our Nurture Her Nature family vacation, mostly happy experiences. (more…)

Every Kid Should Have a Backseat Childhood

As I sit here writing this, Story and Riley are best friends, eating noodles in the common room and watching a show on Netflix, both sitting on the left side of the couch, knees overlapping. Maddie is lying down, and Ali is reading to her. It’s a pretty nice scene from this small table in the kitchenette. Peaceful.

It wasn’t at all like this earlier.


Color Eruption Experiment

Each winter, I think about how difficult it is to entertain kids inside. Summer is a welcome relief of being able to leave the house and enjoy some sunshine. What I always forget is how difficult it is to keep them inside for a little arts and crafts downtime. My girls have a tendency to play until they drop, which is great, but it also causes some cranky, overtired evenings. We use our craft time as downtime. Something to change the speed a bit. This past weekend was a beautiful summer weekend, which brought a lot of outdoor play. We were in need of a break from pool time, but I also knew that there would be no getting them inside and any an activity we chose was going to need to keep us outside. What a perfect opportunity to do those projects that are a little messier. (more…)

Is Feral a Phase?

I love my daughter. I really do. With all my heart and soul. But sometimes . . . sometimes I just want to leave her by the side of the road so my mom will pick her up and take her home like any other stray. We were at a restaurant, eating a fabulous meal, filling our bellies in preparation for a fabulous fireworks show. I looked over, and my precious six-year-old was twirling a linguine noodle in the air. Marinara sauce covered her face and shirt. She was eating with her fingers and mouth open, napkin discarded and unused on the table, and her chair was so far away from the table I was surprised she could reach her food at all.

When did this happen? Story used to have good manners. Not superb, I’ll admit (she still uses the back of her hand more often than her napkin), but she certainly didn’t cause restaurant patrons to stare and tablemates to lose their appetites. In that glance, I saw a child I didn’t recognize, a feral changeling.