Always Real, Snips And Snails

The Confliction of Five and Ten

What follows is a post I wrote in the fall of 2009.  Sean was five.  He is now ten, on the verge of 11. And once again we again find ourselves wobbling unsteadily between two worlds.  The one constant in the midst of the never ending river of change that is childhood is Mr. Monkey – he is still there, albeit a little frayed and wobbly himself, but still an ever present and never faililng source of comfort. August 2009 – The  Confliction of Five As of late, Sean has been trying to convince me that…

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Always Real, Hallmark Holidays, Parenting Gone Awry

Antique Mommy 1, Easter Bunny 0

I always think I should make Sean an Easter basket or fill a Christmas stocking. But I never do. I think the last time I made an Easter basket for Sean, he was four or five. That was the year I had the bright idea of filling Easter eggs with coins instead of candy.  I am still finding quarters in my flower beds. Every year, I think that making (or even buying) an Easter basket for Sean is something I should do because all the good moms make awesome Martha Stewart-Pinterest worthy baskets and they post pictures…

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Parenting Gone Awry

Wherein I Am Omniscient With The Help Of Amazon

As many of you know, Sean is now a 10-year-old boy and as such, I have had to learn to lengthen the leash, to give him a bit more freedom. I have had to carefully calculate how much to lengthen the rope by the severity of the consequences that could befall any unfortunate decision he might make in this new space and then recalibrate and test the rope again just to make sure. When he was little it was much much easier.  I could allow him to roam to the other side of the playground where…

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Always Real, Papa Ed

Pi Day

Today is Pi Day. It is the day we celebrate the elusive, mysterious and incalculable mathematical equation known as pi, or the constant ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle. It is also Einstein’s birthday, a curiously divine celestial arrangement. But to me, March 14th will always be the day my dad gave up his battle with cancer, a year ago.  It is fitting.  Just as pi is in constant harmony to it’s circumstances, so was my dad.  No matter his circumstances, large or small, he was content. In early December of last…

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Always Real, Faith, Memaw, Papa George

The Good Pilot

Years ago, back in the mid-70s I think it was, my beloved Godmother had a heart attack and flat lined on the table.  She miraculously pulled through and lived many more years.  She had always been a fragile sort, not much of a fighter, and had many health issues.  Without ever saying, I always supposed that John, my robust Godfather, a Lithuanian who could hoist the world upon his shoulders, would long outlive her. But if there is one thing I know for sure, and I for sure only know one thing, it is this:  God…

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Always Real, Joy, Makes Me Sigh, Wal-Mart

The Grocery Store

Today I had to go to the grocery store. These days that task is as mundane as it sounds. Except for that the grocery store is never mundane, especially if you shop at Walmart as I often do.  Walmart embodies the whole of the broken state of humanity. It is where it all hangs out — literally.  It is the state fair and the airport all in one place.  Every person pushing a cart has some wild crazy Pulitzer Prize winning tragic story.  And I can see that, I can smell it and that lights some…

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Always Real, Sometimes Sweet, Sometimes Tart, Tuna

Jane

When my mother-in-law dozed off, I shut the door to her room at the assisted living facility and looked for some place where I could sit unnoticed and NOT think. When you are visiting a place such as that, you can only really think one thought:  Life is a river flowing in one direction.  Eventually – and more quickly than the mind can conceive – the river empties out into the great delta of geriatric unpleasantness. Unless one capsizes mid-journey and is swallowed up by the river, the delta is our destiny.  The great contradiction of…

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Always Real, Faith, Memaw, Papa George

On Being Ruth

One of my favorite stories in the Bible is the account of Naomi and Ruth, as found in the short Book of Ruth in the Old Testament. Naomi is Ruth’s Jewish mother-in-law.  Ruth is a Moabite .  This complicates matters because Israel and Moab were long-standing enemies.  Mother-in-law relationships can be challenging in the best of circumstances, but given the cultural and national differences, there could have been a lot of tension in their relationship but none is noted. As the story goes, the two women, along with another daughter-in-law, Orpah, also a Moabite, find themselves…

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Always Real, Antique Junk Drawer

Fifty Ways To Leave Your Clutter

There are two kinds of people in the world.  Those whose clutter makes them feel secure and gives them comfort.  And those whose clutter gives them anxiety. I fall into the second category.  I feel overwhelmed by too much. My mother and my husband fall into the first category.  This is a problem.  Not for them, but for me.  People who enjoy clutter are seldom bothered by those who do not.  At least until their clutter goes missing. My mother’s house is one (of many) reasons I fled Illinois at the age of 20 and moved…

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Always Real, Sometimes Tart

The Truth About Late-In-Life Motherhood

I recently got a request from a well known publication to write a short piece on older motherhood.  I have responded to enough of these kinds of requests in the past to know they aren’t really looking for illumination. They are looking for inflammation. They are looking to stir up women who have (for whatever reason) delayed motherhood against those who have not, which creates drama, which creates traffic. But not illumination. So I decided I would just skip all that and lay out the truth about older motherhood as I see it, right here.  It…

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