Growth

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I have been pretty quiet in this space recently. Life has been full and rich, though—my marriage has taken a sweet turn and for the first time maybe ever since our girls were born, my husband and I are really enjoying one another. I am feeling more connected to my daughters all of the time and just in awe of who they are turning into as the most empathetic, loving people I know. We are spending almost all day every day outside enjoying our land, tending to our first garden. I think of a thousand things to write each day, but finding the appropriate pause to do so is proving tricky. I don’t want to miss any of the magic happening around me. Bringing my computer outside during our hours long adventures feels wrong in this season,

But at the same time, my ache to write is only growing lately. For a long while I have entertained the voice that tells me I am not a real writer because this or that. But here’s the thing, I am a writer because I write. And I ultimately don’t write to impress anyone—I write because I have to. So here I am, back in this cozy space, hoping to preserve and make more sense of my life. And if anything I say can help one of you feel less lonely, then that makes it all even better.

<3

The Neighbor Girls

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They come running down the hill,
their eyes wide and mouths open,
preparing to shriek out their joy
as soon as they see it. The mud hole
is still here; my four year old has
already refilled it with hose water
and asked if her friends can
come over again. They are eight
and ten and live four houses down,
these two new neighbor girls.

Last night they stayed out here til dark,
played with my younger daughters
until they were caked in layers
of dried dirt and grass before telling me,
”You are the nicest mom ever!
Ours doesn’t let us play
in the mud. She is going to kill us.”

I pause under the weight of this statement,
then stand up and turn the hose back on.
”Come here, you two,” I hear myself say
before rinsing their hands, arms, legs,
and feet. They thank me and take off
giggling down the street, not knowing
that most days I am just a little girl, too,
aching to cover myself in the earth
but too afraid to get dirty.

Interview with A Four and A Half Year Old

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What’s your name?
”Edie!”
What’s your favorite color?
”Blue!”
How old are you?
”Four, but I’m going to be five on my birthday.”
When is your birthday?
”Ummm, Octover eighteenf!”
What’s your favorite animal?
”Dog, because dogs are really sweet!”
What’s your favorite book?
”My favorite book is The Lorax.”
What’s your favorite movie?
”Cat in the Hat.”
What’s your favorite thing to play?
”Ball!”
What’s your favorite toy?
”My scooter!”
What’s your favorite thing to do?
”Ride my bike outside!”
Do you have any siblings?
”Siblings? I have one sibling! It’s my sister!”
Do you like your sister?
”Yes! I play with her. I like painting art with her.”
Is she cute?
”She’s so so so so cute!”
What do you want to be when you grow up?
”I want to drive a car!”
Are you going to have a job?
”Yes! Driving a car!”
Anything else you like to do?
”Yeah! Play with the Nugget, baking, cooking, art.”
Who is your best friend?
”River!”
Do you like to go on trips?
”Yes! I love sleeping in hotels!”
What are you growing in your garden?
”(Loud excited noise!) Tomatoes, strawberries, flowers, lavender, and, best of all, milkweed!”
Are you learning to read?
”Yeah. I want to read Goodnight Moon to Reed!”
Are you a happy girl?
”Yes, I am!”
Is there anything else you want to say about yourself?
”Umm, no thank you. I am really tired of all these questions. Reed wants to read a book with me, so I am going to take a break now.”

<3

Some Kind of Bird

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I am alone in the new light of morning.
Our children are still asleep in our room;
you are still asleep in our daughter’s room.
I sneak away and reach my arms high as if to embrace the sun.

I pull open the front window curtain,
fill up my water cup
and watch the cardinals dive from the sky,
land on our front porch where 
we scattered seed for them yesterday, 
hoping to see them up close.
And here they are, my visitors 
dressed in the color of fire,
dancing just for me as I admire them 
from my side of the glass.

Soon my oldest will wake, fly into the room and scare them away.
Soon she will demand all of my attention, ask me to feed her and tell her she is brilliant and beautiful,
like some kind of bird.

And I will, always,
because she is