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Category: Learning Curve

Long Eyes: On Seeing the Big Picture (and Not Embarrassing the Kids)

It’s Thursday, and the weather has finally cooled enough here that you can walk outside without the humidity slobbering all over you like a drunk date. David drove the girls to school this morning, so Cian and I took the dog for a walk around the neighborhood before I got ready for work (more on that in another post–I’m still writing from home, but my approach to it has changed). As we rounded the block, Cian was looking for our house–he really wanted to know what the back of it looked like from down the hill. Finally, he spotted it: “There it is! That’s our house, right?” Now, I’ve needed glasses since I was five. “You can see that far?” I asked, totally impressed–and maybe a little jealous–by this kid of mine with perfect vision.”Yup!” he said. He was skipping. “I have long eyes.” Long eyes. Oh, to have long eyes. For the past few months, whenever I’ve sat down to write something here, I’ve stalled. I write half-finished drafts…

Somebody Better Go Grab the Band-Aids

My children have a way of forcing out of my comfort zone. Not that I’m a total scaredy-cat, but there is something about getting a bit older, and having tiny people in your care, and realizing that your bones don’t quite bounce they way they did when you were eight that can make someone a bit more, well, staid. Careful. And dare I say? Boring.But kids–the same kids that have ruined air travel for me forever (my mind goes into hyperdrive: how many thousands of feet up in the air is my family, exactly? And there’s only one guaranteed result if the plane stops working?) are the same ones that push me, without realizing it, to get back to that same eight-year-old Leah who would race down a gravel hill on her new bike, hands in the air, not caring a whit that she hadn’t yet learned how to use the brakes (and, granted, that ride ended with me doing an aerial somersault over my handlebars in an accident so harrowing even the neighborhood bully came racing over to see if I was okay). Because children…

No, Seriously, I Swear We’re Fun to Hang Out With

Note: This post might be troubling for some readers who’ve dealt with violence to or the loss of a loved one.  It was Friday, and I’d just picked up the girls from school. They’d asked what our plans were for the weekend. I’d just told them that, after Saoirse’s soccer game, we were going to visit their granddad’s grave in Arlington National Cemetery. Quinlan asked me what a cemetery was (a question she asks me at least four times a year, and four times a year I struggle to answer it in a way that doesn’t yield fifty more questions. Four times a year, I fail miserably). I told her that’s where we bury the bodies of people after they died, and just when I felt like I had the answer good and set, she changed the conversation up on me. “Mom?” Quinlan was in the back seat of the minivan beside her sister, buckled in, sitting on her gray-and-pink booster. We were stopped at a light in the middle of town and I’d been idly wondering if…