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Category: Parenthood

When You Think of it That Way

In the evening after the first day of school, Cian made an announcement. “I’m going to be very well-behaved this year.” He stopped and took a look around the table at each of us. A brief look of self-doubt passed over his face. “Well,” he clarified, “at least while I’m in school.” This, my friends, is my third-born. He came home last week all sorts of worked up. We were in the car after I’d picked them up from school, and he said, “I don’t know about this first grade. My teacher wants us to RAISE our HANDS before we talk. That doesn’t make any sense. If she’s close enough, I should just talk. She answered me the first time I did it. But after that? She didn’t pay attention to me!” I didn’t have to say anything because both of his sisters rolled their eyes and jumped in for me. Quinlan just sighed. “Cian.” Saoirse told him, “Cian. You’re in elementary school now. That’s how it is in ALL of the classes. Everybody has to raise his hand.” “But that doesn’t make any…

The Mighty Shows Up

My youngest girl received her first holy communion this past Saturday. If you’re unfamiliar with Catholicism, all you need to know is that this is a Big Deal in Catholicland. It’s the beginning of a kiddo’s journey to adulthood, the first of many decisions she’ll make as a child growing up in a religion hoisted on her by her parents, and, frankly, one of the first times her parents look at her and can really glimpse what she’ll be like as an adult. Cue ALL THE TEARS. David and I drove ourselves nuts the week before the ceremony–since first communion always takes place in the springtime, you’re basically forced to do all of the usual spring cleaning and yard work in the space of a hot minute in order to make sure people don’t show up to your house and wonder if you’re working your way through a depression. We painted things and stained things and framed things and, well, all of the things. We ate a lot of pizza for dinner (“Pizza again? Didn’t we just have pizza…

And We All Shine So Brightly

Note: I’ve been struggling a lot with writing about my kids as they get older. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat down to post something similar to what I’ve written below only to cringe and delete the whole thing because…well, I don’t want to violate their privacy. It’s one of the big reasons for my long periods of silence here: I want to document these moments in our lives–but in a way that means my kids will still be speaking to me when they eventually read them. So please bear with me as I navigate this tricky new part of the road.  *     *     * Saoirse stopped me the other night as I was saying goodnight before bedtime. “Mom?” she said. “When you were in fourth or fifth grade, did you ever feel lonely or left out?” She looked like she was going to cry. I’d spent the day with her on a class field trip, and was able to watch her–quiet, reserved–sitting with or talking with just one friend at a time, maybe…