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Browsing Tag: growing up

This is Why Some People Make Fun of Religion

Quinlan walked into my office the day after Easter, pursing her lips like she does when she senses deep, deep injustice in her presence. “Mom,” she said. Her tone was accusatory. “The jelly beans that were in our Easter baskets were the same ones you had in the pantry.” She wouldn’t break eye contact with me. “Mom,” she repeated. “Why are the jelly beans the same?” The time had come. I gulped–actually made a gulp sound–and half-heartedly tried to cover my (er, the Easter Bunny’s) tracks: “Well, honey, jelly beans are the same all over the world. It’s not like there are a bunch of different versions of, you know…jelly beans. So it makes sense that I’d have the same ones that were in your Easter basket.” She looked at me, then sat down beside me in such a manner that I was pinned between her and the side of the couch. She didn’t say a word for a beat or two. Then: “I know about the bubbles.” “The what…

Counting the Ways

Saoirse and her team finished up their novice basketball season this weekend. These girls exceeded all of our expectations (Saoirse: “I didn’t think we were going to win one game!” Her dad–her head coach–sheepishly agreed): they were undefeated this season save one loss, and I never thought a group of 3rd and 4th graders could grow so well together. It was amazing to watch–and reaffirming, quite honestly, to witness firsthand how steady hard work can make even the biggest doubters say, “Oh, okay. I wasn’t expecting that.” As I said good night to my oldest girl after the last game of her tournament, I told her how proud I was of her. She asked why–what was I most proud of?–and I had to sort through the reasons to get to my answer. (I’m a mom, you know. Ask me how I’m proud of one of my kids and I turn into a mushy pile of Elizabeth Barrett Browning poems.) Saoirse’s gotten faster this season. She’s more confident, more sure of herself, more in control…

So Long as They Jump

Saoirse and I were sitting on the couch together the other night, reading. Much to her little sister’s dismay, SK gets to stay up later than her younger siblings. Quinlan, in her imagination, thinks we spend this time gorging on cupcakes, or reenacting episodes of American Ninja Warrior, or laughing at some uproarious movie we’re all watching without her. Not so, though–the nights that Saoirse hangs out downstairs, this is what it is: sitting, reading, quietly talking. (In her defense, Quinlan really wants to just do that, too. She saves the Ninja stuff for other times, like when she’s supposed to be sitting down with us to dinner.) That evening, I was watching the fish wander around their aquarium in their spot across the room. Our smaller goldfish, R2 (or as I like to call her, Dumb) was quietly moving along, just happy to chase the bubbles around her tiny world. Finn, on the other hand (or as I prefer to call him, Dumber), was attacking the rocks that lay on the bottom of the tank, knocking them this way and that with a terrible goldfish-sized clatter in his desperate search…