tending tender things

May we raise children 
who love the unloved 
things – the dandelion, worms 
and spiderlings. 
Children who sense 
the rose needs the thorn 

& run into rainswept days 
the same way they 
turn toward sun… 

And when they’re grown & someone 
has to speak for those who 
have no voice 

may they draw upon that 
wilder bond, those days of 
tending tender things 

and be the ones.

poem by Nicolette Sowder





signs of summer

Hank has approximately eighty five temporary tattoos on his body this week, even after we used mineral oil to remove the ones on his eyelids. Most days he decorates the driveways and winds up covered in so much chalk dust he looks like he may be working for the drug cartel.

The arrival of ticks and tank tops, skipping shoes and skipping stones and skipping bedtime, my perspective alternates between tired and energized. It is the season of applying sunscreen and adjusting goggles and "watching this" over and over again under a sky of wavering blue.

Except maybe I'm not watching enough because phrases like "How did you get so dirty?" and "How have we managed to spill an entire new container of bubble solution?" aim to borrow space on my lips, but those words are not good tenants, and I try to replace them with things like "I love to watch you play."

There are wet towels on the floor, watermelon rinds piled on the counter, snack wrappers and library books and footballs strewn about the yard. Everything that does not feel sticky from bubble solution feels sticky instead from popsicle drips. Except the popsicle box is always empty. 



Mostly the boys are loud, only scuffles and shouts, everything that frazzles a mother.

Sometimes one of them stops to read.



We've been to the pool and the berry patch, to graduation parties and, finally, inside the library. 
There are flowers to gather and jungle projects to amend, piano to practice and clay pots to mold and cats to snuggle and invention camp to attend...



The big boys took a sailing course last week. By Friday, we watched them sail competently from the yacht club back to port to de-rig the boats. They participated in capsize drills and tried tacking and jibing, learned to tie nautical knots and had so much fun with cousins on the lake.


mud season

Corned beef and cucumber, in the rain. 

Bubbles and sandbox play, with neighborhood friends.

From kitchen to laundry room, on repeat.