end of year

Tomorrow Hank finishes kindergarten and Tolliver wraps up fourth grade and Tucker returns from seventh grade camp -- and summer begins!


figures of speech, and folding paper

Hank spent every spare moment this weekend folding paper to make origami dragonflies. When he wasn't in the graduation party pool or decorating his favorite neighbor's driveway, he was teaching friends and grandparents how to transform flat squares into very special three dimensional figures.
At one point he said Mom, I'm getting so good at this, it feels as easy as picking a flower.
I admired his simile, and wondered how he might describe something that felt difficult. He thought for a moment and said Maybe as hard as counting to infinity? But that's actually impossible, and nothing else is impossible. So maybe: As hard as counting to a million.


a complete pageant

May's weather has been about as unreliable as I feel - sunny, hailing, near perfect, rain.
A complete pageant of meteorology. And of humanity.

The first part of this month has taken a lot out of me. 
Helping host a garden party to benefit the education foundation, and being present at the memorial of a beautiful young lady, gone way too soon. Reading the news. Celebrating Mother's Day and attending the boys' piano recital and planting seeds. Feeding the neighborhood. Interviewing scholarship candidates and cleaning the house and collecting a million more borrowed library books, knowing they won't even last a week. Writing the future.


all this, just in time for Mother's Day

Last night at dinner Tolliver asked if we had a regular lighter. Like, not a zippo, just a small plastic one. So when I fill the lawn sprayer to make a flame thrower...

This morning the boys were out with friends, pockets full of one dollar bills, browsing the neighborhood yard sale. Probably for Nerf guns but possibly for a very special flower vase or a half bottle of perfume or something beautiful to wrap in tissue paper. I'm hoping one of them might've found a small jar of preserved constitutional rights.

It's a regular weekend here, pyrotechnic agendas and last minute gifts, kitchen counter crafts and way too many kids on the trampoline. But I can't stop thinking about the Supreme Court draft opinion that would overturn the half century old, federally guaranteed right to an abortion.

Your body belongs to you.

There is a whole world in that sentence. I do not want to shift focus from how this argument should really be framed. Abortion does not have to be motivated by anything. She got pregnant. She didn’t want to be pregnant. She had a medical procedure to remedy the situation. There is not a single detail that should impact the validity of her healthcare decision. Hers.

A life is not saved just by letting it be born.

Celia spent the last few years of her life, the majority of her whole time here, suffering. While technically alive, I am not a parent who would choose that kind of purgatorial coda for my child, a fate worse than death. The idea of a prenatal diagnosis with the option of giving a very sick baby only one of two precious gifts, peace or life, sounds like an impossible binary. But it's also an actual scenario. 

It is not a choice if there is no other choice.

Why is what women do with our bodies up for endless debate? When you say you can’t do something because your religion forbids it, that's fine. When you say I can’t do something because your religion forbids it, that’s a problem. When you use God to make other people feel bad, you are using God.  
I wonder about folks so enamored of blastocysts. I can almost follow the soft pretzel of logic, but I cannot understand a "love" that looks right past the person in front of you. 

History is a teacher not a blueprint.

In 1748 Ben Franklin published The Instructor, a version of George Fisher's math textbook with John Tennent's The Poor Planter's Physician as an appendix.* Distribution of this book among the colonists meant that anyone learning to read or write or calculate would also have access to a recipe for abortion.
If that's not "deeply rooted" I don't know what is. And no matter what the law says next week, women will continue to seek abortions. Such a tragedy, to spend all these years trying to shut a door rather than change the path that leads to it.

^ I should probably ask Hank to borrow this Guatemalan worry doll to put under my pillow.

*Ben Franklin put an abortion recipe in his math textbook


if it's not one thing

it's another.
Back door snack solicitations, flower offerings, snake show and tells, terrarium conventions etc. have all become commonplace. 


small mysteries

The boys are growing, like those little capsules for sale at the gift shop, tiny shrink-wrapped curiosities dropped in water to reveal what they were always destined to be. The boys, though, are becoming not a stegosaurus or a sea turtle, but instead dependable and talented and kind and daring.

So a decade is just one tenth of a century clarifies Hank, taking my hand to gain my attention. 
Walking home from school he is either only stepping on shadows or avoiding all the cracks. And talking.

If Tolliver is not playing outside or playing the piano he is aiming nerf weapons at tiny tin pots from the play kitchen, at Lego mini figures, at the birds on our drapes. 
Sometimes the boys' behavior feels so idiosyncratic, but also completely universal - 
the bedtime dehydration, the sock adjustment situations
the crust cut, the skin peeled
the favorite clean shirt and the winter coat disdain
Maybe not every parent can actually relate, but humans are mysterious.

Their slow expansion, the way the boys seem to be growing into themselves, is my favorite show.


love, on a platter

My family asks a lot from me. I've trained the boys to do that and it's a dynamic I enjoy. I still ask my own mom for things - Turn these old curtains into a duvet cover? Bake something for the cake walk? Pick up the shoes I had shipped to the store?

Tucker had to complete a project for school, modifying a recipe to add nutritional value. He knew we sometimes mashed avocado into banana bread, used honey instead of sugar and applesauce rather than oil, but he asked for my help. We looked up the benefits of cinnamon and compared the ingredients of prepackaged muffins and practiced folding over the edges of open bags to keep things like dark chocolate chips relatively fresh. He made typically brilliant conversation and a really impressive slideshow and delicious muffins, and I enjoyed time in the kitchen with him.


everything can be a prayer

I don't know anything about how to live right now, without sunshine or a pandemic (plus with unconscionable inequality and war). With baseball practice and a choir concert coinciding so with dinner at either 4:30p or at basically bedtime.
For a minute it felt like spring and everyone's four month bad mood evaporated instantly under the bright sky. A late school start and water color paints, neighborhood chickens and card games and ice cream treats all added to it. 
So the prayers are short: How? and Wow! Help and Thanks. Plus, please more sun.




soggy feels like an understatement

 I see the pictures and remember there've been times recently when it has not been raining.