Finley learned to cluck with her tongue the other day. You know that little sound you can make by pressing your tongue against the top of your mouth and down?


I hear it everywhere we go.


She entertains herself with the sound.

Cluck, cluck, cluck.

A shared milestone has been reached and a rare tolerance is being practiced. She startles us.


Her sisters don’t make a peep about it, as if there is an unspoken acceptance of accomplishment. And so we go about our days.

Cluck, cluck, cluck-cluck-cluck. Cluck.

There is always someone getting the hang of something in our house these day. “I think I might be in-tuh-rested in soccer,” Briar had said to me nonchalantly Friday afternoon. “Really?” I asked. A paper fluttered out of her bag. I scanned it and saw that the clinic was less than 24 hours away. “Ok, you sure?” I hesitated because there have been other times we’ve tried things and the lines between her wants and our expectations have blurred. I don’t want to press or steer, archery, hairstyling, or astronomy-makes no difference to me, I just want it to be hers.

“Yes, I am. I am in-tuh-rested.” She skipped away and it was over, punctuated with a quick, “I am too!” from Avery.

Sean practiced with them that night and in the morning we all dressed up for the clinic. Outside the rain was coming down in biblical proportions. The girls didn’t even notice. A part of me would have liked to have stayed home, but they were resolute. It was a 20 minute drive and each mile I waited to hear an exclaim of, “it’s raining too hard,” but it never came. They sat in the back seat, slickers on, ready.

When we pulled up to the field the parking lot was flooded and one soccer player and a coach walked to the car sheepishly. We exchanged pleasantries about the it is what is way of weather in October. The girls were fine. “Ok, we’ll do the rain date. That’s funny. Rain date. This is a rain day.” Hahahaha. And they whispered conspiratorially.

Between the clucking and the shaking off of the rain, I realized that they open themselves to possibilities without judgement or expectation. They take risks as often as they dust off disappointment. They will work without pause to figure something out, trying over and over again. They respect the effort involved in mastering something, no matter how frustrating or disruptive it might be.

I’ve spoken about the expanse above the trees in our backyard before, but the shift to understanding that the force driving possibility is my own mindset is a revelation. I can allow myself to try, forgive myself when I don’t get it on the first try and I can be patient and accepting while other people work things out at their pace.

I’m not sure what I am going to do next, but I am looking forward to exploring.

You in?