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A New Page Dusted with Compassion

Posted on November 30, 2014

There are people and voices I follow online that are intuitively sensitive, sending out reminders periodically that there may be people hurting, or that as we celebrate a new thing, we ought to give pause to those who may feel no cause for joy. I am deeply grateful for these people, like the gentle lights along the aisle on a plane, offering light—not so much as to illuminate all, but just enough that a person can make their way more confidently and safely. Tomorrow is the first of December. We are moving toward the end of a year, maybe it’s the last month of the last year you’ll ever have had with a beloved, maybe it’s one month away from the first year of…

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No Penalty

Posted on November 29, 2014

Briar sang at a hockey game tonight. She’s right there in the first photo, front and center. This is my first-born, the one who froze at a photo shoot she’d wanted to be in, backed out of a lacrosse clinic she’d agreed to do, and who has lost her ability to speak in public settings at times. “You going to be ok?” I asked as I lead her toward the music teacher and chorus kids waiting in the corridor. “Yeah, of course. Why?” she asked. “I don’t know, just checking,” I said. I got back to Sean and he said, “Did you tell her the place was going to have 5,ooo people in it? It’s standing room only.” “Of course not, I don’t want…

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Posted on November 28, 2014

We flew home to a winter storybook. Fresh snow clung to the tree limbs, the tops of the houses and buildings were white, and the streets looked like silver ribbons. It could not have been a more emphatic punctuation to a week of beach, bay, and neon lights. The glow of last night’s Cinderella Castle light show and subsequent igniting of holiday lights and music still warm inside of me. The holidays have arrived and with them the most intense awareness of center. Our cozy house, with its sledding hill and tree fort, our family chorus of laughter and singing, and that moment each night when all is right. I pad to their room, or rooms, whatever the particular sleeping configuration preference of the night is, and I…

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Out Past Curfew

Posted on November 27, 2014

Today was our last day to visit a park. We decided last night that we would spend the day visiting Magic Kingdom, but last night went late. We found ourselves having dinner with the girls at around 10pm. Finley has been battling a fierce upper respiratory thing and the Florida rains have been no help. This morning at 6am, looking at my sweet sleeping girls and Sean, I made the executive decision not to rouse everyone for an early start. The big girls slept until 8:30, Finley until 9:30, and only because we woke her. I imagine she’d have slept until 11. We had a leisurely morning and headed out for Disney at noon—of course the rental car keys were left in the first room we’d…

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The Night Before

Posted on November 26, 2014

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. We won’t break bread around a large table or watch the parade, instead we’ll be spending another day simply going where the day and fancy take us. It is an extraordinary luxury to have this time and space. The last three days we’ve walked over 10 miles each day, ringing, as Sean said, “Every last bit of opportunity from each day.” We have laughed, screamed, and gasped for breath (the last two were mostly me, I am defying my “I’m not a rides person” tendencies). We have compromised and cooperated. When we haven’t been hoofing it near and far, we’ve had little slivers of downtime. Briar sitting legs akimbo, headphones on, bobbing, weaving, and singing very loudly to Pentatonix; Ave counting the birds…

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