Amelia’s Birthday Lesson on Matter

December 19, 2014

Today is Amelia's birthday.  She would be eleven years old. I wonder what she would look like. I wonder if her laugh would still sound the same. I wonder if her eyes would still twinkle the way they did when I last looked into them. I wonder if her skin would still have that Heaven-sent smell it had before she was really sick. I wonder if she would still hate baths. I wonder if she would still find comfort in the song I wrote for her. I wonder if she would still smile over Dr. Seuss books even though she'd be too old for them.  (Is it...

Read More

I Don’t Care

December 15, 2014

"I. don't. care," I found myself saying the other day after one of my little darlings offered an explanation as to why he had hit his sister when he was mad at her. "I don't care why you thought that was a good or even an okay idea," I told him.  "I'm sure you don't like that she messed with your Legos that way, and I get that; if I were in your shoes, I wouldn't like it, either.  But I'm looking at the bigger picture, and I. don't. care. about the Lego thing.  I care about how you handled it....

Read More

The Big Is In The Small

December 10, 2014

There's this little five-year-old boy named Blake who made me cry last night. So did his seven-year-old brother, Brent, and his eight-year-old sister, Mariana. Something about those little ones at their school's beloved Christmas chapel gets me every. single. time. It was Blake's first year to be part of the service because it's his first year at the school. The kindergarteners did "The Friendly Beasts," a somewhat obscure Christmas carol that has been forever tarnished in my mind because of the time my brothers, father, uncles, and male cousins turned it into the worst-ever white-boy rap one Christmas Eve. Imagine the...

Read More

Holding Space

December 3, 2014

I spent time this morning with a woman whose wisdom and compassion have made her a cherished friend, and it was like bringing a fuzzy picture into focus, a scene that you know to be beautiful but that you can't quite capture when you look through the only lens you currently see. The idea came up of 'holding space' for someone you know is hurting or angry or just needs to get from where he is in his own energy and experience to where his body and spirit need to be.  It doesn't involve words, and the person for whom you...

Read More

Holding Out for a Hero

December 1, 2014

Surely we can all agree that Bonnie Tyler's "Holding Out for a Hero," made famous in the chicken-with-tractors scene in Footloose, is one of the greatest dancing / workout / jammin' / awesome songs of the modern era.  The music is fabulous with a driving sense of urgency, Bonnie's scratchy shout-type singing brings the right edge, and the fact that it was immortalized in a classic good-conquers-evil --- or at least nicer-guy-faces-down-deadbeat-bully --- clip just ices the cake. The first verse get me every time:  "Where've all the good men gone / and where are all the gods? / Where's the...

Read More