lyra grace

Her eyes alone can tell you she is almost three, ready to take on the world with the waffle headband and cherry boots she’s been rocking all summer. I have looked at this picture about 1,000 times this morning, mostly because she is making me crazy and I need a little reminder that I am actually in awe of her. She’s demanding and passionate, insisting that everything be done just so and now. She’s completely irrational.

For months I’ve had my eye on getting some big kindness work done, calling into being the ideas and dreams I’ve held close for quite some time. Something so exciting coming just this week (stay tuned) became a sort of deadline, the spark needed to set the roaring fire going. I’ve known for months, feeling the weight of the time approaching and still I procrastinated. It’s like almost impossible for me to work any other way, not to mention my kindness ADD where I am constantly distracted by the never ending opportunities surrounding me every where I go.

As I was gearing up my inner three year old this weekend, to call in all the help I need to pull something grand off, the flu descended upon my house. Well,  upon Jorge actually.

The flu, THE FLU. We went from pulling all nighters, throwin’ back the redbulls and high fivin’ in the morning over the amazing work done to please, please oh God, please don’t let it spread, massive amounts of Emergen-C, Lysol is now your best friend, hazmat quarantine, I can’t believe he is more than man-sick and HOW AM I EVER GOING TO GET IT DONE? …and I was mad, so mad because I thought it was going to be my time,  mad that I procrastinated, mad my children were needier than ever, mad that my poor husband had the flu.

How can you be mad at someone who is deathly ill with the flu?! Hello irrational thoughts…

The weekend went by, I gave impeccable care to Jorge with almost no bedside manner, barked at children and was generally grouchy and miserable. So this morning I woke up, threw on a waffle headband and some running shoes, prayed that Pandora would hold out and not stutter and freeze on my crappy phone and ran.  And for some strange reason, the Girl Talk channel spoke to me, the Universe conspired and played the exact right song after song until I reached the park where I promptly sat down and cried. …and I felt better.

On the way home a wise friend told me I may want to make friends with those irrational thoughts, sit in the humanity for a bit…so I could let them go (and not resent my dear family or treat them badly).  …and she was right because even when you are 3 or 34, you really just want someone to hear your rant, hold you and tell you all will be fine…whether you can’t have ice cream for breakfast or your spankin’ new kindness website won’t get done in time.

It’s really all okay… because the ice cream and website will be super sweet when the time is right. and you will get it…because you have your power headband on…and your cherry boots.

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us…on the 13th anniversary of our marriage, and 19 years together

I have no idea how it all works, this love thing…but over the last week, I am becoming even more sure of one thing…whatever it is, it is worth it.

I sat next to this man, while we dropped off children at school, put oil in a leaky car, ate breakfast, talked of uncertain times, watched a movie, dreamed of travel, of being alone, and took this picture while little people tried to pop their round faces in the shot, over and over again…and I knew it, it hit me plain as day, I always knew it was right to follow this love, to stand in it, to believe it fiercely, to fight for and collapse in it,  to savor it, to fear it, to be changed by it, to rest in it, to come home to it, to worship it, to hold it so tenderly, to give it everything I have…and we didand we will.

It is my one true thing.

…and yet so many times I am baffled by it, or sort of lost in the power of it, and really, it can not be explained but all along the way, I am gathering little pieces. like…

I know there is nothing like it…

I know it may ask you to be a warrior…

I know it can hold more than I ever imagined…

I know when it’s good, it’s PHENOMENAL , and when it’s bad, well… *sigh*

I know it is everything, the root of who we are…I know we all need it desperately…

These small/big truths are like a light that take me to the next place of knowing myself and learning how to love better, or how to receive it, or just be closer to the only thing that matters…and I imagine we all know a little something about love, whether we have it or need it or offer it. Whether it has crushed us or saved us…whether we are old or young, or somewhere in between…we all hold it.

So you must tell me…what do you know about love? I left these little cards across the city telling you a little I know and asking you to tell me, whatever you know  (the good, bad and ugly-and all different kinds) about love…I’m pretty sure we are all trying to figure it out.

If you found a card, write your answer and leave for the next person to find…everyone else- tell us your bits o’ wisdom or stories in the comments, or on Facebook and Twitter.

The swear jar found its way to our shelf this week. It is not for my children, it’s for me. I love to swear, I really do. Never at my children or to them, mostly my friends and Jorge. Anytime there is a reason to exaggerate anything, to be funny, to be shocking, it just feels these are the only appropriate words for such situations. It isn’t something I hide from my children exactly, I know, it’s awful on so many levels.

I was talking to a friend on the phone this week about her life, her terrible boss, it was sympathy swearing. After I hung up, I saw Josiah sitting on the bench looking low. I asked him if he was okay, he nodded and off we went to pick up the girls from preschool. As we pulled away from the car pool line, he said,

“Mom, can we talk about something?” (his lower lip starting to quiver).

“Yeah, what is it?” I replied.

“Remember before?….” He burst into tears. “I don’t want to hurt your feelings, or make you feel bad, I really don’t, but it just bothers  me when you… when you swear.” 

It was obvious he had been holding it, for much longer than this moment. You could feel the courage it took to tell someone you love that something about them is, well, wrong and not good for you or them. And then I had a strange reaction, I was slightly annoyed, felt terrible and very proud, all at the same time.

“Yes, I hear you. Wow, that was very brave of you, to tell me that, I’m really proud. ” I said.

He nodded his head. “It took me all morning to gather up my courage.” he said,  his eyes full of tears. And I venture to guess it wasn’t because he thought I would be mad as much as he didn’t want to hurt me.

“I’m so glad you did. But I have a question? Does it bother you because it makes you uncomfortable or does it just feel wrong?” I inquired.

“The wrong one.” he said.

“Okay, yes, it is wrong. I never want to make you feel bad either. I will stop but I must tell you, it’s gonna be hard.”  I admitted.

“I know.” he said. And he does know.

“The thing is Josiah, when I was a kid and an adult, I tried so hard all the time to do everything right, and NEVER do anything wrong to feel okay and for people and grownups to like me, to love me even, and because I thought it made me a good person. But then I had to discover that maybe I was a good person even if I didn’t always do the “right” thing all the time. You know what? Swearing was my first try to not be so perfect, to make me feel human and I found out I could be loved and good. But I think I got that lesson down now and it just stuck, so maybe I don’t need to do it anymore. Thank you for helping me to realize it might be hurting people I love and I certainly don’t want that. I love you.”

“It’s okay mom. I understand.” he said with a half smile.

“I’m so proud of you, man that was big. We probably needed it, to tell each other how we feel because we’re headed to all this teenager stuff and were gonna need to do that a lot to help each other, huh?”

“Yeah, I think we can do it.” he said.

“Me too, me too.” and I sighed.

There is nothing like having your ass butt handed to you about the poor, ridiculous behavior that you kinda love. It’s so good/hard when your kid requires you to be a better person than you are ready/want to be at the moment. You discover that your sailor swearing self can somehow still be a good parent,  with the occasional quarter in the jar and all.