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In Situ

In the valley between bone and bonewhere my children stretched awakeand where a silent, sudden roll, a tumbling,would slide into comfort again,their movements, their proximitymade me safe. So, when, in a recent nightmare, I glanced overand my toddler was sinking through murky watera boat’s length away,hands reaching above his head, eyes wide, bubbles— and, the …

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Christmas Rejoicing versus Christmas Discouragement

By Catherine Pavia

Christmas was always my favorite holiday when I was a child. And not just for the obvious reason. It was more than the presents; it was the general sense of goodness in the world around me—from the Christmas music to the Salvation Army bell ringers, the carolers to our own little acts of service around …

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Lessons from the Monster-In-Law

By Kellie Purcill

i have learned - kahlil gibran

I had an entirely different post percolating, when my lanky Lurch said from the kitchen “Hey Mum….”  Long, hard-won experience has told me that NOW was when I had to turn from my computer, my deadline, my headphones and listen. Listen, and ease into the conversational tempo that best works for my son… like a calm ocean strolling onto a deserted beach. Unhurried, considered, and deep.  I, of course, am naturally more like the toddler shrieking and bouncing at the waves coming to kiss my feet, or like the shark telling itself it’s going to nibble off just a little toe…

Turns out, a question I asked more than an hour previously had soaked in, and he was ready to share.  Turns out, it involved feelings, and relationship potential with someone, and rules that her parents have in place, and his request that I more clearly define my rules and expectations on the subject.

Somehow I managed not to stomp my foot and boom “NOT UNTIL YOU’RE THIRTY!” As much as it galls me, I have my monster-in-law to thank for  attribute that to a significant degree.  Know, right from the start, I don’t use the term lightly – she was incredibly awful to me for over a decade. She’s now my EX monster-in-law, but I’ve been thinking of her as my oldest has grown ever closer to legal adulthood, and closer to girls he’s not related to. 

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AGAIN! (Some Thoughts On Picture Books)

By Kellie Purcill

“Again!” “Last time, then bed.” “ ‘kay. AGAIN!” There’s not much as cute (or as potentially eye-gouging) as a young toddler or child wanting their favourite picture book read to them. Again. For the bazillionth time. Some days I’d look forward to the fine hair and round heads against my neck as I read the …

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Acceeeeeentuate the Positive

By Maralise Petersen

I am absolutely, overwhelmingly enchanted and in love with ‘the world’. You know that ‘world’ that gets labeled in every Sunday School, seminary, and primary class as being the enemy? Yeah. That one. Can’t keep my hands off of it.

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It Was Good

By Brooke Benton

Night begins to encroach upon the edges of my windows, and the slackening sun is orange and dull, but the front room is illuminated in its entire Lego-spilled splendor. And I am searching for a pacifier for the baby.

He is clean and warm, in fresh jammies—extra soft from hand-me-down wear and the recent dryer—and is holding a bottle in his hands, noisily suckling, waiting for his books, for me to put him down for the night… with a pacifier.

But we cannot find it so we linger. And we listen to a story about a soccer game. And we rub lotion on an itchy bum. And we accept illustrated “movie tickets” that will later need to be collected for hole-punching. Note to self: it’s in your front right pocket. We dole out dinners I do not approve of (chicken nuggets and cold cereal) and sigh only minimally at the lazy regard for homework.

(And the curious lack of pacifiers.)

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Refiner’s Fire

Today’s post is by Catherine Kemeny Gambrell.   This piece on motherhood adds to a popular UP CLOSE segment for May.  Catherine is an anything-but-stay-at-home mom to the world’s two most beautiful, entertaining, and sleepless children! She currently lives in northern Utah with her seminary teacher husband of 8 years. Together they enjoy hiking, camping, backpacking, cycling, and …

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The View from a Bridge

gundagai-bridgeToday’s Up Close: Mothering post comes courtesy of Selwyn. She lives in Australia, where she inhales books and blogs, thinks too much, and constantly doubts her own sanity. You can catch more of her here.

Once I was a tree. A tree content, standing entwined with another, leaves open and happily fluttering in the wind, watching bemusedly as my seedlings sprouted and the sun shone all around.

Then a storm struck. I think it was a storm. All I know is that the tree I was wrapped around suddenly left, leaving my tender insides gaping open, exposed to the cruel air and weather patterns, and all I could bear to do was hunch painfully over my seedlings and pray desperately for sun and calmer days.

I was abruptly a single parent. By choice. Mine, because I could not and would not consider living without my children. His, because he walked away from our sons without reason or regret.

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