Saturday, August 22, 2015


Yesterday, Ryan, Jack and I were eating dinner. Sonia went outside to play with our neighbors. A few minutes later, Ryan asked where she was and I said she was at the neighbors. Then I ran up there to check on her. The neighbors weren't home. Then I started calling her name. I went to the home of two other neighbors with kids and neither had seen her.

Then my brain made the following connection: If Sonia is not on this block, then someone has taken her. And I became hysterical. I started screaming her name. I was crying. All of the neighbors who knew me came out of their homes and started helping me look for her. I insisted someone call the police. When I was talking to the dispatcher, I was so panicked I could not remember what Sonia had been wearing.

Then, someone had the sense to check the home of a neighbor who is not on the block but lives across the street. As I stood on the corner sobbing, a police car drove up and Sonia walked out onto the corner. She had simply gone somewhere she doesn't usually go without telling me. Because my mind had made the leap into panic that thought had not occurred to me.

My neighbors were kind. I was embarrassed.

There is a saying: if you hear hoof beats, think horses not zebras.  While running around my block, I thought about all the people who've lectured me because I allow my kids the freedom to walk around on their own. I thought about the news stories that would say I am a bad parent because I don't keep them in my view all the time.

I believe giving my kids freedom is important for their development. My hope is next time I will think about horses.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Crabbing and crabs

We visited the grandparents this weekend on the beautiful Olympic peninsula. We had great weather and lots of fun activities but both of the kids were crabby complainers all weekend.  It was annoying. In my more generous moments, I know that this is just life with kids. They can be moody or tired or whatever and that misery is foisted on the rest of us. In less generous moments, I want to run away.

They seem happy on the boat while crabbing.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Heard in my house

Jack does not like going to church. He doesn't like to do anything if he doesn't want to do so he digs in. He eventually comes with me but not before he spews invective -- all the swear words he knows + the worst things he can think to say.

Me: Jack,  we are going to church now.

Jack: I hate church.

Me: Ok, but you still have to go. It's important to spend time in silence with nothing to do but be with God.

Jack: I hate God. Jesus got what he deserved.

Cue the record player needle scratching across the record as my grandmother turns over in her grave or, at least, feels sorry for me.

Sonia recently began speaking Chinese.  She told Jack that she was speaking Chinese and he was impressed.

Jack: Where did you learn that?

Sonia: Well, it's not exactly Chinese. It's fairy Chinese. It's the Chinese the fairies speak. So if you want to go to a restaurant you say 'ma sha ka da ma'

Jack: Oh restaurant is ka da ma?

Sonia: Yes.