My kid wore a dress to school yesterday. Her first of the year. Trying to pull my jaw off the floor, I calmly told her she looked great. And when she nonchalantly sauntered out of the house for the bus stop, I marveled. What are these preteen years? These moody, goofy, identity altering, wonderful years? Looking for an answer, I tried to remember my own experience in middle school. As most girls in 1991, I wore my earrings big and my bangs high. I was also overweight and was teased mercilessly . . .
I met Chris and Elizabeth Gilbert a few years ago. Elizabeth had just had her fourth baby, Luke, and I was in my 2nd trimester of pregnancy with Winnie. We met at a coffee shop and while she nursed and I sipped a latte, we talked about our spunky and challenging boys, our families of origin, and how much we loved Charlottesville. I asked for all the advice on how to be a mom of four and she graciously gave what she had. So when Elizabeth announced last year that she and Chris were taking their . . .
Over the weekend—yes, Mother's Day weekend—I went away by myself for a night. Sounds kind of counterintuitive, I know. Didn't I want to wake up on Mother's Day morning with breakfast in bed, jelly toast cut out in hearts, and little notes from my children? Weeeeeellllll. . . I've had the good fortune of being a mom for about a dozen years now. And it is sweet. It really is. And the greatest gift of my life. Much as it is to all you mothers who are reading this. Graham and I look at each other . . .
If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times. For parents of school-aged students, May is quite possibly the busiest month of the year. All the showcases and class parties and culminating soccer tournaments. My word. Lest you fill your calendar with any more unnecessary events, I've limited my 10 Things to just 5 for May and recommend them all from the joy I've experienced in year's past: 1. Pick Your Own Strawberries at Chiles. It's strawberry season in Virginia and if you've ever . . .
Several weeks ago, I took a walk around my neighborhood trail. A little routine I do on the regular, but this time was different. I was by myself (no kids in step beside me or strapped on my back). Also, I didn't take headphones. No podcasting. I came into that space depleted, head foggy, and frustrated. What am I doing with my time that I can't seem to get ahead, I asked. Why do I end the day feeling distracted, frazzled and overwhelmed even when my to-do list is checked off and dinner is on . . .