Unless I Had Believed

A few mornings ago, I woke with a heavy sense of dread, imbued by the nightmares that sometimes plague me. As I shuffled to the coffee pot, the clamoring needs of my children felt like alarm bells on an already fried nervous system. I was preoccupied with larger worries than “what’s for breakfast?”

Read More

10-Cent Ice Cream Cones

In the late Sunday summer afternoons of Eastern North Dakota, the sun is already beating its way through our Ford Pinto windows and onto the black vinyl seats we are about to gingerly put our bare skin on. There are four of us who need to get into the car and, luckily, no car seats…

Read More

Pandemic-Era Parenting

It was dinnertime on a Sunday, which means the countdown to bedtime had started a little early and was slightly more enthusiastic than normal. I had been craving cauliflower for a while, which isn’t something I’m particularly proud of, but here we were. My husband and two daughters looked on as I picked up the…

Read More

A New Way Forward

“Where do your boys think you are right now?” my counselor asks.  I am surprised by her question, which seems out of left field. “I told them I had an appointment,” I reply. It’s vague, I’ll admit, but it’s not a lie. “What would happen if you told them the truth?” she asks, interrupting the…

Read More

Where Did Wonder Go?

The sun is setting before the low-grade headache from another day spent on my screen fully registers. But now the muddy light of my apartment has sharpened the artificial glow of the laptop, and I can’t help but wince. Note to self: explore blue light glasses. A bit of self-awareness ushers me into my body,…

Read More

Painting a Vision

“When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.”  – Billy, age 4, defining love If you were to come to a Red Tent dinner at my home, we would sit in my dining room. The table, purchased twenty years ago at…

Read More

To Withstand One’s Own Wrath

Entering the office today, before saying hello to anyone, addressing the day’s agenda, or even putting down my bag, I internally itemized a long list of things askew. Pillows awry in room 7. Table decor down in room 3. Side table off center in room 1.  Dirty plate and to-go box in kitchen. And in…

Read More

When I Can’t Feel Christmas

“Above all, trust in the slow work of God.” — Pierre Teilhard de Chardin 5:34 p.m. on Black Friday and everything was right on schedule. The tree was set up, lights lit, and boxes of ornaments ready for unpacking. Jim Carrey’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas played in the background, as was tradition, and Mom had just slid the…

Read More

Domino Effect

I feel nothing changes you like a new city and new people. I remember when I got the news that my family and I would be moving. I had come home from school and was tired and pissed off as I often was, being an angsty seventh grader. When my parents told me our house…

Read More

100 One-Minute Conversations

My eyes are red and teary, and my dad’s arm is around me as we sit together on our white, wooden back porch swing. Even though I don’t remember this moment in many details, the photo taken by my mom brings back a variety of emotions. The backyard of my family home is staring at…

Read More