Moving On While Standing Still

Everyone prepares you for the feelings that accompany your child’s first birthday, but no one prepares you for the emotional tidal wave that hits on their second. Or at least no one warned me. My daughter turned two on Friday, and amidst the celebrations and fanfare, I found myself in tears nearly every day leading…

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Unexpectedly Good

Steven climbed into the passenger seat of the Toyota Sequoia. “Let’s take the back way to Holland, Mom.”  I back down our angled driveway and head for H Avenue and then over to Sixth Street. The quiet backroads of Kalamazoo are lined with trees and sprawling green grass in the summertime. Hand-painted signs lean against…

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Living Outside the Lines

It is the Friday before spring break and my oldest son, William, is receiving a creative student award at his school. This is his first time to receive an award outside of the honor roll, and my husband Steve and I are thrilled. Will struggled during pre-K, Kinder, and the first part of first grade…

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Utterly Unattainable

Who am I, and which part of me is real? It happens in the flick of a switch. The war within me between the “best version” and the “far-from-the-mark” mother. It doesn’t take much for this duality to be activated as pieces of my own story are stirred up. Both have a significant impact on…

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Do You Love Your Face?

I was in the kitchen while my two daughters—ages 2 and 4—sat in front of me eating breakfast. Always curious about what happens in their little minds, I stayed quiet to give space for them to share their thoughts, knowing something conversation-worthy would arise. My oldest soon spoke up.  “Mom, do you love your face?”

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Two Worlds Collide

From the moment she and her mom walked into my office I wondered if she deserved more of a professional than me or more tenderness than I felt like I was able to offer. I felt like she could’ve been me had some things gone differently in my life.  We started by talking about her…

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The Rebel Heart

My head barely hit the pillow around 11:03 p.m. when I heard the word “Mom.” My husband was out-of-town, our youngest was at Pine Cove, and our oldest was chatting with his friends in Discord (an online chatting service)…or so I thought. I rose from my sleep, looked over to the left, and saw him…

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Wonder Woman

We sit at the table she and I. Our weekly ritual of alcohol pads needles liquid chemo deep breaths band aids and painted toenails. She is well-acquainted with bellyaches on the way to 
another three-hour round of joint exams, therapies 
and phlebotomists. Another school day away from friends.

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The Dress

Morgan returned to the sparsely furnished “pink room” holding Katy’s wedding dress in the air, ensuring the tulle train wasn’t hitting the floor. Carefully she hung it on the rod, placing the veil next to it. Smiling, she turned to Katy and said, “It’s time to get your dress on. Ladies, everyone out except Katy…

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Embracing Change

At five foot two, he reaches his arms up to hug me. My arms underneath his squeeze tightly as I breathe him in. He is both familiar and mysterious. Stepping back, I stand still as he studies my face. “Mom, my armpits stink,” he says. “Oh, I’m sure they don’t buddy. Let me smell,” I…

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