Friday, August 26, 2016

Refelctions on a story he told me about game time at Trail Life

My straight-as-an-arrow son
The black and white one
He stops in the relay race when he stumbles
To regain his balance and then continue on, 
Hopping one-footed because to touch the other to the ground is against
The rules he lives by, the rules he breathes, 
He understands them, they make him feel 
Safe. Fair. Secure.
He will have a hard life in this gray world of in-between 
Neither right nor wrong
Where his own thoughts never go
He will be hurt, I fear, by never quite being able to comprehend 
The thoughts of a mind other than his own.
Never being able to stoop a little sideways and see it from their point of view.
He may be lonely. Alone.
Few people can match the stride of the straight-as-an-arrow man.
He must learn to bend a bit, to allow himself to be somewhat molded, to stoop
But, please God, not too much
Let him always keep his knife's-edge, unwavering honesty
His slow-pacing, dogged determination to be correct, to know
His black and white self, hopping on one foot only 
All the way
To the finish line.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

written one spring, in a moment of loss and longing

god is the ocean and the boat

my life swells and sinks to the rhythm of his providence
safe in his will, i float above the unpredictable tempests
protected alike from storm dangers and the whispering doldrums
that suck men's souls out of their bodies

I sail along a steady course, every tack and jib secure
my every line written on his hand
my future safe, my harbor sure

and yet

should my boat seem to sink beneath me,
deserting me, helpless, to the fury of the roiling deep,

god is the ocean, too.

should my limbs fail me, should I seem to gasp my last breath and slide at last
beneath the waves of grief, loss, indecision, pain and parting,
surrendering in my struggle
should my lungs slowly fill and my body sink

I would find myself still cradled in his wisdom
I would come to rest on the ocean floor
and there see that I laid at last still in his caring
in the very bosom of his love for me

god is the boat and the ocean

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Every day after the schoolwork is done, the Davies boys and the Forshey boys go outside. It's an explosion of pent-up, barely contained energy that is, I admit it, somewhat exhilarating to watch. Exhilarating in spite of the fact that I'm one of the ones trying to barely contain it all day. With cajoling, threats, bribes, distractions, time-outs and a constant stream of chores and re-direction (and sometimes push-ups, jumping-jacks and laps around the house), it takes all my energy and concentration to keep the beach ball of energy pushed, barely submerged, beneath the ocean surface of functional order and propriety.

Then comes that moment. That blessed moment when the last page of Latin copywork is finished, or the last math problem solved, or the last recitation given; and the mother can finally release her grip on the beach ball and let it *pop* to the surface and then, blessedly, OUT THE DOOR.

Sometimes the pounding is on my door, sometimes my boys are pounding on her door:

"Can Judah/Jamie/Brinley/Smith/Henry come out NOW???"

Yes, thank the Lord, yes. They can come out now.

And then OUT they go. With a whoosh and a yell and a holler and shove/wrestle/trip/hustle out the door they go into the neighborhood. A forgiving tolerant neighborhood, thankfully. Perhaps we should issue a warning, or blast a theme song out into the frosty air as a warning Whoop! Whoop! Whoop! The boys are OUT! The boys are LOOSE! A theme song and a slogan. The boys are coming. The kracken is released. The hordes descend upon you. The Buckaroos Ride Again.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Some Whine for Wednesday

Parenting is really hard. And frustrating. And annoying. Or rather, Parenting is hard and kids are annoying and frustrating. Don't get me wrong, it goes without saying that I love my children and wouldn't trade them for the most serene, uncomplicated, boring and love-less life out there. However... Some days, like today, I might trade them to gypsies for a few cast iron pots.

Exhibit A)

So far this morning I have swept the floor four times.
1) The usual after-breakfast sweep-up,
2) Millions of tiny styrofoam balls scattered in a trail from the basement, up the stairs, back down the stairs, into the kitchen, across the living room floor and aaaaall over the rug in the school room where I sent them to watch Wild Kratts while I swept up the million styrofoam balls.
3) Globs of dried mud and, let's be honest, probably also dog poop, stomped out of the cleats of their rain boots WHILE I yelled at them from the yard to take the boots off BEFORE they stomped into the house.
4) Handfuls of dried up playdough fragments, scattered carelessly across the dining room rug, again WHILE I yelled at him to go get the dust pan and not to try and carry the whole mess to the kitchen in one hand.
5) (oh yeah, five times. I've swept the floor five times since breakfast) A trail of hard boiled egg yolk crumbs, flung from the lunch plate as he waltzed it to the kitchen sink, arms waving "gracefully" along the way.

Exhibit B)

Don't wrestle with the dog.

DON"T wrestle with the dog.

Don't WRESTLE with the DOG, she will BITE you if you get her so wound UP.


See? I told you. Don't wrestle with anything that has bigger teeth than you do. Excellent life principle.

Exhibit C)

The same child who sprinkled the playdough crumbs all over the dining room rug, dumped the leftover handful into the kitchen trash can without checking to make sure the trash BAG was securely fastened over the edge of the can. It wasn't. All the play dough landed ON TOP of the crumpled-at-the-bottom trash bag.

Exhibit D)


Exhibit E)

Me: Where in the world is Jamie??

Me: *wandering all over the house looking for missing child*

Me: *yelling out all the doors and windows for missing child*

Me: *texting neighbors, asking if missing child is at their house*

Me: *sending older brother to find missing child and drag him home*

Missing Found child: I TOLD you I was going over the the twin's house...

Me: *yelling*

Found child, five minutes later: I"m hungry. Can I go over to the twin's house now?

Exhibit F)


I'm not even going to wrap this up with anything positive and affirming. We all know there are plenty of days like this in parenting. Probably more than any of us want to admit. The miracle is, by God's grace and with a sense of humor (and a blog) we keep on, regardless. I will probably have to ask my boys' forgiveness several more times before the end of the day and maybe we'll all get a laugh out of it one day.

Thursday, October 15, 2015


Sometimes the most innocuous things can completely derail our homeschool day. For example, yesterday while teaching Judah his new piano piece ("Honey Bee"), I randomly hummed my way through that old camp song "Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee". Everything ground to a screeching halt.

"Wait, what? WHY would he think his mother would be proud that he was bringing home a bee?? I don't get it... WHY did he squish it up? Wouldn't it just sting him again? Wait, wha-wha-what kind of bee was it? Was it a HONEY bee, or a BUMBLE bee? Probably it was a bumblebee cause then it would just die after it stung him that first time because bumblebees leave their stingers in your body and then they DIE. But African HONEYbees, they can sting and sting and sting."


And earlier in the morning...

"Wait.. wha?? What'sa phone book?? Why would you want your phone number written down in a BOOK?"