Monthly Archives: February 2012

new blog post: peering at sugar mountain through binoculars.

“oh, to live on sugar mountain
with the barkers and the colored balloons,
you can’t be twenty on sugar mountain
though you’re thinking that
you’re leaving there too soon,
you’re leaving there too soon.”

these lyrics, this song, sugar mountain by neil young (who incidentally wrote it at the age of 19), went through my head on more than one occasion today. it was seventy degrees, the sun was out, and there was a slight breeze letting us know that it’s still february. the girls and i headed up rainbow mountain to find unicorns and listen for bears. we accomplished both of our missions – the unicorns were bouncy without horns (some might call them horses) and the bear snores were either testing sounds from the arsenal or thunder that never made rain – though i kept the threat of possible rain in my back pocket in the event that the girls budged at leaving time. “come on, come on, gotta beat the rain” – gets them moving faster than “we gotta get home for lunch”.

between hornless unicorns.

a.’s confidence climbing rocks, h.’s interest in discovering what’s under every rock, and the other explorations that the girls went on today – not totally guided by me – helped me realize that they are climbing sugar mountain, they are in the foothills, they are on their way to fantastical findings that will form, frighten and fascinate them, they are still allowed on sugar mountain – and will be for quite some time.

i lived on sugar mountain, i think i dug my heels in the whole way down, but realized that we all have to move on at some point. the beautiful thing about having children is getting to sit on ‘sometimes sour, hopefully spicy, and lightly sweetened with stevia’ hill, pull out our binoculars, and catch glimpses of a pure cane time in our lives.

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letting our kids feel, and letting them know it’s real.

i was cleaning up after lunch (a chore i enjoy – setting the stage for round two in the day, a fresh start) and a. and h. were in a.’s room playing prior to quiet time – which is mostly nice, but there are the times i come in to ‘break up the party’ and am met with a myriad of reasons why they should have quiet time together. ‘dad, we will totally play quiet and i will share my leapster i promise.’ ‘no, to your own room girls’ (when i write and say that i feel really old – especially the way i say “girrrrls”) ‘dad, how about we play in here for a little bit, and if we are doing well we can keep playing together or go to our own rooms’ she looks up with a smile, knowing she has just played me at my own game. “no, come on guys let’s go” my tone flatter, my eyes losing their ‘this is cute’ smile. then: they up the ante, i get stern, they hug and kiss a few hundred times – their love enhanced by the fight against a common enemy, h. finally goes to her own room, i sit on the sofa, ten minutes later she is coming out of her room with a ‘rooster in the oven’ (euphemism for ‘poop in the diaper’), we change her diaper (it’s the humane thing to do) and she goes back to her room. i then have anywhere between ten minutes and two hours to ‘do things around the house’ (in quotes only because there is little to no consistency with how i use that time – probably best gauged off of my bejeweled blitz score).

spinning on the moon.

so, during this ‘pre-quiettime play’ i usually don’t notice the noises they are making, unless it is ‘the cry’ – you know, the one that they aren’t faking, the one that comes from the source of the pain and out the mouth, the one we say ‘it better be’ but hope we never hear. as they play, my ears are filled with my own grunts, the garbage disposal, clanging of dishes, and thoughts that range from the talent of plumbers to whether ryan braun is innocent. but, this day the noise that came from a.’s room was different, best described as a wail, a heart-felt, stomach to throat to mouth moan and cry, the sound of her soul coming out of her mouth, a child feeling deep. i walked in, knowing she was hurting and not hurt, to find her holding a picture of her and her friend from back home. not just holding, but pressing to her chest, trying to make him appear in her heart. the sobs were broken up by “i want my l., l. i just want my l.” over and over again. i held her, i think i said it would be alright, but mostly held her and let her feel. i love that little girl. my goodness, she feels. i hope that i or the world never strips that from her. yes, she is four, i could down play the whole thing, and tell her to move on, chalk it up to the irrational crazy emotions of a four-year old – ‘nope’, as h. would say, i want our children to feel. it’s not an easy road to feel that deeply, i know, i think we all know, but being able to express, expose and delve into that type of feeling will help her better relate to the world around her – i think. yes, we must teach children to regulate their emotions, but first we must teach them that it is okay to have and show them.

i think this looks cool.

this picture was taken in the state capital building – montgomery, alabama.


pictures from a gray day in montgomery





the birth of a heart-o-scope.

the girls had gathered art supplies from upstairs, brought them downstairs, and made themselves busy at the kitchen table – while i cleaned up from lunch. i looked over and observed the following.

a.’s tongue was pressed tight to the corner of her tensed lips, her eyes were zoned, and a trickle of snot had crept from her nose. she gave a quick sniffle, to bring the caterpillar back in the cave, shifted her tongue, gazed up, and then quickly back to focus – a robot like motion, a motion much like resetting to the next line on a typewriter. i’m not sure if my mind or her eyes made that wonderful mechanical noise that typewriters used to make, as her pupils lifted, quickly hit the ceiling, and then fell back down on ‘her world’. “da’ zingk”. the only thing existing at that moment – for her- was in her hands. she shifted in her chair, gave a sideways glance – to be sure sister wasn’t working her way towards any of ‘her’ materials, another darting glance at sister, this time to be certain that sister wasn’t one clumsy fall away from disturbing her creation, and a final check, this time to see what sister was working on.

i was washing dishes at the kitchen sink, felt a ‘force’, looked down, and there was the three-foot-four-inch ninja, eyes blurred from concentration, hair without a part, and little hands holding a collection of objects held together by a number of adhesives, she extended her ‘art baby’ and asked that i tie a knot. the string was affixing a piece of construction paper to a roll of paper towel, and the roll of paper towel had been transformed into a valentine’s day kaleidoscope with wings. there was a panted ‘thanks’ as she shuffled back to the table. h. had now successfully plastered cray paper to each of her fingers, which left the glue stick hopelessly melted to itself. her eyes were smiling and wide, her face was painted with smudged marker, her creation, no less awesome, but, her creation was ripped to pieces, while a.’s fingers turned into tweezers as she put the finishing touches on her prized piece of work.

she was done, for now, and a. and h. took turns looking through their ‘heart-a-scope’ – for a moment. then h. wanted it longer than a., a. pulled it away and said it was hers, h. cried, a. scurried to her room – heart-a-scope in hand, h. cried a little more, and we all took a ten minute break.

the heart-a-scope.

a. would not be happy if she saw this picture.

quick thoughts contemplated while getting clean.

many times, when i write these, i jump onto the page as if you have been in my mind, and i, for some reason, decide to start sharing mid-way through a thought. this post started in my mind ,in the shower, the following way ‘it appears that when you care less you are happier, or perhaps it’s caring less about things that shouldn’t be cared about, perhaps those are not cares but worries, are worries and cares the same? or are worries really cares that shouldn’t exist? is caring/worrying really all about controlling rather than letting what will be be (don’t sing it. resist the urge. don’t visualize the closing credits. step away from the desire to…ahhh ke sara sara) so it came back to control and needing to grasp onto everything in life all at once and know where it is, have it in its proper place, pretend i’m caring, but in reality i’m worrying. so, to care less? no, to devote my caring to things that are important. to worry less. these thoughts come after concerning my mind with why i care so much about the details of life, and then realizing, after thinking the aforementioned thoughts, that i wasn’t caring about details, i was worrying about things i can’t control.

it feels like this has been less and less, but there are times where ‘worries’ outweigh ‘cares’. i wish to care more, caring is active and forward moving, caring requires action, if you care, but worries are paralyzingly painful positions of pause in our lives. worries are doubts. this seems to reflect on my previous post ‘’. perhaps, it wasn’t questioning why we care, but why we worry.


been away.

i give you this picture. a written post is on the horizon. travels, birthdays, and a bit of a stuffy head have made writing difficult. a post about relativity is coming soon. well, relatively soon.


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