Relentless fragmentation

time for thyme

When I was a little girl, my dad came up with a phrase that I think is perfect for describing life with small children: relentless fragmentation. It is that feeling we get when an important phone call is interrupted, when the bread burns because we are changing a diaper, when we attempt any of the myriad things that used to take five minutes: articles are now ingested one paragraph, one sentence, one word at a time. Emails are responded to only weeks after the fact. Books we are pining for gather dust on our nightstands as we instead read – again, again, AGAIN! – about dragons and dogs and brave, hungry kittens.

I have a hard time with fragmentation. And I have no doubt it is relentless.

sup, soup

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Buffalo gals

chili n cornbread

My Dad is picky about his labels. He claims Radical and sometimes Progressive, rejects New Age or Hippie. But whatever you want to call it, at his teeny-tiny, light-and-love-filled, first post-divorce house, Dan and I watched MacNeil/Lehrer and the occasional episode of Sesame Street, but otherwise TV was off limits. At times we felt deprived, but really our television was so old that watching it was more an exercise in annoyance than entertainment.  And what my dad denied us in cartoons and sitcoms, he made up for in other (I would now argue, far better) ways. Continue reading

With love and apologies

boys in the yard

Now is perhaps not the best time for this post. I realize that some of you are probably, you know, feeling a little over the whole cookie thing. It’s January – the season of cabbage and kale and green smoothies, or perhaps hearty soups and things made out of roots. Plus –  there are some who might roll their eyes and bristle at another Californian daring to use the word “winter” when their back yard is exploding with flowers and birds and the bright beautiful bounty of January fruit. Continue reading


From letters to my Grandma Jan, January 2013

lucas bug


Saturday, Kyle and I took the boys to ride on calTrain; we went north to a town where the train station sits on the main street, right across from a big green park. We got coffees and the boys split a morning bun, and we walked in the freezing-for-here but sunny morning. We played for a long time at the playground, then wandered back up through the shopping district before riding home on the train. Jacob declared it “a wonderful-est day” and it was.  Continue reading

I think we can

new year's day

I’m not really a resolution person, you know? For me, change happens slowly. Plus, I don’t do so well when asked to evaluate myself all at once in a rush of anxiety in the middle of winter after passing through the stresses (good and bad) of all that year-end festiveness. And then there’s the word itself – resolution. It sounds sort of … congressional (read: ineffective?), sort of … over and done. If change is in order, let’s make it an active sort of change, full of energy and momentum and life. 

new year's day

And then Jacob said, “Mommy, can we have a New Year’s Revolution?”

A revolution? A revolution. Indeed. I think we can.  Continue reading