‘A bad guy was killing people’: A parent’s response to the nightmare of gun violence

It’s 3 a.m. and the moon is glowing softly through the wide bedroom window. Why am I awake? I look to the side and see that our six-month-old is sleeping soundly. A repetition of the sound that woke me, “Mama!!”, comes from the room across the hall. It’s our three-year-old who, despite a strong, independentContinue reading “‘A bad guy was killing people’: A parent’s response to the nightmare of gun violence”

Parent in training: a review of “Bless This Mess”

My five-month-old just fell asleep. Now I have anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours to “get something done.” This phenomenon of sporadic, indefinite hands-free time is something that’s hard for folks who are not immersed in parenting young children to understand. Even those of us who’ve been through it often develop a gauzy memoryContinue reading “Parent in training: a review of “Bless This Mess””

On parenting, poverty, and privilege

It’s been two months since our family abruptly said goodbye to the mission we were serving in Honduras. We left because our five-year-old daughter came down with dengue fever, a nasty mosquito-borne illness that becomes even nastier if contracted a second time. In someone who has already had the illness, a second exposure can resultContinue reading “On parenting, poverty, and privilege”

Namesake

“Lord, have mercy/ On my descendants/ For they know not/ What they do/ For they know not Who you are.” ~ “Pillar of Truth” by Lucy Dacus It’s been about four hours since the birth, and now that everyone is calm and happy and relaxing, I take a minute to steal away. I descend softlyContinue reading “Namesake”

Love in the midst of the mess

You are dreading another meal of ramen noodles and canned vegetables, but you know that’s all that’s left in the cupboard, that it’s the best you can offer your son tonight. You’re thinking about this as you enter the dimly lit child care center to pick him up, with hunger pulling on your stomach, onlyContinue reading “Love in the midst of the mess”

Fear, faith and the flu

I am not a germaphobe by nature, but this year’s flu season has me in a tizzy of microbial paranoia. Daily news reports about the severity of this specific flu strain and the extent of the epidemic have fueled my anxiety, as did a recent email from my daughters’ school informing us of confirmed fluContinue reading “Fear, faith and the flu”

Again

I tense up slightly as I see my daughter toddling over to me holding the telltale green and blue box, replete with several cartoon dinosaurs staring up at me. “Me want to do dinosaur puzzle,” she says. “Please,” I entreat. “Not the dinosaur puzzle. We’ve done the dinosaur puzzle six times today.” I can’t takeContinue reading “Again”

One life together

As of the writing of this reflection, Witness Against Torture, The New York Catholic Worker, and Voices for Creative Nonviolence, among others, are in the midst of a week-long fast for the victims of the recent airstrikes and ongoing besiegement of Yemen. There we see, once again, one of the poorest countries of the worldContinue reading “One life together”

Bread, art and a kindergarten heart

  “NO! I HATE this part of the bread! I won’t eat it!” My daughter had just realized that her peanut butter and honey toast was made with an “all-crust” heel piece. To a five-year-old who has never known true crisis, this realization is nothing short of devastating—on par with candy-less valentines and cake batter-scented (but NOT flavored)Continue reading “Bread, art and a kindergarten heart”

In God’s Image: Finding Jesus in the Mundane Mess of Motherhood

“Your loving doesn’t know its majesty, until it knows its helplessness.”   – Rumi “Pretty bad day here – I think if parenting was something one was allowed to quit I would have by now …” This was the content of an e-mail I tapped out on the phone to my husband while he was atContinue reading “In God’s Image: Finding Jesus in the Mundane Mess of Motherhood”