Love. Mommy.
Pious X is a dumb name because she's a girl. And a cat.

And then there's the other hand

Clay and I are sharply divided on the best way to use the library - he goes online and searches for and requests The Exact Book that he wants to read. I, on the other hand, prefer to wander through the place, shovelling every book that looks remotely interesting into my reusable grocery bag. I'm a sucker for the "Staff Picks" displays. Clays thinks I'm clearly in the wrong here because I end up returning half my books without reading them, after an exploratory poke into the first chapter or two. I think he's clearly in the wrong because his system leaves no room for the joy of discovery.

However, he may have a point in a way, because right now I'm reading a book that I blindly grabbed on my last library trip, and it is torturing me. It's about a woman on a road trip to drop off her daughter, her only child, at college. On the way, she's working on a quilt for her daughter, incorporating fabrics from all the significant events in her life. She is simultaneously paging through the memories of her daughter's life and trying to look ahead to see what her life will be now. She's often awash in panic and grief. 

I'm hating this book, because when I'm reading it, I can barely breathe. I have no child headed for college right now, but I identify, and I hate it.

Tre barely has the dregs of his junior year left. Max will be going to school in the fall, a first for him. He's gotten into an expeditionary learning school, which seems like an excellent fit for him. There's a still in the air about him that feels like he's approaching the top of the first hill of a roller coaster. And Raphael swings back and forth daily about what he wants to do next for school. Some days he wants no part of an education that requires him to wear shoes, other days he angrily demands to be sent to school TODAY. I think he will be home one more year, but not much more than that. And Sophia will be off to kindergarten in a year. It seems that that day? When I'll have to decide what to be when I grow up? Is coming.

This mom in the book has these memories of her daughter that were executed so carefully. Here is the dress she wore to her first piano recital, here is the fabric from her first Brownie uniform. I look back on my own mothering memories, and the events look like a whirlwind. Any mementos that I took away with me were snagged, almost by accident, by one finger, as we spun past. I'm afraid that when they do leave home, my kids' primary memories of me will be of the things I never quite managed to do. They'll shrug when asked who their mother was, and say something like, "Well...when she did the laundry, it was never finished. There was always a basket with orphaned socks in her closet." 

I wish I was better at life. I wish my closets didn't hide so many things that I can never find a home for. It's become clear that all those days of plans that didn't come together, crafts that never got finished (or started), wait-a-minute-let-me-finish-this, and wanting just a moment's peace? Those days WERE their childhoods. And they're running through my fingers and I'm still no better at any of it.

But then again, in the chaos, I suppose there's also room for surprise. Today, at the end of Mass, the choir sang the Hallelujah Chorus. They were supposed to burst into song, but there was some confusion with the organist, so instead their hallelujahs started small, then swelled over the chatter of the crowd. Max is in the choir this year. He sings bass, which is a delight to his heart. When he started, back in the fall, he never knew from week to week if his traitorous voice would land him in the tenors or the bass section. I stood in the pews, and listened to my son's voice join in weaving a tapestry of praise.

I feel like there is a larger truth here, perhaps even a finger hold on the reality of the Resurrection. But I am feeble hearted sometimes, and today I'm keeping my vision small. Today I was just grateful for a moment that rose above the chaos and failures of life and was beautiful.


Angela Giles Klocke

It is a very strange, scary, wonderful place, this getting near the end of this parenting stage. For me, with kidlings 22, 18, and 16, I'm dangerously close and half petrified, half excited. I get this...


I've read this twice this morning and cried both times. Your writing beautifully describes what I've felt for awhile now ~ what's next? My children are grown, graduated from college and enjoying their careers. I still don't know what's next for me after many false starts. The good news for you is that children remember all the ordinary things of everyday life, those are the memories that stick because they're real and become part of who they are. They remember that we were there for them and that they have always been loved.


Only people in novels or on pinterest have all their memories in such order.

Real life is much more chaotic. I'm betting that when you talk to you own mother about your childhood, all her memories are not perfectly scrapbooked.


The only reason that my kids have quilts like those in the book is my mom. As they outgrow special outfits, wear sport team t shirts, earn patches and on and on - I toss them into a bag for my mom. Every year or so she goes through the bag and cuts the quilt squares. The last year of school, she gets family members and friends to decorate a block, and then she sews it all together.

If it was up to me, they'd probably get a garbage bag full of smelly, disintegrating stuff.

And the way you talk about your life is the way I think about mine, which means that it's much more real than anything you'll ever see on Pinterest.


I've never commented here before, but am moved to do so now. For so many reasons. My "baby" is ten and headed to middle school next year and I don't know how that happened. I am, however, very keenly aware that she won't want me to stay and cuddle with her at bedtime very much longer. This week was Spring Break and it was some of the best Mother/Daughter time we've had in a while. I'm keeping that in my heart for the days when she hates me.


First of all, to js - yes, do hang on to that for the days that she "hates you", because it will keep you afloat and she will be back.

And to Kira-le, this blog is your quilt. Some day, you will go back and start reading at the beginning, as will your kids, and every word will be gold. These words warm us all like a quilt. Each of us comes with our own gift, and this is yours. Every subject you talk about here reaches someone who shares it, and you give us the gift to be able to laugh or cry (or both)with you about our experiences. Thanks for sharing every one.


The last comment nails it perfectly. This is your quilt! Every post a new square, connecting the moments of your life that are special, meaningful,painful & hilarious. I feel so privileged to be able to watch as it grows bigger and bigger. I don't even have time for a blog quilt so you're steps ahead of me! And I feel like I'm drowning daily in SO MUCH STUFF to do... while I watch my kids grow bigger and time slips away. I've decided I can dust and organize & declutter when the house is quiet and empty. Which will be all to soon.(Who says that with a 3 year old??)
I so appreciate every word you share with us, I truly feel as if we are long lost cyber sisters, with 4 kids so close in ages...


OK just to warn you I'm almost at my limit of "no new posts from Kira" LOL
Hope all is well- miss you!!

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