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March 2015
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May 2015

Sophia is SIX!

This morning Sophia woke up to find that she'd turned six. 


This called for twirling.


As you can well imagine.


Lots of twirling.


After all, it wasn't just her birthday. It was finally the day. The day she got her ears pierced. In case you're wondering, she's pretty much the ONLY GIRL IN THE WORLD who doesn't have pierced ears yet. And so we went.


She got there to discover that she was a bit more nervous than she'd thought. But she picked her earrings, hopped up in the char, and sat still as a stone.


The first earring went in, and she didn't so much as blink. She was so still, Clay asked, "Did you even feel that?" She glanced at him and said evenly, "Yes. It hurt." Not enough to stop though.


She saw it through, without a word of protest. And when it was all done, she thought about it...


..and decided it was well worth it.


Happy birthday, sweet girl! You are my squirrel, my heart, my joy. You are fierce and kind in equal measures, and I couldn't love you more. Thank you for sharing these six wonderful years with me. Now your birthday is over, so take off your Easter dress already.

Good news

At church this morning I settled into the pew with the usual family chaos swirling around me. For me, though, I was mute and angry and sad in the way that only an argument before church will leave you. I knelt and tried wanly to turn from myself and toward the joy of the day. Easter. All has been made new.

In the pew in front of me was a couple I know, with their two small children. It's a terrible habit, people-watching during Mass. Especially on those days when it's harder to raise my eyes like I should. The husband reached over the head of their youngest and placed one warm hand on his wife's shoulder. She turned careful eyes to him.

"I love you," he whispered. She nodded, and mouthed the words back. She started to turn back, but he rubbed her shoulder again. She looked back. "I'm sorry about this morning," he whispered.

You know how some animals' skin can change before your eyes? Like an octopus or a chameleon? To camouflage them or display aggression? Women's faces do that too, only instead of protecting them, it exposes them.

Her cheeks flushed, and the muscles under her skin tightened. Her chin tipped up, to trap the tears that pooled in her eyes. She nodded wordlessly, and they both turned back toward the front of the church. 

I watched shamelessly, tears rolling down my own cheeks. The choir burst into song, and we all rose to sing our welcome of the good news, the death and the life, the love and the loss.

My own husband's warm hand reached for mine, and I wept and sang too.