The Little Things

I Am Thankful For…

The time I spend with my kids

Date nights

The fact that…

…Jackson dives in with his all, his killer smile

…Finn’s creative streak, a wild ride

…Max is soulful and funny and eager to share

Date nights

The fact that…

…my sisters are my friends

…I learned to parent from my parents

…I can still help with math

The time I spend with my kids

Hugs that linger

Afternoon sun through the trees

The first glimpse of the beach

Catching up around the fire

Date nights

And the time I spend with my kids.

Dish-doing Smack Talk

When the kids were doing the dishes tonight, the dish-doer paraphrased Yoda, “There is no such thing as ‘try’. It’s do or do not.”

Then he looked at his big brother, who evades the required dish-doing on a daily basis, “but with you, it’s do not or do not.”

Boy Humor at the Dinner Table

As my boys enter adolescence, dinner conversations go awry. Humor has shifted from goofy giggles over burps and farts to socially aware but unacceptable quips.

One night at dinner, don’t ask me how we got there, but… somehow we were talking about two kids in the same family with different mothers. No one we know personally. Just the concept.

“He’s my brother of another mother.” Lots of laughs.

I glared at them. “Where did you hear that?”

Everywhere,” said my sixth grader.

My husband, happily joining the fray, pointed out that “my sister from a different father” doesn’t roll off the tongue quite so melodically.

“How about ‘sister from a different mister?!’”

High fives from the teenagers.

Frankly, I prefer burps and farts. And last night, no one even laughed when the seventh grader burped loudly after tacos.

Santa, the Pope and the Birds and the Bees

My six year old niece asked my sister why the Virgin Mary is a saint. As is often the case, talk of Mary led to the question of how babies normally get in the mommy’s tummy. My sister explained in six year old terms – the dad plants a seed in the mommy.

Perfect. Conversation done. Six year old seemingly content.

But my niece was still noodling over the facts, and with the last crumb of Thanksgiving pie just eaten, she couldn’t help but think of Santa.

“What about Santa? Since he’s magic, is he a saint too?”

“Yes,” replied my sister, thinking she was still on safe ground, “St. Nicholas!”


“But did the Pope guy say he was a saint?” Or was he “born” with no seed?

Traffic Jam with the Kids

On Sunday, the boys and I were driving home from Aspen to Denver. After a winter of weekend ski lessons, we are used to the hour traffic jam caused by accidents or winter weather. We even sat one Friday on the mountain highway, closed for hours due to a police chase and shooting.

So leave it to the authorities to conduct unexpected tunnel blasting in July. Another “hour plus” delay. Importantly in our car, another “hour plus” before the kids would see the dog.

I expected a disaster of bad moods, whining and bathroom breaks. Instead, my ten year old rolled down the window and shouted at our fellow travelers.

“I hate this! Drive, people!”

When that elicited minor laughter from his brothers, “Santa, where are you! Save us!”

More laughter.

“Where is the Easter Bunny when you need him? EATER BUNNY!!!!”

What would the Easter Bunny do?

Followed by chanting, “WE HATE THIS! HEY! WE HATE THIS! HEY!”

Grateful for laughing kids in bumper-to-bumper traffic, I had to join them. “NOT AS MUCH AS ME! NOT AS MIUCH AS ME!”

And so it went, interspersed with shouts for the Easter Bunny, until we detoured past the tunnel and picked up speed.


On Monday, I checked my fourth grader’s homework assignment notebook. His Wednesday column was marked by a single word, “CHILL.”

“Why did you write CHILL here?” I asked.

He looked at it, “I don’t know. I didn’t write that.”

“It’s in your handwriting.” His very sloppy handwriting is quite identifiable.

“But I didn’t write it.”

The school had standardized testing Thursday and Friday, so I thought that maybe “CHILL” meant they had no homework for the rest of the week. Makes sense, right?

“No other tests this week?” I asked just to be sure.


On Wednesday, he climbed into the car clearly mad at me. “It didn’t say CHILL. It said, chapter 11. I had a math test today on chapter 11! If you hadn’t said…”


Not “CHILL”.

A lesson on why good handwriting is important.

The Great Mystery

Another deep dinner conversation launched by a ten year old munching on a taco. “What do you think the biggest mystery in life is?”

“How we got here,” said Mom.

“What happened to the dinosaurs?” asked the six year old.

“Gravity,” added Dad.

“Why the universe keeps going and going,” said the eleven year old.

“Or does it end and where?” asked Dad.

“I think the earth was a big ball of fire for a long time, and then all these asteroids kept hitting us and soon there was water and other stuff,” the six year old likes the asteroid theory of disappearing dinosaurs too.

And then from the guy who started it, “which came first, the chicken or the egg?”

“That’s easy,” said Dad. “It’s always the egg.”