Author: lightinajar

Stay small a little longer (though I know you won’t)

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As we sit on the eve of my baby turning 10, it’s so easy to wonder where the time went. I remember being ten, desperately wanting to be older and still believing it would be forever before 30 came. I remember cradling a baby boy in my arms sleep deprived and in love, dreaming about all the time I had before he turned ten. It was a blink. I don’t know (just as all parents don’t know) how the baby turned himself into a little boy.

I worry about this one all the time, as I do with his brothers. I hope I am what he needs me to be and I hope that he finds contentment within himself. I strive to make sure he knows he is loved and he is enough.

I try to believe that there is still time, and I know that there is. The days stay with us as the years slip away before we’ve had time to chase them. For now his days are filled with Minecraft strategy, Wizards, books and navigating a new school. He is smart and often solitary and seems comfortable being himself.

My Jack is a special soul and he has big plans for his life. As his mom, I hope to make him feel like his life is always big enough for his plans.

Happy birthday, baby cakes. Mommy loves you.

Born with Teeth

Rip planted this red flag squarely in my field of vision, and still I could not see it.
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Born with Teeth by Kate Mulgrew

How it begins: I started out in a green house with a red door in a small town, where mysteries abounded.

This book brought me back to my long-neglected blog. I got it in the mail yesterday and I sit her sad that I’m already through it and pleased to share it with anyone who is looking for something to read.

Already a fan of Ms. Muldrew (as Red on Orange is the New Black), I had no other expectations, other than the hope for kept interest, when I ordered the book to my mailbox.

It was a beautiful story and a true pleasure to read. Pain is woven into chapters with care and love. Sadness is captured with longing sincerity.

Her story is told with respect for the other characters, with passion for her work, her loved ones and for herself and with an openness to joy that is waited for, and never too far off.

Read this book. There is such beauty in the pages.

CW CHALLENGE: DAY 25

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FAVOURITE MONTH

She is warm and beautiful. As the colours change and the trees lose the coverings that came in the Spring the crispness is a promise of something new in the loss.

She is the month of my birth and the birth of my first babe as she watched me become a mother. She has been a month of great sadness and fantastic joy. She defines me in so many ways. She is where I find myself and where I find my strength. It is funny to say that about a month, thirty days in three hundred and sixty five, but they are my favourite thirty. They are the days that I feel most at home with myself and in the world.

I am always happy to say hello to September, and always somewhat reluctant to say goodbye.

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Here’s more on the Creative Writing Challenge

REMINDER

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We must always remember that there are always at least two sides to every story. And, if it sounds or feels like there is more to something – whether it’s troubling or curious – you can probably bet that there is.

There are many different ways to look at the same problem and the solution that works best for you is the one you should try.

The people who are happiest or proudest or most successful will spend less time telling you about themselves and more time asking about your happiness, satisfaction and success because sharing your joy or helping you find it is just better.

Passing judgement on those who you do not know, by name or by circumstance, is wasteful and contributes nothing positive into the universe.

Although your beliefs are important to you and may be that which assist you in living a productive and peaceful life, others may not share them. It is important to remember that the street travels both ways and your beliefs, as well as the beliefs of others are completely irrelevant, as we are all entitled to our own. It is not necessary to change your mind, or work to change the mind of others because in the end, it does not matter.

As much as we may wish or want, there is no one in the world we have the right or capability of changing, except ourselves.

CW CHALLENGE: DAY 24

Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. — Tolstoy

FAMILY

The family: Comes with no written, stated or implied guarantee. Oh, but I wish there was. I wish it did. I struggle to say that I think there should be. I am more at ease to say that I am wrong.

I think the best we can do is promise to try and do better. We can promise to love without condition, forgive without grudge and choose to always, always see the best. At least see those for who they are, rather than who we want them to be.

The family: these people who are part of us, who made us, who shape us, who damage us and lift us up. These are the expectations placed upon a unit who have been placed together by luck and  biology. Or some divine plan. For some, the luck was bad, the biology formed funny, the plan was flawed. Or it wasn’t. Maybe it was only meant for a while. Maybe the plan was to teach, to [hopefully] learn, to prepare for the next.

The family: Those who will share something – cells, memories, trials, tragedy, love, meaning, hope, pain – with us forever. Our stories are all different. Certainly our unhappy ones are.

My family: Built on a competition we were never going to win. I don’t know who decided upon the rules, but I remember playing.

My family: Torn apart by anger and immaturity, pride and a change come too soon.

My family: Marked now by loss and gaps of time that bring forgetting and remembering and moving on.

My family: Came with love but without a guarantee of receipt without condition. Came with a best before date, a warning of expiry.

It was me who left. It was me who could not stay. It is me who is now lost. In reality, I am not. In metaphor, there are betters to choose. In reality I am here, existing with my past and my experiences and my future. If you say that I am lost, that you have lost me – like a ship at sea? like a missing sock? like a misplaced object from such a time ago? We are not lost. We are trees. separated by a chasm too wide for our branches to reach. We are books that once shared characters, but whose stories have ended. We are windows that have been forced shut by time and weather and paint in neighbouring houses, without people who have the ability to pry them open again.

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Here’s more on the Creative Writing Challenge

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

 

 

The words you can’t find, you borrow. We read to know we’re not alone. We read because we are alone. We read and we are not alone.
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The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

How it begins: On the Ferry from Hyannis to Alice Island, Amelia Loman paints her nails yellow and, while waiting for them to dry, skins her predecessor’s notes.

This book was just a simple read of pure enjoyment. It was a story for those who like stories, who find comfort in books, who get excited by a full bookshelf and a comfortable chair.

I was unsure what to expect when I started reading. Mr. Fikry is not easy to love at first. The characters are flawed, but smart. They face loss and trouble and are afforded happiness – some fleeting and some redeeming. References to other works of literary fiction, short stories and classics add depth for the real readers who find themselves lost in the Island bookstore.

Maya’s life is interesting and rich. Daniel’s (spoiler alert) end is one of the most simple and most beautiful ends I’ve ever read. A.J. begins with hardship, grows with duty and is touched with love in the end. The stories we tell those who matter to us, and the stories we keep from them were shown as meaningful and served to connect to the characters in a kinder and more empathetic way that I would in a normal, quick summer read.

If you enjoy sitting with a good book, do make sure you sit with this one.

Readers are the best…

They have access to hundreds of souls, and the collected wisdom of all them. They have seen things you’ll never understand and have experienced deaths of people you’ll never know.

I came across this article and there are so many important and interesting elements to it. Don’t only consider falling in love with a reader, but befriend them, seek them out. They are special and thoughtful folk.

Read this.

CW CHALLENGE: DAY 23

100 WORDS OR LESS

I hate being spoken of like I’ve gone somewhere. Like my disappearance was a surprise without warning. like I’m this spirit of a being that once was.
I wasn’t lost. I’ve pinched myself as evidence that I’m still very much here.

Our path was no longer meant to be travelled together, but my prints disappeared no more than yours did. I didn’t loose you, for I know where you are. It was too much, too heavy, too difficult to keep going along that path we were on.

Now we each have our own and I hope your journey is breathtaking.

 

100 words exactly!

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Here’s more on the Creative Writing Challenge

CW CHALLENGE: DAY 22

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GOODBYE

airports see more sincere kisses than weddings halls. the walls of hospitals have heard more prayers than the walls of churches

We must stop saying that we hate goodbye. Of course a goodbye is not lovingly embraced. Our culture has attempted to lessen the blow with clichés like a goodbye makes room for a later hello or saying goodbye to something good makes room for something better. They are not nice because they come with loss. That is why change is so feared, so disliked, so distrusted — the loss.

I think the term comes from God be with you….God bye….Goodbye. It was a blessing once. It can be a blessing still. It’s a salutation to send someone or something out into the universe with care. With love. With longing. It is, however, an ending, a parting, a disconnect.

Hearing that ‘I hate goodbyes’ drives me a little nutty. Who likes them? At least when they happen. We may look back on them with deep breaths and relieved sighs, but not in the thick of the first utterance. We must remember that a goodbye is not required. It is not owed – to you or by you. It is a tool, a marker, a note for a moment in time, a glimpse before a turning, a word before none. It is not a goodbye that changes anything. It is what happens after.

I have had goodbyes and I have had great loss without them. They haven’t changed anything. Their absence hasn’t changed anything. They haven’t eased the feelings, nor have the ones spoken brought me any comfort.

I do not hate goodbyes. I do not feel I am owed a goodbye, from anyone, for anything. Their goodbyes are not for me, just as mine are not for them. Like a funeral is not for the one who has passed, the goodbye is for those who are still here.

If you need a word to capture the space before the change, you have it. Embrace it. It’s not the goodbye you hate, it’s what is coming. The change, the silence, the grief, the loss, the unknown.

The goodbye is the blessing.

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Here’s more on the Creative Writing Challenge

Photos of the boys

Oh the trauma of taking pictures of the little people in my life. We didn’t try very hard tonight. None of us were all that into it. They were more interested in soaking each other on the trampoline….in their clothes. I was more interested in – them listening to me. They won.

Here are a couple of salvaged pictures – nothing is edited (minus the one I turned grey). They are getting too big too fast – my normal complaint. Ugh. At least they have clothes on. Those who know us personally will truly know what I mean by that.

Jack – 8 years old (9 in 2 months), Alex – 7 and a half, Charlie – 5 years old.

hug....denied.

hug….denied.

the middle one holds the two ends together.

the middle one holds the two ends together.

Jack, Alex + Charlie

Jack, Alex + Charlie

Charlie of the Corn

Charlie of the Corn

That's my Goph

That’s my Goph

Jack of the Corn

Jack of the Corn

By forever baby

My forever baby

Alex

Alex

Jack

Jack

nope...everyone can NOT look at the same time.

nope…everyone can NOT look at the same time.

tower.

tower.

faces any mother would love.

faces any mother would love.