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yes is a worldI’ve sat down to write at least half a dozen times this week, and I’ve started about a half dozen posts (well, the same post, a half dozen times.) When I said last week that writing again was like a (re)birth, I didn’t realize how right I was, in so many other ways. It’s not like you just pop out a baby and everything unfolds easily and organically thereafter. Tending to babies – real babies, word babies, any kind of babies – is hard. It requires attention and focus and involves a lot of sleeplessness. There’s a long, drawn-out analogy between the sleeplessness that comes with tending to word babies and the sleeplessness that comes with tending to real babies (you lay awake waiting for them to cry out for you! you go to them in the wee hours, because if that’s when they need your care, that’s when they need it!) that I came up with at about 2am yesterday, but I’ll spare you.

In any case, I’ve wanted to write about why I spent three-quarters of a year not writing, but the right words just aren’t coming. I’ve also wanted to write about other things, but there’s this part of my psyche that’s stuck on explaining (I think to myself, more than to an audience) why I wasn’t writing before I actually do more writing, which, you’ll recognize, is a trap. So I made a promise to myself that if I couldn’t write about not writing by the end of the week, I’d write anyway, in the easiest possible way, which is to say: I’d make another list. Easiest list to do? Same list that I did last week, which comes with added bonus of compelling me to reflect upon happiness and joy and all the reasons why life is good, even if it doesn’t always feel that way, exactly.

So. This week in joy, or, at least, in mild to moderate gratitude that things don’t entirely suck:

1) New books. Who needs meditation when there are book stores?

books in the window

(Yes, I know that I don’t really need to read Jaron Lanier’s book to know who owns the future. Cats do, obviously. But it was recommended to me, so.)

2) Reading books that are totally unlikely material for children, to children. Emilia and I are reading Aron Ralston’s Between A Rock And A Hard Place together (it’s the book upon which the movie 127 Hours is based. You know, the one about the guy who got his hand caught under a boulder and cut off his arm to escape? That one.) I’d mentioned the story to her as a cautionary tale, while we were boulder scrambling in Joshua Tree, and she demanded to know more. And seeing as neither she nor I have the intestinal fortitude for the movie (well, she probably does, but she’s eight), we decided to read the book. She now knows more about tourniquets than any eight year old probably should, but still. It’s a good story. And if I ever need someone to amputate my arm, she’ll be able to help.

3) NPR’s April Fools prank. I hate April Fools pranks, but I love NPR for doing this one.

4) 18 Days of Grandma. This is what Emilia is calling the impending visit from my mom, who arrives this weekend. It goes without saying that there’s a list associated with 18 Days of Grandma, outlining all of the things that we will do during the 18 Days of Grandma. I will publish that list. After I publish this list.

5) Plotting with friends. It wouldn’t be plotting if I shared it, which, in any case, I can’t and I won’t. I will say, though, that I am blessed to know some amazing people who are full of ideas and full of the spirit to act on those ideas.

6) The desert. I don’t know what I’m going to do when it’s too hot to go to the desert. I will miss it like I miss a friend. It’s where we’ve found ourselves. Figuratively, and literally: Jasper likes to disappear up hills and behind rocks and he can get very pissed when you follow him too closely, because, as he says, he likes “TO GET LOST MOMMY SO DON’T ALWAYS FOLLOW ME.” So, yes: the desert is the place of our lostness and our foundness, and all of the awesome of both those conditions.

Jasper at Red Rock

It’s also where one of us might lose an arm one day, but, hey, at least we’ll be prepared.

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Be The Conversation You Want To See In The World

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It was right there at the top of my personal inbox this afternoon. A Dropbox file, shared by my friend David Wescott, with this note attached: As you may know, Gloria Steinem is 80 years old today. I thought it might be nice to share a recording of the conversation you had with her a [...]

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This One Goes Out To The Mom I Love (Yes, Mom. That’s You.)

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Dear Mom, Thank you. You’re rolling your eyes at me as I say that, I know. Oh, honey, you’re saying. We’ve had this conversation a thousand times since I became a mother myself, and it has always plays out in exactly the same way. Thank you, thank you, I didn’t know, I couldn’t know, how [...]

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Cinderella Wore Crocs

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The thing that I’ve always loved most about the story of Cinderella is the shoes. The prince is fine, of course, as is the magical pumpkin-carriage and the fairy godmother and the castle and the happily-ever-after. But fairy tales are full of happily-ever-afters. And they all have magic and castles and, usually, princes of some sort [...]

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Seven Things I Learned On My Winter Vacation

January 11, 2013

Oh, hey. Remember me? I used to post to this blog. I haven’t posted since last year, which sounds terrible when you say it out loud, but of course it’s only been eleven days since last year, so it’s not that bad, really, until you realize that eleven days (plus whatever number days passed between [...]

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Why I’m Not Talking To My Kids About Sandy Hook

December 17, 2012

I did not tell my children about Sandy Hook. I did not tell my children about Sandy Hook because, look: I don’t want to talk about Sandy Hook with my children. I don’t want to talk about Sandy Hook, at all. To anybody. Unless, that is, it’s to a gun rights advocate who is insisting [...]

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A List Is A Wish The Left Side Of Your Brain Makes

October 22, 2012

So, this happened. TIME named this blog to its list of the 25 best blogs of 2012. Which, yes, I am totally bragging about, because I can. And because blogging for me has, this year, been a little bit harder than it has in previous years, and this feels all the sweeter for coming on [...]

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What Odysseus, Roosevelt, And My Four Year Old Have In Common

September 7, 2012

Today was Jasper’s first day of school. Pre-K, but still. It counts. Sure, they’re all super tiny and barely able to carry their own backpacks, and they’ll likely not be doing much more than finger-painting and eating glue, but they’re at school. It’s almost heartbreaking, really, the way that their smallness is such that they [...]

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iPads In Paradise (Or, Kids Destroy The Darndest Things)

September 4, 2012

This is one of the pool areas of the Azul Beach Resort on the Mayan Riviera. To say that it’s beautiful is to understate things dramatically. It’s BEAUTIFUL, in a way that you can only express in italicized capital letters. That said, if you’re a kid – specifically, an eleven or twelve year old kid [...]

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Sparkles And Glitter And Other Things Little Boys Are Made Of

August 16, 2012

Jasper likes dresses. Princess dresses, mostly, but sometimes also fairy dresses, and tutus. He also likes toenail polish, and wigs, and my high heels. He has always liked these things. I’ve never questioned his liking these things – these so-called ‘girly’ things – because Emilia has always liked ‘boy’ things, and it’s always just seemed [...]

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