Parenting

Coloring In Christmas With My Favorite Things

  Raindrops on rooftops and polka dot mittens Bright lights that flicker and Big Momma’s kitchen Brown chorus angels whose robes look like wings These are a few of my favorite things. Buttermilk cornbread and crisp chicken drumsticks Hotels with stairwells and greens that are handpicked Wildflowers that spread in dry deserts I’ve seen These […]

A Dark Postpartum Night

  It’s the nights I dread most. An hour after midnight, my husband–who’s been with baby in the nursery since 10 p.m.– opens the door, enters our bedroom, and gently shakes my foot to wake me up. But I’m already awake. I’m always awake. The baby is crying as if he hadn’t just eaten a […]

Being Gentle With My Limited Bandwidth

The biology professor ahead of me is loping down the hall with a coffee mug in hand. I follow him into the administration wing, down a flight of stairs to the coffee maker. Before he reaches it, I make a comment that once again I’m grabbing a Styrofoam cup. “Don’t judge me!” I plead. He […]

It Takes Faith to Limbo

I was very flexible when I was young. Limbo was a party game that seemed to happen often, and I prided myself on how good I was at it. I could sashay under that pole with the best of them. Recently, I tried to limbo again, but my middle-aged body sounded its alarm alerting me […]

Solitude: To Hear God I Have to Get Past My Own Junk

“Solitude is a crucible” my friend preaches. She’s paraphrasing Henri Nouwen from Way of the Heart, who calls solitude a “furnace of transformation.” The kind of solitude I imagine, a span of time spent outdoors, is compelling. But I’m about to realize that another kind of solitude I experience every day I often avoid. Finishing […]

A Mutt, a Boxing Ring, and a Fight for Forgiveness

“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb…. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in […]

When God Talks to Me at the Pool

God talks to me at the pool. During seasons when I think He’s stopped trying to speak to me, it is in the middle of splashing water and the scent of chlorine while the sun beats down on my skin hot, warming me from the inside out that I catch my breath, wondering if that […]

Mothering in Black, White and Red

When I was very small, my mom only bought me black baby dolls because she wanted to do right by me.  She was familiar with the studies where little brown girls reject black baby dolls and she wanted to be sure, as a white mother of brown daughters, that she was raising my sister and […]

No One Belongs Here More Than You

The first sofa we had was purchased before we were married. We had been dating for well over a year and I helped him pick it out at a “real” furniture store. It was a light khaki colored canvas sofa, loveseat, and ottoman set. Oversized and soft, it enveloped us as we sat on it […]

5 Dos and Don’ts of Foster Parenting

This is not a heady article written by people with thirty years’ foster parenting experience. It’s a piece written by a former foster child with 14 years’ experience, from 4 years old to 18. It’s directed more at foster parents of preschoolers and older. I’m writing out of my own journey through broken family, trauma, […]

Learning To Love

I wasn’t sure I should write this or even if I could write it. There are others more equipped with deep wisdom and understanding. And after all, any time the hearts and souls of vulnerable individuals are at stake, taking a humble, learning stance is always preferable. I am still in the midst of growing […]

I am the Proud Mother of 49

Each morning I was greeted with lots of hugs. Little arms wrapped themselves around my waist and squeezed tight. Swarms of them came at once, their sweet voices proclaiming, “Good morning, Auntie!” One morning, as Mwikali moved in for her embrace, she peered up at me from under the folds of my t-shirt. Her big […]