Tag Archives: mothering

chainmail made of lace

Day 130

photo by Michelle Johnsen

photo by Michelle Johnsen

Some days I am consumed with wanting,

overcome with a love so strong it pricks my eyes with tears and tightens my throat.

This boy, my son. His cousin, my nephew.

They are perfect. Their eyes sparkle and their laughter loosens all the too tight things in this world.

They please the Gods.

I just know it.

And I




for them.

I want it so bad it makes my palms itch, makes my skin crawl,

leaves me breathless.

I want a world perfect for them.

Clean air, clean water, clean soil, clean food.

Kind people, many friends, laughing faces, love.

Hope, happiness, peace.

I want them to run wild,

climb high trees,

drink water while swimming.

I want them to carry the smell of sunlight and wood smoke in their hair, on their skin.

I want them to know their people, to be confident and secure,

shoulders back, heads high.

To be sure the world is good,

ordered in a magic way,

in the Old Way.

I just want it.

I want things to be right.

And you know what kills me?

What crumbles me,

squeezes my heart like a shiny, steel vise?

Is that no matter how much I wish,

or how much I want,

it doesn’t change anything.

They will still have their challenges.

Zander will have to work to read faces, make friends, make sense of a mixed up world,

Revie will have to learn to protect his soft heart, recognize the battles he can win and those he can’t.

And that’s the thing about mothering no one tells you.

That one day, you will send your small children out into a world,

that is big, and scary, and unknown,

and the only armor you will be allowed to give them,

is a lifetime of your own love,

wrapped around them and woven,

like chainmail made of lace.

Will it stop bullets? Or broken hearts?

But this must be every mother’s, and father’s,

and person’s challenge,

regardless of the state of the world, the purity of the water, the health of the planet.

To balance worry and wanting with

a willingness to do the work of

actually changing the world.

I’d make a deal with the devil

if I thought it would make things right.

But there is no devil to fall back on.

Just very, very good people,

working very, very hard.

I always think that if I died right now,

my greatest achievement would be having loved a few people

very, very much

with each cell of my being.

And that even if I live to be one hundred,

that would be enough.

The loving.

That is always enough.

Because when it comes right down to it,

what else is there?

I love you.

I am sorry.

Thank you.

Please forgive me.

Thank you for listening,



photo by Michelle Johnsen

photo by Michelle Johnsen


To my mother on my birthday

Day 61

31 years ago you went to bed.

Sometime, in the middle of the night, your stomach muscles must have tightened with the first of the rippling contractions that would bring me into this world.

Were you scared I wonder? Or did you feel like a warrior readying for battle, gathering your strength, breathing deeply, laser focus, centered, ready.

3 years you waited for me, hoping and praying, dreaming of babies wrapped in white blankets, tiny booties on their feet. The doctors told you there was really no chance. Scarring, they said, of the fallopian tubes, caused by a childhood sickness maybe, a high fever.

“It was the best day.” you’ve told me many times, “the day we found out we were pregnant with you.”

“I walked miles and miles that summer.” you’ve said, “with a hand on my belly, talking to you, telling you of my love for you, how excited we were to meet you, to have you, to hold you. Thanking God for you. ”

You nursed me well into childhood. I can remember curling into your lap, playing with the chain around your neck. I remember weaning too, “this tastes like strawberries. ” I said, ready to be big, ready to move to the next phase of our relationship, ready to pass my “mee-mees” to my little sister, recently born.

You stayed home with us, a constant and comforting presence in our lives. Made breakfast in the morning, toast, and orange juice, cereal and milk. We actually ate at our small kitchen table every night, you and dad at either end, me and sis in the middle, talking, laughing, fighting, loving.

You read us books for hours on end. One winter, in the small bedroom my sister and I shared, with the twin beds pushed together,  we read all the Laura Ingalls Wilder books out loud. The following summer, Anne of Green Gables. Story after story of wild snow storms on the open prairie, and the racing pulses of first loves.

Eventually, you started teaching, yoga and dance. After all those years of mothering, your muscles must have itched to bend and stretch, your feet must have ached to travel across the floor. But I still wasn’t ready to let you go.

You talked loud, to your mother and grandmother on the phone. Separated by thousands of miles, those conversations must have been your lifeline, a connection to a world left behind.

There are things I couldn’t know about you, until I had a child myself. Why I see you staring at me sometimes, across the room, not speaking, a small smile on your lips. And why you find cars scary, are terrified of driving. Our small, fragile bodies were never meant to go that fast.

And now, watching you with Revel, and Zander, it all comes rushing  back. The endless patience you showed us, never raising your voice, always there with a cookie, or a hug.

I’m sorry that this world is such a hard place to live, for one so sweet, and gentle.

There are things about you I mistook for weakness; now I can see them for what they are,

your strengths.

You have loved and sheltered me all the days of my life.

Thank you.

I love you.

I’m sorry.

Please forgive me.

I love you so much mom,



i love you mom

i love you mom

revel’s new sit spot, and who is your accountability partner?

Day 52

photo by wilson alvarez

photo by wilson alvarez

We went to story time this morning instead of going for our usual walk at the park. And then we did various things inside and then we took a family nap.  So by the time we woke up at 4, Revel ran straight to the door asking to go outside.

I figured I’d bundle us up and we would head to my new sit spot, at the edge of the neighborhood, at the edge of the cemetery, next to the monsanto corn, near the singing trees.

But at the entrance of the cemetery, Revel, cozy in his stroller, tiny mittens on his little hands, burst into tears. So I stopped and hugged and kissed him, and asked him a bunch of questions like, “do you want to get out?”, and “Do you want some milkies?” and “Are you cold?” and finally realized that he wanted to go to the park with the playground, where we usually go walking in the morning. That he was trying to say he was not in the mood to go with me to my spot.

And then I realized that Revel has his OWN spot, it’s the park where we go walking, and that’s where he wanted me to take him.

So that’s where we went.

Revel’s spot is all vanilla skies, sandy ballfields, and open meadows. It’s where the baby groundhogs play in the spring, and where the mullberries ripen first in early summer.

It has sky-high slides, and sandy baseball diamonds, perfect for tracking. We study the marks our stomping feet leave on the ground; look at the impressions the doggies make as they chase one another and wrestle in the dust.

We lay on our bellies and look at the ants, and when the weather was warm, we practiced catching crickets. The squirrels feast on the Black Walnuts and the acorns on the edge of the fields; we watch them eating and imitate the tsk, tsk, tsk of their chewing, I instruct Revel NOT TO PUT ACORNS IN YOUR MOUTH! and he laughs and runs away, arms swinging, curls blowing in the wind.

At Revel’s spot we dig in the dirt, and poke leaves with sticks, and listen to the calls of the blue jay. We watch the way the sparrows fly to their perches when the prowling cat comes through with its’ swishing tail, and marvel at the war cries of the crows mobbing the red tail hawk. And we point to every plane in the sky.

We don’t do much sitting, unless its time for milkies, and then we pause, his cool hand brushing my warm neck, snuggled together, all hats, and scarves, coats and mittens.

At Revel’s spot we run, we jump, we sing, we PLAY.

We connect to the land with light hearts, and happy spirits.

So now I have my new sit spot, at the edge of the neighborhood, at the edge of the cemetery, near the Monsanto corn, next to the singing trees.

And Revel has his new sit spot, with vanilla skies, and  sandy ballfields, and open meadows. It’s where the baby groundhogs play in the spring, and where the mullberries ripen first in early summer.

And Wil has his new sit spot, next to the creek where the coltsfoot grows, where the yellow leaves fall like so many piles of gold.

And they’re all near our house, within walking distance, so we can go to them frequently.

And when we come home from our separate adventures we share stories, and ask questions, and describe colors, and imitate sounds. Our hands flutter like birds’ wings, our talk is loud and excited. We listen to one another.

And with cheeks still pink from the cold we look in our field guides, and identify plants, and trees, and birds, and write about them in our notebooks. And we show Revel all the pictures so he can start to recognize the patterns; of the bark, of the feathers, of the deer tracks.

Revel and Wil are my accountability partners. They motivate me to see more, watch more, become more aware. So that even if it’s cold, or raining, even if I’m tired, or sad, or cranky, I want to go outside, find treasures to share with them, find stories I know they will delight in.

photo by Michelle J.

photo by Michelle J.

Identify your accountability partner or partners. Tell them they are important to you, ask them if they’ll embark on this magnificent journey with you.

And in this way our sit spots will not only allow us to connect to our landbase,

but to one another too.

And that’s how the culture of rebellion will continue to grow, and grow.

And, of course, we will continue to encourage, and inspire, and connect with one another through this project, through this blog, and through this amazing web.

Thank you for doing this with me.


Thank you for listening,



photo by Michelle J.

photo by Michelle J.

Change the blueprint

Day 42

photo by Wil

photo by Wil


patriarchy [ˈpeɪtrɪˌɑːkɪ]

n pl -chies

1. (Sociology) a form of social organization in which a male is the head of the family and descent, kinship, and title are traced through the male line
2. (Sociology) any society governed by such a system

Revel, Wil, and I were witness  to 2 acts of blatant homophopia and sexism before 11 o’clock this morning.

We were waiting for a table at our favorite diner. A man and his partner saw a family they knew as they were leaving the restaurant. One of the men came over and gave one of the guys waiting a big hug, and jokingly ended up sitting on his lap for a second.  Everyone laughed and chatted for a minute, and the man and his partner left.

“I work with him” the guy who had received the hug explained to his family. Then he said, “That was his boyfriend.” in a voice dripping with sarcasm. “I DID NOT enjoy that hug AT ALL, not AT ALL.” he said emphatically. And the rest of his family laughed and made snide remarks about what a start to his day, wow you can’t catch a break this morning etc., etc.

Blatant homophobia.

Then we went to Goodwill to hunt for second-hand treasures. I found a vest for Revel, and Wil found a pair of sweet shoes. Then Revel and I went over to the toy section to see if there was anything fun to play with.

Revel immediately picked up a baby doll, started hugging and kissing it and carrying it around the store.

We bumped into a nice woman who cooed over how cute Revel was, and then remarked in an offhand manner “Oh, I’m sure his Daddy just LOVES that he’s carrying that DOLL around.”

And I said, “Actually he does love him carrying this doll around.” and her face shut down and we went our separate ways.

Blatant sexism. With maybe a little homophobia mixed in. And all before 11 o’clock AM.

Just a little reminder that the patriarchy is alive and well.

When I talk about the patriarchy I am talking about our civilization at large, a culture of destruction that was born when we turned our backs on the landbase, and severed our ties with the creation-force that is mother earth.

The patriarchy was born when we stopped seeing the earth as alive, stopped seeing her awesome female-ness, and started seeing her in pieces, pieces to be parceled out to the highest bidder, in board feet, and crude oil, and water, packaged and sold for profit.

And because our relationship with the great mother is our blueprint for our relationships with ALL mothers, we forgot women were alive and started to see them as peices as well, parts to be sold to the highest bidder. As wives, as servants, as slaves, as breasts, lips, vaginas, and legs.

But the Patriarchy makes many others into commodities as well. Poor people, people who have beautiful brown skin, people who do not speak english, people who love someone of their own gender, people who do not identify with any gender. Handicapped people, sensitive people, people who refuse to follow the leader , and children are all thrown together in a clump to be used and abused and controlled.

And although the patriarchy is run by only a select few- the richest, and whitest, and most male, and most powerful among us- we have become so mixed up, and confused, and lost that we perpetuate the Patriarchy ourselves, with jokes, and biases, and bullying, and secret segregation.

And there’s so much fear, and hate just floating around.

And here I am, just trying to raise my precious son.

My beautiful boy who laughs in his sleep and cries when the game ends, who talks to trucks, and trees, AND people,

Who blows kisses to mailboxes, and hugs his friends, and snuggles his mama.

Who plays with cars, and babydolls, and sticks, and rocks.

Who admires the sequiny-sparkly girls shoes in stores, and wants to wear his cousin’s fireman costume to the playground.

Wil and I are his parents, he is of us, and lives with us, but he is not us.

He is Revel.

And Wil and I are responsible for keeping him safe, and loving him, and modeling empathy, and sympathy, and cooperation, and teaching him the things we know.

But the biggest challenge will be letting him be himself, helping him find his own way, allowing him to explore and experiment with the things that speak to him in this world.

And that’s why I want to topple this patriarchy and help people reconnect the land, to the great mother that is our earth.

People should be free to love who they love, to be who they are. If we repair our relationship with the planet, we can change the blueprint for ALL of our relationships.

We can put the pieces back together so we’re not just labor, or legs, or breasts, or crude oil, or board feet.

We can become whole again.

And I’m trying to promise myself that the next time I hear people laughing and making snide remarks about someone who is gay, or a woman, or native american, or poor, I’ll say something straight to their faces.

Because we need to take equality out of the realm of theory and into the streets.

Into our schools, and restaurants, and churches, and neighborhoods.

And it’s up to us to make that happen.

Thank you for listening,



photo by Michell J.

photo by Michell J.

Thank you to my strong, and inspiring, and brilliant sister Cheryl A. for your bold and honest guest piece tonight. Here’s to breaking the chains!!!

CHARACTERS: Me, My Roaring Lion, Poor Unfortunate Peace

My reason for starting writing this is simple; I refuse to continue living as a self-destructive individual!!!

photo by cheryl

photo by cheryl

When I say self-destructive, I’m talking deep down at the core of my spirit, where in attendance is a component of my soul, so essential, I have become immortal without it. Regrettably, it has been silenced by the thunderous roars of the Lion’s character I have taken on in its place.

“Oh, peaceful part of my soul to which is imprisoned by fear, hush your anticipation of release, for it will not come to pass.”

In the darkest hours, when wolves have laid their weary heads to rest, glimpses of harmony dance subtlety through my dreams. As a short lived waltz wreaks havoc to my slumber, sweat distributes itself without discrimination, evidence of sorrows conquered by shame, result in wakeful trembles.

The entirety of me, all that I am and inspire to be, am not capable enough to detain the Lion for extinction. Truth be told; where there is no Lion, I am exposed and defenseless, fragile and susceptible to unfamiliar inhabitants.

Perspective!!! Simple yet appropriate, a declaration to me, myself, and poor unfortunate peace, proclaiming a promise to set in motion a battle so fierce, existence thereafter will without a doubt be advantageous. In the same breath, with the same eyes, and all the apprehension which encompasses them, I bid adu to the Almighty Lion….

“Dear old friend, you are no longer welcome to operate as a protector to me, for I am no longer in need of immeasurable barbed wire fences.”

Rather than suffer heartache I formed YOU for protection, but the truth of the matter is that you have caused ME more sorrow by way of others tears, than vulnerability would have been capable of.

I fed you, when my family was hungry, nurtured you while those who love me, cried out for reciprocation. I followed YOU into the darkest valleys, despite the deafening cries from the mountain of clarity.

“I say unto you with peace, rest now old friend you have served your purposed.”

I will be bound by the security blanket of chains no more!!! Perhaps I will set course toward the whisper of Poor Unfortunate Peace. I will do so by placing one foot in front of the other.

I am fearless by my determination, unyielding to fear. I am an undefined someone with a purpose bestowed upon me by that which is superior to Webster…

photo by cheryl

photo by cheryl

yes, it’s a huge commitment

Day 33

Revel is restless tonight, running a low fever. Nothing serious, teething maybe, but he wants to be held by his mama even while he sleeps.

It makes writing this challenging, and frustrating.

“That’s the problem.” Wil said, “with writing everyday. It’s a huge commitment.”

And then we looked at each other like, duh, and said “but that’s the point isn’t it?”

Yes it is a huge commitment writing everyday. Yes it is hard to find the time. Yes it means that I’m usually up until 1 or 2 in the morning after a long day of mothering, and taking care, and loving, and living.

Yes it is a huge commitment living in mourning everyday, thinking about what we’re losing, letting myself finally be heartbroken over all of it. My temper is short at times, and sometimes I’m insanely sad.

Yes it is a huge commitment standing in solidarity with the others who are fighting. Finding who and what I stand with, writing to them, spending time with them, learning about them, fighting with them.

And yes, it is a huge commitment finding ways to rebel each day, living in a tiny house, growing food in our garden, learning the Old Ways skills, finding ways to rage against and tear down the culture of destruction we’re locked in.

Yes, it is difficult, and unprecedented, to need to find a way to separate from the culture we were born into.

Yes all of this is a huge commitment. But that’s the point.

That no matter how tough, and uncomfortable, and frustrating, and unfamiliar this all might be,

And maybe BECAUSE this is tough, and uncomfortable, and frustrating, and unfamiliar,

my resolve grows stronger each day.

I am finding my voice, finding my legs, finding my courage.

I will do whatever it takes.

And that, oh  that, makes my heart incredibly happy.

Thank you for listening,



Our guest post tonight is from Wilson, my amazing husband you hear so much about, fellow activist, and teacher. He designed a  patch for “The Year of Black Clothing: in mourning, in solidarity, in rebellion” movement.

Like the cut on the back of a motorcycle jacket, or the flag of a nation,

a clear and recognizable logo can help to identify and unify a group of people.

If this project resonates with you, and you want to show your support,

or you’re participating in the movement yourself, by wearing black, by mourning, by standing in solidarity, and by rebelling,

We invite you to print out this design, iron it onto an old shirt, and make your own patch out of it.

Pin it to your sleeve, over your heart, on your jeans, or to the front of your bag.

Mourn, stand, rebel.

“Ancient legends say that mourning doves are prophets bringing messages of wisdom to humankind: Mourn what has passed but awaken to the promise of the future.”       

-Julia Hughes Jones

rebel logo

The mourning dove is a close relative of the late Passenger Pigeon.

Afterwards, there will be action.

Day 28

photo by Michelle J.

photo by Michelle J.

We walked around one of my favorite places on the planet today.

Just a small spot, in a small park, but it means the world to me.

I’ve spent many, many hours there over the years, hearing the songs of the birds, observing the patterns of the deer, and learning to recognize tree bark by touch.

It’s where I feel most like myself.

Wild, free,

animal me.

We took Revel there for the first time today, and I swear,

oh I swear,

the Sycamores leaned in just a little closer to get a look at my boy,

and I could feel them smiling

to see an old friend and her new family.

Because that’s the way it’s always been.

The mamas and the papas sharing this beautiful world with the little ones.

photo by Michelle J.

photo by Michelle J.

And the trees still expect it,

Expect to go on enjoying these relationships with their kin.


it doesn’t happen so much anymore.

People are just too busy. Too mean. Too sad. Too lonely. Too dead inside

To uphold the old relationships that used to mean so much.

And I mourn for that. Oh God, how I grieve.

I’m so sorry we’ve forgotten how we’re supposed to take care of the land, and be kind to one another, and how we’ve forgotten how spectacularly beautiful this world is.

I’m so sorry we’ve broken up the bedrock with chemicals to extract fossil fuels, and we’ve warmed up the planet so it’ s too hot for the fish, and we’ve poisoned the bees and the birds, and we’ve destroyed the Gorillas’ habitat.

I’m so sorry we’ve killed the indigenous people, and enslaved children, and abused women, and murdered each other.

We forgot how it was supposed to go. We forgot to take care of everyone. We forgot that everything is alive. We forgot.

We forgot. We forgot. We forgot.

And oh, God, I grieve.

And I need to let myself feel this marrow-deep sadness.

And I need to not have people tell me it’s all ok.

And I need to not have people try to cheer me up.

It’s not OK.

It’s not OK that we forgot.

But I think the first step to remembering,

is admitting that we all feel the loss.

That we’re not all crazy, and anxious, and depressed because of chemical imbalances,

but because we are all feeling the pain

of all the things we have forgotten.

We have to admit something is wrong before we can make it right.

And we’re all bouncing around between the five stages of mourning.

1. Denial and Isolation

2. Anger

3. Bargaining

4. Depression

5. Acceptance

But there’s no end to this grief. Time cannot heal, because the losses just keep coming. Poisoned water. Poisoned air. Poisoned soil. Poisoned food. So we’re stuck in kind of a grief purgatory. Because we just can’t accept that all this loss is OK.

But then I was talking to Wil about this, and he said,

“well, what if we change the last one, acceptance, to something else? Maybe acceptance doesn’t really work for earth grief, because we can never really accept what is happening on this planet right now, because it’s NOT OK.

What if we turn acceptance into ACTION instead?”

So then the stages of grief would read:

1. Denial and Isolation

2. Anger

3. Bargaining

4. Depression

5. Action

Ah. Ah-ha!

Suddenly, we’re not bouncing around in this grief with no end in sight. There’s movement, there’s a progression of emotion. Something to work towards.


We don’t have to accept.

We can change the stages.

Let yourself grieve, let yourself mourn.

Because afterwards,

there will be


Thank you for listening,



The guest post tonight comes from someone very close to my heart. A young woman whose tenacity, bravery, and zest for life is an inspiration for us all. Thank you Amanda R. for your heartbreaking words. Thank you so much for speaking your truth. Perhaps it will pave the way for others to share theirs.

“my mother called me today
22 years ago she gave me the gift of conscious experience
she tells me my grandfather reminded her
that it was my birthday
and hands the phone off to her boyfriend jerry
to sing me a slurred birthday symphony
where he changes the 2nd chorus to say
he wished he could meet me
i laugh uncomfortably
as my mother takes the phone again
to express to me painfully and distantly
that she loves and misses me
her voice echoes in chambers of my head
bouncing off memory banks
delicate with reminiscence
of the bouncy spirited woman
with the heart of a warrior
i knew when i was young
too young to know how to be strong on my own
in the face of adversity
she was the flame of resilience
of persistence and courage
in the shadow of misfortune
i thought
these days
sometimes i think
maybe i was wrong
but mostly i still believe
i have this subtle underlying feeling
always nagging to remind me
that there was a time
that her love was stronger than her ailments
and her heart beat was more powerful
than all the strikes thrown by any offense
i remember
the feeling
remember recognizing the profound bravery
finding its way to the surface
in the everyday quarrels
of domestic dysfunction
i remember her smiling
a smile warm and genuine
even though she had been in pain
remember wondering
how she had done it
how she could find light
through everything
i realize i can hear her
still on the line
going on about child support, jerry,
and other buzzed reports of drifting thoughts
i pull myself from the depths of
and try and make coherent conversation
sometimes succeeding and having
somewhat of a satisfying relation
but most times listening as blips of muddled thoughts
are recklessly cast my way
i find myself
more often than not
coming up with an excuse
to get off the phone
and the line
which stretches wide over years and miles
and connects me to her
falls out of service
and into a poor connection
somewhere along the way
i hang up
and sigh
as i channel the feelings
of vitality, endurance, and courage
the mother i once knew
established in me
she may have forgotten
may have lost the spring which zips life
into recoiling
given up after her children grew old enough
to stand up, fall down, and adapt for themselves
lost the fierce lust it takes
to push yourself through the pain in order to grow again
so if she did
she did
i’ll continue to listen
to her tomfoolery
these days
exchanging vacant prattle
of this and that
and give to her
the earnest and persistent
that all those years ago
she showed me
was more powerful
than anything else”
I wrote this poem a couple months ago.
& Tonight, I couldn’t sleep.
I laid in bed struggling to feel peace,
My chest tight with grief.
Because some days, no matter how old or strong you are..
You just want your mommy.
I recalled this poem, & made a connection.
my mother
was abused & mistreated for too long
my mother
HURTS everyday
she might never be the same
she is still here
she just needs to heal.
OUR Mother
is mistreated, abused, exploited, and molested
I sent the original poem
to my brother & sister
they cried…
of course.
its personal
the deep sorrow
the longing
of slowly losing something
I suppose this poem, in some form or another
should reach all of us
because afterall
we are all children
born into a family
of dysfunction
we all watched as the Mother we so loved
as a curious, wild eyed children
was harmed
right in front of us
we’ve felt helpless
we’ve felt angry
we’ve felt a heartbreak
like no other
because She
in all her radiant beauty and abundance
and she didn’t deserve it.
my mother
is a lesson
the illness she feels
is real
her loss of clarity & vitality
from years of dishonor
of corruption
only shadows
that of Our Mothers
decades, centuries
of ill-treatment
she is trying
but she is tired
and we have to help her
we have to love her
like she did us
and unconditional
i, for one,
do not want to perpetuate the cycle of abuse
it stops here.
fellow children,
brothers and sisters
we can be the beginning
we can be different
we can be the generation
of regeneration
all we have to do
is find find strength in one another
and love for
our Mother.

Being a mama is a strange and beautiful sort of limbo

Day 27

photo by Michelle J.

photo by Michelle J.

Being a full time stay at home mama is a strange and beautiful sort of limbo.

For me, it feels completely timeless. I rarely look at the clock. Revel sleeps when he’s tired and we eat when we’re hungry.

He still nurses often, and whenever he wants.

My days are filled with baby hugs and sloppy, wide mouthed kisses, walks to the playground, games of peek-a-boo, and itsy bitsy spider.

We watch the bugs outside now- he notices all the crickets and grasshoppers, and the caterpillars too.

Almost everything makes him laugh. The end of anything fun makes him cry.

He loves books, and wants to read the same ones over and over again. My favorite thing is to hear the stories in Wil’s warm, familiar voice. “Red truck Can! Peek- a who? There’s a crack in the track!” over and over and over again.

Each day is remarkably the same. Comfortingly the same. Like I said, timeless.

But then, there’s also the sense of time running out, rushing along, each precious moment too short.

He’s two inches taller than he was last month! He says Dada, and Mama, and Yaaaay! in a soft and deepish voice.

He’s outgrown his shoes, and the 12 month onesies won’t snap at the bottom anymore.

He’s sturdy on his feet, and tries to climb almost anything. He notices, and points to every plane in the sky.

He brings his toys to drink milkies, holds them to my breast and makes a lip smacking sound.

I knew who he was, before he was born.

photo by Lynn Johnson

photo by Lynn Johnson

He looks at me with such love, my knees grow weak.

Because to be a mama is to live with the constant, nearly debilitating, threat of loss.

The loss of each moment. The knowing that each amazing stage is so incredibly fleeting.

And the terrorizing fear of losing your child.

To illness, to accidents, to war, to violence, to a collapsing ecosystem, to a culture hell bent on destruction.

And every passing second, every beat of his precious heart, every touch of his soft baby hand, each milky snuggle at the end of a long day,

reminds me just how high the stakes are.

Losing is not an option.

My boy, and ALL the earth’s babies deserve the best this world has to offer.

And I’m hell bent on giving them that.

I DARE you to stand in my way.

Let it be known.

Thank you for listening,



photo by Michelle Johnsen

photo by Michelle Johnsen