Tag Archives: joy

Kicking back

A year ago, a Sunday afternoon in April, I was relaxed and kicking back with my little one asleep in my lap.  My big girl was laughing in the yard and I wondered if it was as good as it was ever going to get.

This afternoon I started to have that same feeling again.  Lucy Goose was down for the count.
As is normal for a Sunday afternoon Emily was outside, soaking up some sunshine. I sat down.  Breathe in.  Breathe out.  This morning’s service at our Unitarian Universalist church was about Joy.  I don’t have any trouble finding Joy.  But I struggle with relaxing.  I am in constant motion.  Breathe in. Breathe out.  I decided I would paint my toe nails.  Maybe even read a book.  I was going to relax.

Check once more on the little one.  Still asleep.  Pop outside and check on the big one.  Painting a birdhouse on the front deck.  I suggested she paint the bird house in the yard.  “It is just so easy to spill, Em.  I know you are careful.  But why don’t you take your paints out in the yard?”  Reluctantly, she agreed.

Now where was I?  Relaxing, right?  I am gonna do this up right.  I was going to actually take off the old toenail polish, a luxury in the life of the stay at home mother.  Gone are the days I would soak my toes in hot, soapy water.  Cuticles were trimmed, nails trimmed and freshly polished weekly.  These days I slap on some new polish over the old stuff.  90 seconds, start to finish.

Nail polish remover.   Have you ever called out to a friend “Be careful the sidewalk is icy!” and in that very moment slipped on the ice on your stairs and fallen? No?  That’s only me?  I spilled the nail polish remover all over the kitchen table.  I wiped it up.  I cleaned it up.  I willed it to be Fine.  Sigh.  It was not fine.  At all.  I’d have preferred to have birdhouse paint on the front porch, thankyouverymuch.


I’ll just sand the table really fast.  A quick coat of water-based poly.  It will dry in two hours.  Sand.  Another coat.  Dry two hours.  Sand, bring it inside, and one more coat and… table will be fine by lunch time tomorrow.



Toes are painted.  I need to hurry up and relax.  Nap time is almost over.  Dammit.  I need to get better at this relaxing.  I have Joy pegged.  I am a pro at Joy.  Relaxing?  I need to work on that one.

Hermit Crab Love


Sleeping in her chick and bunny pajamas my little girl looks so vulnerable.  Babies, by design, are fairly dependent little creatures.  But when they are asleep I think they look like hermit crabs without their shells.  Any moment she will rise up on to her knees and crawl in to a painted shell.  She will cling to the side of a cage in the hopes that a 9-year-old girl on vacation will pick her to take home.

I watch my hermit crab baby sleeping and I think about how lucky I am. I watch my big girl ride down the street on her bicycle and I think about how quickly the time goes by.   Almost 18 years ago I met a boy in a bar and then it turned out he was the cook at the restaurant where I got my first job as a bartender.  Ten years after that my wondrous Emily June came in to my life.  I moved to Chapel Hill and got reacquainted with some old friends who happened to meet a boy at a dog park.  A year after that I needed a smile and they sent me out to dinner with that boy from the dog park.  He became the man that would be by my side forever.  I dreamt of the little boy that would join our family.  And that little boy was Lucy Quinn. (!)

The world is so huge.  Today’s challenge reminds us that there is 1 chance in 89 billion that life would have involved into mankind. There is 1 chance in 6 billion that your parents would have met. The book reminds us that we are all lucky to be here and suggests we show “cosmic humility.”

I am surrounded by reminders of cosmic humility.  My three biggest reminders are walking, breathing, loving examples of luck.  I want to believe that my children chose me.  I want to believe that MQD is my soul mate.  But in my heart of hearts I know that it was chance.  In this great big, huge world these three are mine.  They flesh out the living, breathing organism that is my house, my family, me.

Today I am in awe.  Cosmic humility doesn’t even start to sum it up.