I love my children. I loved them at first sight of those two little pink lines. And when they were born, I didn’t think I could possibly love them more. But I do. My love for them grows right along with them. The bigger they get, the more history we have, the deeper our relationship becomes. But all the while, physically, they’re moving away. They’ve gone from my womb to my breast, from my arms to my side, and as time moves on, from my home out into the world. I’ve known this is how it goes from the start, but I’ve never understood it like I do now, as Jack – my last baby – slips off my lap to run off and away. So I hold on.

“Oh! Oh, no! Where are you going?”

He gently pulls away and his arm slips slowly from my grasp.

“Jack! Jack!! Don’t go!” I plead.

He steps away and tosses a coy, over-the-shoulder glance my way.


He smiles slyly.

“Don’t go!”

And he pads away.

I am dejected, despondent, and forlorn.

He peeks from around the corner and is delighted.

“Oh, he’s gone!” I sob.

Suddenly, he bursts back into the room and runs at me with arms open. “Mama!” he sings.

I am jubilant! I scoop him up and hug him tight. “You’re back! Oh, you’re back! I’m so happy you’re back!”

He hugs me back. Then he giggles and begins to pull away and we do it all again. And again. Sometimes again and again. It’s good for at least three extra hugs.

Jack is my last baby. I’m taking all I can get.

Jack isn’t feeling well. He’s got a sore throat and a cough.

Jack has a sore throat and cough

At first glance, this picture doesn’t appear to demonstrate that. However, you should consider that this was happening next to him.

Painting her feet

Painting her hands

Painting "creeping steps"


Jump painting!

And he didn’t want to participate.

But watching this kid –

Painted feet

– sure made him feel better.

Apple Peanut Butter Smile



I was spreading the quilt over the bed when Phoebe noticed dust dancing in the early morning sunlight coming through the window.

*Cue “Morning Has Broken” by Cat Stevens*

“Look at that,” she gasped, watching with wonder as she passed her hand through it.

“Shoo! Shoo!” Jackson giggled, waving his hands wildly at the particles.

I smiled at them, remembering the joy both Lucy and Julia experienced when they first discovered the “fairies.”

“I know what these are, Mom,” she said solemnly.

“You do?”

“They’re the dust people.”

“The dust people,” I repeated.

“They take you through the portal to the place where you’re dead.”

*record scratch*

There isn’t a bit of clothing on him that didn’t belong to someone else first – from his thrift store coat to his sister’s old pink boots.

Jack in the snow

He doesn’t seem to mind at all. (For now.)

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