Month: October 2011


Most days my life trundles along feeling normal. Sometimes there are shifts which I notice, like the beginning of school, but I don’t always notice the trends in the various shifts. But life also has checkpoints, days like Halloween when I can look back through the years and see how all the little pattern shifts have carried us to a new position relative to the holiday. Time was that carving pumpkins was an all-absorbing family event where kids issued orders and I did most of the work. Today I pried lids off of pumpkins, handed over little plastic carving tools and paid no attention until Gleek and Patch summoned me to look at their finished work. Some part of me wonders if these younger two kids of mine feel the lack of a mother who is creatively engaged in the pumpkin carving process. Yet the way we handled it is perfectly in keeping with the current tenor of our lives. They made good pumpkins and all is well.

Halloween was a big deal for Howard and I when we first married. He liked playing with stage make-up and I enjoyed sewing. We had friends with similar inclinations and so there were several years of elaborate costumes. It was fun. I can flip through the scrapbooks of pictures with my handwritten notes on how the costumes were made. My enthusiasm can be read in every word. It has been years since I bothered to dress up for Halloween. The thought of dressing up still appeals, but not enough to sacrifice the time and energy necessary. Instead my creative energies are offered up on the altars of my children’s costumes…or they were. That too is shifting. Two of my kids have entered that teenage realm where the thrown together costume is often more socially acceptable than the carefully constructed one. My younger two are following suit. Halloween will change yet again. I don’t know whether we’ll circle back around to having creative energy to spend on costuming or if we’ll move onward into some new iteration of the holiday.

Later this evening I’ll accompany Patch and Gleek out into the neighborhood. I’ll be the tag along mother following behind their racing feet. As we move from house to house I will pass other parents pulling wagons, toting toddlers, or walking slowly holding a small hand. In these parents I can see my Halloweens past. Tagging along suits me right now. In the not too far future the only interaction I’ll have with trick or treat is answering the door. This middle place is a good one, but I won’t stay here long.

To Do lists, Halloween costumes, hammock chairs, and outdoor adventures

I’m sorting things and reorganizing today, not in any logical or focused fashion, but random things as I bump into them. So you get this blog post which is much like my organizational method today.


It was past noon when I first looked at my To Do list. I’d drifted my way through the morning, mostly sleeping, occasionally staring at nothing in particular as my mind turned over possible plans for the day. I opened the list in an attempt to find focus. I knew there were things to accomplish, some of them urgent, many of them order dependent, and I did not want to arrive at Monday morning to discover that my lackadaisical attitude on Saturday had gifted me with a crisis. The first thing I noticed about the list was that I had not checked off any tasks since the prior Monday. Five days where I barely even glanced at my list because I was completely occupied with a few large, urgent tasks. This cycle is normal to me. Sometimes my list is my constantly-checked lifeline. Other times I neglect it completely. I need it when I’m tracking lots of small tasks. I don’t when I’m working on a few large ones.

I re-ordered and updated the list so that it reflected a plan for next week instead of the abandoned plan for last week. The organization process is useful even when the list goes unused. Unfortunately the list did not clarify which of my possible paths for Saturday I should choose. There was the “get the car fixed” path which had me sitting in a waiting room having new tires put on the van. Then sitting in another waiting room to make sure that the van passes its safety inspection. These final two steps were the tail end of a path which began with getting the windshield replaced and turn signals fixed. I also contemplated the “get ahead on work” path which would have pinned me to my computer working layout and design. In the end I did a mix of “working on house projects,” “vacation day,” and “accomplishing odds and ends.” This was a nice shift from the driven pace of the week just passed. Most importantly, I could wander myself from task to task rather than trying to herd children into doing tasks which I was not allowed to do for them. Much nicer.


Last year I was burned out on Halloween by the second week of October. This was because I spent four intense days scrambling to make a costume for Kiki to wear to an anime convention. Kiki was grateful for my efforts, but dissatisfied with the costume. The other kids pulled their costumes together from stuff we had on hand, no effort from me, and they loved their costumes. So this year I declared a hands-off policy for me. I would render minor assistance with costumes, particularly for Patch, but beyond that they were on their own. They agreed with this plan. Kiki planned an elaborate armored costume which she intended to make out of cardboard and paper mache. Link planned to buy a Halo costume with his own money. Gleek and Patch made no particular plans. In the end Kiki found that her visions exceeded her skills. Link decided he’d rather buy a video game. Gleek created a Tiffany Aching costume which only required the purchase of a hat. Patch will be a Nac Mac Feegle, but the Halloween shopping fairy smiled upon me and let me find all the necessary props in a single store. Costuming has been remarkably stress free. Possibly because none of us had any spare stress to expend. The end of term exhausted us all.


The weather has turned brisk and my lawns are littered with leaves. It will soon be too cold to go outside and garden. The weeds in my flower beds may have to keep my flowers company this winter. Again. I did get outside long enough to shut off and drain the sprinkler system. We’re due to have two more mild days, I decided to leave my hammock swings up for those two days in the hopes that I’ll have the chance to lounge in them once more. When I bring them in, they’ll be headed to storage for months. I haven’t sat in them much this past month, but they were there. Ready. For the rest of the descent into winter, and for winter itself, I will have to find some other retreat.


Last week I came home from Antelope Island filled with the intention to get myself and my children outdoors. I scoured weather reports and thought that today would be warm enough to gather them all and go. It was warm enough, but the drive was worn out of me. I need to remember that this is not a failure. We need restful times with routine relaxation just as much as we need new and inspiring adventures. Sleep is needful. Drifting can be important. That said, I’m still watching the weather and wishing it would tell me of more warm days ahead. I shall have to find some indoor adventures I think.

Score Card for the Week

Projects completed:

Gleek’s multi-page mystery story featuring the ghost of the explorer Samuel De Champlain which needed to demonstrate the qualities of an explorer, have at least three clues, have at least three obstacles, be detailed, and typed. With a card stock cover.

Kiki’s art project for reflections which she originally envisioned as five small paintings matted together to create a single image. But then some of the details were too small for painting, it didn’t turn out how she pictured, and she decided she hated it. In the end she stayed up til 3 am the night before it was due, discarded three of the paintings to finish up the other two, and still was not happy with the result. At least it got turned in.

Gleek’s explorer board game based on the life of Samuel De Champlain. We re-purposed all the pieces from a CSI Miami board game that I found at the thrift store. There was much cutting, pasting, taping, and gluing to get everything in place.

Link’s balsa wood bridge. He did this pretty much by himself, both carefully and methodically. There was a moment of panic in the final assembly, but all turned out well.

Link’s book reports. He had to finish up two book reports before the end of the term. This meant finding and reading books then writing the reports. Fortunately both the books and the reports can be short. One down so far.

Putting up t-shirts in the store and then shipping them. All the packages ordered before 8 am yesterday are out the door.

Howard spent some time designing new merchandise. Most of these items are ready to go.

Gleek’s Tiffany Aching costume. This included the creation of a book entitled The Goode Childe’s Booke of Faerie Tales and the acquisition of a black witches hat.

Patch’s Nac Mac Feegle costume. The Halloween shopping fairies smiled upon me yesterday afternoon and let me find all the needed pieces in a single store. I have a little bit of minor sewing to do, but I still count finding all the pieces as a win.

Projects incomplete:

Mailing another 30 or so packages.

Link’s second book report.

Kiki’s page-long Japanese translation assignment, which was due today.

The repair of the furnace which decided not to heat the house today. Current house temp 61 degrees and dropping.

The repair of my windshield so that I can pass safety and emissions and re-register the car. Also so that I can get that chugging noise in the engine checked.

Howard wanted to draw several weeks of comics, hasn’t happened yet.

Helping both Kiki and Link figure out costumes.

All the less urgent things which got shoved so far out of my brain that I can’t remember what they are. However I will remember them quite clearly next week when they still aren’t done.

Patch’s reflections project which he had originally envisioned as a visual arts piece, but discovered that creating what he had in his mind was beyond his current capabilities. The new plan is for him to write a story on the theme instead. This is due next week. Time must be made for it over the weekend.

Gleek’s book report. This is due on Monday. Fortunately she has already read the book and the report itself is not particularly difficult to put together.

Emotional dramas endured this week:

Gleek’s fear that her story and game were not good enough.

Kiki’s emotional roller coaster over her art piece.

Link’s overwhelmed sadness at having end-of-term pressure.

Kiki needing to work through her emotions about a mean girl at school who has chosen her for a target.

Patch being much more volatile and quick to anger than usual. Still haven’t figured out if this is an age thing or if there is some underlying emotional issue that I need to dig out.

5 out of 6 Taylers having at least one semi-depressed day during which all efforts seemed futile and the tasks ahead insurmountable.

Many arguments over the cat because the whole family loves the cat, but we all have differing opinions about how to appropriately love, play, and interact with the cat. The cat also has opinions, but is fortunately blessed with a deep well of tolerance and patience.

Kiki realizing that she simply does not have the skills nor the time to make the Samus armor costume that she has been envisioning for over a year. She had to grieve and figure out how to put that dream down for awhile.

Many arguments along the lines of “argh! You’re not listening to me!” vs. “I was listening, I just needed to finish this one thing.” Also many arguments over “Yes you did!” “No I didn’t!” Players were completely interchangeable. Everyone took their turn being unreasonable.

Other thoughts:

I have a hard time feeling sympathetic with children who are feeling overwhelmed when I am also feeling the same thing, only my overwhelmed also encompasses all of their things as well. Yet observing this out loud does nothing to help anyone, and it is in some measure false. Their things are theirs and I should keep my mitts off.

Link really impressed me. The day after stomping off sad and depressed, he sat down and made his very own checklist for how he was going to accomplish all of his work. Then he calmly and quietly work his way down the list. He just did it. I need to remember to compliment him for that maturity.

I don’t like it when I go into a rant and realize that I sound exactly like the rant which annoyed me from a child only hours ago. It makes me have to face the fact that either I am as childish as they are, or their rant was valid and I should have been more respectful of their emotional experience. A little of both probably.

On Monday the shirts arrived. Today I will ship out the last of them. We’ve had the influx of income which lets us re-stock the store for Christmas and which will let us pay bills in the interim. I am very glad of this. I could wish that this event was not in the middle of all the other events, but it couldn’t have happened earlier and we didn’t want to delay. We need this flurry of merchandise right now, but it will be nice to get back to the slower-paced work on creating books.

And after writing all of that out, I discover that I have no interest in actually calculating a score for the week. Instead I’ll just let it all be what it is and hope that next week can be calmer.

Homework Stress

This is the week when all four of my children simultaneously realize that the term ends on Friday and they have run out of time to finish all their procrastinated homework. Stress is swooping around the house and creating little quarrels just about everywhere. On top of that is the imminence of Halloween, for which we are also unprepared. I get to run around, trying to find the correct balance between taskmaster, cheerleader, assistant, and psychologist. Ultimately I can’t do the work for them, I have to remind myself of this every time I am faced with a task which would take me only ten minutes. I can see clearly that ten minutes of my effort would buy us freedom from stress. However it would also be stealing the rewards of effort from my child. Educating the children is supposed to be the point. Yet sometimes it takes every bit of willpower I can muster to keep my hands off.

I think today is the climax of the stress. I hope it is. I would very much like tomorrow to be more pleasant than either today or yesterday.

Antelope Island

The first thing I noticed on the island was the silence. It wrapped around and surrounded me the moment I exited my van. No engine noise, hum of power lines, or buzz of refrigerator could be heard. Most times even the drone of airplane engines were absent. Instead I heard the sound of the breeze blowing gently against my ear, the buzz of a beetle flying ten feet away, the distant cry of sea gulls. It was a place which exuded solitude even when other people were nearby. I could hear other people from as far away as the sea gulls, but these noises were welcomed by the island. Voices belonged there as much as the birds and beetles. I stood on the first overlook and breathed in the fresh salty air. I was simultaneously glad to be on the island with my friend and her baby, while wishing to be there alone, and wishing I’d brought my own children. I was going to need to take another pilgrimage there, this much was obvious.

(Many more pictures beyond the jump) …

Contrasting Trips: The Dump and The Museum of Art

This morning I ventured to the dump for the first time in my life. Somehow it was always someone else who made those trips, not me. This particular trip was long overdue, as a corner of our driveway was filled with objects of no use to anyone. Not even putting them up for free on freecycle had resulted in their removal. So the pile sat while I didn’t go to the dump, not because the dump was daunting or frightening, but simply because I’d never done it before. The unknown minutiae of navigating to the waste transfer station, paying the fee, and unloading all served as a barrier which was in no way insurmountable, yet sufficient to inspire repeated procrastinations of the project.

In the end all those minutiae were no trouble at all. Finding the place was easy. The fee for a van load was a mere seven dollars. We backed up to a huge pile of accumulated detritus and threw ours onto the stack right next to where some one else had thrown the remains of a roofing project. On the other side was a discarded couch, pieces of an old jungle gym, carpet remains, and a broken mirror. All around were and huge masses of plant matter. It did not smell rotten, though I could tell that there was another pile somewhere nearby which did.

I drove away feeling lighter and grateful that our city has such a service. My home is cleaner and ready for further projects. However I was also sobered by the huge masses of waste, some of which could have been re-used. It was fascinating to see the process of disposing of discarded items. I could see the areas devoted to green waste processing and recycling. There was a section for chemical disposal. It is good for me to see this side of civilization which is usually hidden from view. I am newly reminded to be mindful about the quantities of waste that I produce. That pile was huge. I want to contribute to it as little as possible.

I showered off the psychic residue of having been to the dump, then Kiki and I headed to the BYU Museum of Art. She had a homework assignment to visit a gallery. The first exhibit seemed to fit right in with the trip of the morning. The theme of the exhibit was books as objects. One art piece was a twenty foot high and twenty foot wide cube of books stacked overlapping almost to the ceiling. All of the spines were inward so that only the pages could be seen. Another was a video of books being dissolved to pulp in a commercial washing machine. Books as objects is not a theme which makes me happy. I don’t like to view books think thoughts about wastefulness. I much prefer to hold a book and see the artistry both in the physical construction and the way that words have been intentionally spun to contain meanings. Fortunately the remaining exhibits in the museum were much less nihilistic.

I found myself standing in front of Bierstadt’s Seal Rock.

It was twenty years ago when I last stood in front of this painting. I was a college freshman at home for a visit. There was a whole exhibit of Bierstadt and I walked slowly past them all, but Seal Rock was the one that called to me most. I marveled at the way he captured sunlight refracted through the wave. The painting was bigger in my memory. Perhaps because so many of Bierstadt’s other works are on a giant scale. Today I stepped close to the painting and looked at the textures of paint used for the sea foam. A few steps away I spent some time staring into the painted eyes of a young Bostonian from 1739. I wondered what this young man thought while his portrait was painted. The painting was over three hundred years old and still hung for people to see and admire. The opposite of waste.

As I walked through the museum I was aware of the people around me. Mostly I noticed them as disturbances in my thinking space. I like my pools of thought to be undisturbed as I seek to examine my reactions to art. However the people were also interesting. Many were parents who had elected to bring their young children. I could not tell if the children were present to expose them to art or if they were just along for lack of babysitting. Art museums are not aimed to engage youngsters, though they can still benefit if the adult in charge is willing to be an informational bridge. I saw mostly hauling, not bridging. People sat rubbing sore feet. Students with clipboards went from painting to painting, filling out worksheets for an assignment. Some groups spoke quietly about the pictures they were viewing. Some spoke of other things entirely while glancing at pictures as they walked past. A few quiet people stood for a long time before a piece. Kiki sat and sketched for a bit. All of these people had come to the museum today, each of them took home a completely different experience.

The day was wrapped up by viewing my favorite category of art; when an artist takes something old, useless, or ugly, then transforms it into something beautiful. Such creations are the opposite of the waste transfer station. In this case the art manifested as quilts. Sometimes quilts are planned whole from new materials and are completely stunning. The ones that really tugged at my heart were the quilts which were obviously made from re-purposed materials. I stood next to one quilt and looked at the individual pieces. The fabrics had stories and my mind tried to picture them.

By this time Kiki was tired. Apparently the teenage art student has less patience for museums than does the aging humanities major. However we could not leave without stopping by the gift shop. It contained an exhibition of fine-art-inspired consumerism. This was the place where child focused objects were omnipresent; each urging parents to buy culture for their children. I noted all the toys without much interest, when my kids were younger I would have been tempted. Instead I was drawn to the rack with many beautiful notebooks and journals. I also discovered that museum gift shops are an excellent source for note cards. I resisted temptation, until we spotted the tiny jewel faceted spider ear rings in the Halloween display. They were adorable and priced to sell.

We stopped at the grocery store on the way home, as I walked down the aisles I was surrounded by packages and materials which would mostly be transformed into garbage for the dump. Yet there was also the possibility that these same things could be used in the creation of art. It was a distracting train of thought, which I had to shake off so that I could focus on buying the foods our family needs. Food and family are themselves worthy creations. I guess I’ll have to be content if the sum total of my efforts creates more beauty than waste.

Stringing Together Some Disconnected Thoughts

5:37 pm. I should really be cooking dinner right now instead of staring at the “new post” box and pondering what to blog. The trouble is that I didn’t blog yesterday or the day before and so I have an accumulation of half-formed blog thoughts. None of them are clicking together in attractive ways. So I shall spill my fragmentary thoughts and label it a blog post.

I had insomnia on Sunday night. This happens to me occasionally, usually because my brain won’t stop thinking about things I’m stressed over. Sunday’s insomnia had a different flavor. I felt quite floaty and relaxed, yet still kept bouncing awake as if the transition into deep sleep had somehow turned into a trampoline. I finally dropped off around 3 am. This meant that Monday was a high energy, focused day. My body shifted into overdrive mode to manage the sleep deprivation. Tuesday was the other end of the pendulum swing and I got nothing much done. More frustrating was that Tuesday night was a reprise of the bouncing awake phenomenon. I was not pleased. Also I have much greater sympathy for the folks of my acquaintance who suffer from insomnia regularly. Though hopefully in the future I can confine my sympathies to normal waking hours.

Patch out grew his bike. Gleek’s bike is the perfect size for him. It is also still the right size for Gleek. Prior to this discovery Gleek’s preferred method for cruising the cul de sac was on her ripstik. Now she must have her bike. Patch also needs her bike with a desperation bordering on tantrum. Two kids. One bike. One parenting dilemma. I have the capability to drive down to Walmart and buy a new bike. However I don’t really want to teach my kids that mom will solve their problems with money, particularly since money has been flowing out at a good clip these past few weeks. Multiple trips to doctors, prescriptions, dental work, and automotive repair have all occurred. I’m pausing to think before buying anything. So I’m pondering the problem and enduring daily squabbles. Eventually a path will become clear. Or it will start snowing and make bikes a moot point until next spring.

Tomorrow the kids are out of school, which spikes my ability to get computer based work done. I tend to focus on more physical organization, like house cleaning. I’ve been needing to assemble more Emperor Bundles for awhile. That may fit into tomorrow. Then there are the omnipresent homework projects for my two younger kids. Friday is also a school free day. Saturday I’ll be helping chauffeur Kiki to an anime convention. So the next few days are not exactly vacationish, but I will get to sleep later. More sleep would be a good thing in the second half of the week.

This is why I write, my brain just clicked a solution together. I will offer Patch and Gleek the chance to help me build Emperor Bundles as a way to earn a new bike. I can feel good about a bike as a reward for working. Whether the new bike goes to Gleek or to Patch will have to be negotiated. For now I need to go make dinner. I’ll do it feeling satisfied that the writing process strung together all those pieces which felt disconnected while drifting about in my brain.

Three Loose Thoughts on Parenting

“Once you’ve drawn the space ships and the death star and the meteors, then you put your pencil on a ship and flick it with your finger. It makes a line and that is how you move.” Patch was intently describing the rules of a game which he plays with a friend at recess. Later that same day I sat and listened to Gleek describe the super volcano under Yellowstone National Park, why it is scary, but also why she is not worried. The actual content of these conversations is not particularly important, but the fact that we have them is critical. By listening to the minutiae, I am building in my children a belief that what matters to them also matters to me. At some point in the future a difficult conversation will be made easier by all the little conversations which came before.


Gleek’s doodle journal went missing this morning. She wanted to bring it to church. I helped her look, but was unable to locate it. I looked at my daughters sad face. Downstairs on my shipping table was a brand new sketch book. One of my small “make beautiful things” projects the week before had been to recover an ordinary sketch book and transfer the doodle journal logo to the front. I figured it was probably for Christmas along with the bound sketch book which Patch had been wanting for months. I told Gleek to wait and I grabbed both, handing a book to each child. Smiles burst forth on both faces. Sometimes solving today’s trouble is more important than future planning. These books were far more appreciated on this day than they ever would be in the midst of Christmas abundance.


Children are complete individuals, not just larval adults. So often I magnify current faults and project how they would play out disastrously in an adult context. This is a false fear. Far too much growth lies between here and there to be able to predict outcomes. It is much better to see my children as they are and discern what they need right now. Gleek quit piano lessons and along with them ditched a feeling of dismal failure. Kiki selected non-college prep accounting instead of a more academic math credit, because she can see uses for accounting skills in her imagined future. Next semester Link will be taking a debate class that he is certain to hate, because practicing presentation skills will be of immediate use in his life. Sometimes this focus on my kids as they are means I need to ask more of them, other times I must back off. Either way it reduces stress because of the immediacy of the requirements and the results. When I focus on who my kids are right now, I am much better able to see and trust in their strengths and virtues.

Recovery, Organization, and Feeling Trapped

Illness has receded for me. Yesterday was made of fatigue with brief reprieves of energy. Today has mostly been normal with occasional bouts of fatigue. I wish I could report the same of Howard. He continues to suffer. I made the dessert quiche and it was passable, an experiment worth repeating with alterations. The spinach quiche was better, but is crying out for the inclusion of artichokes.

The chaos in the boys’ room is trending toward tamed. Usually when the mess reaches that level I can solve much of the problem by simply removing the garbage. Somehow my boys have not grasped that unnecessary packaging should be placed in the garbage can rather than shoved onto the nearest flat surface. I’m hopeful that this round of organization will last longer since I’m requiring the boys to do their own sorting. The complaints have been many and the progress slow. Bit by bit we begin to see what sorts of containers would be helpful in taming the mess. For instance, Patch has a tendency to array small toys on a large shelf. Inevitably things get stacked on the small toys and it all turns into a jumble. We need to acquire a wall-mounted set of display shelves intended for small cool things. I’ve added this to the thrift store acquisition list.

The day felt endlessly long when we were in the middle, the house was full of kids, the doorbell was ringing every quarter hour, and the phone rang almost as often. I wanted to flee the house, go find a quiet space elsewhere. Unfortunately I was tethered by the group of teenage girls using my sewing machine and likely in need of technical help. Also abandoning sick Howard to manage the chaos seemed cruel. So I stayed, and felt trapped, tangled in my web of connections. Then evening came and all the kids migrated outdoors. The blue light of evening began to fill the sky. I sat on my porch watching kids ride in smooth circles around the cul de sac. Sometimes I tipped my head back and watched the slow progress of wispy clouds against the bright blue sky. The evening felt as open and free as the afternoon felt trapped. And I begin to feel that perhaps the day has been a good one.

Excused on Account of Illness

Being sick is no fun at all, but being excused from my regular rounds of Things To Do is kind of nice. This particular sickness is somewhat confusing. I’m not actively miserable, just blanketed with a layer of fatigue which denies me the energy to accomplish anything except in short bursts. Oh, and there is the occasional coughing fit. In between the short bursts of almost-normal energy, I sit. Sometimes I sleep, drifting from wakefulness into the top layers of dreaming like a fatigued driver unable to keep track of the lines on the road. In the drift my mind ponders things slowly, like contemplating how to make a dessert quiche which includes elements of bread pudding. Why I chose now to plan quiche is something of a mystery, but it is restful and fatigue has interfered with my ability to question. Perhaps later in the day I’ll use one of my bursts of energy to see if reality matches the quiche of my imagination.

In some ways the lassitude which has overcome me feels like the calm drifting I did in early June. In my less lethargic moments, this makes me wonder if I am just being lazy, finding an excuse to lay on the couch and think of nothing in particular. Then the energy passes, or a coughing fit hits, and I know that the fatigue is physiological rather than psychological. I do ponder how good it feels to drift. It is as if I can only comprehend the pressures which I daily place on myself by their absence. This is not surprising news. I have been trying to give myself permission to relax more often, but unlike fictional characters, I don’t complete my character arc and move on. Instead the shapes of my habits and personality send me circling around like Winnie the Pooh in the misty woods, always ending up at the same sand pit. Like Pooh, it often takes me awhile to realize that it is the same pit, because things look different from this side. Yet Pooh did not stay in the woods forever, and neither will I. Each iteration teaches me something new until I finally find my way to a new adventure. Five years from now our lives will inevitably have a very different shape. The things I am doing now, that we all are doing, will make that future a good place to be.

Sometime last week Kiki was having a particularly difficult day, wrestling with problems which no one else could solve for her. After all the listening, hugs, and outpouring of my thoughts on conflict management; the most important thing I said to her was “I know this feels huge right now, but I promise that in the scope of your whole life this will become small.” If I could only keep this thought in mind, then each day could be filled with more of the calm, faithful drift which this sickness has imposed. Today I haven’t the energy to feel stressed about what I’m unable to do. Instead I focus on the few things I can. So I answer a few emails, then I nap. I ponder quiche, then I pick up my kids from school. I sleep and then read. Next week I will have to catch up on things not done today, and I will, but for today I drift.