The Heaviness of Light Things

The snow in Bozeman this year has been nothing short of magical. It dances to the ground almost daily and with no wind and freezing temperatures it has settled comfortably in the valley. Hay bales have thick white blankets and bare trees sparkle like a small child dipped their branches in glue and then dunked them in glitter. Every so often a small amount will fall from a tree or rooftop and if the sun catches it just right you could mistake yourself for being inside a snow globe.

I have driven past these four trees a few times this week. The branches are heavy with something light and beautiful. They look impressive carrying so much snow, sparkling in the sun and beckoning photographers to capture their strength.

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Children, Children, What Do You See?

The line is a familiar one if you’re a parent or a teacher. It’s from a sweet book about a brown bear and purple cat and yellow duck and a blue horse. It has singsong phrasing and can be memorized after only a couple readings. Yesterday I pulled it out to read with my 4-month-old before his afternoon nap. He was cooing on my lap as I read the question about each animal, Brown bear, brown bear what do you see? and so on. But that last question caught in my throat. My mind was not on the book filled with colorful animals and creative pictures. It was instead on our world filled with hurting people and hateful ideologies.

Children, children, what do you see?

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On Identity & Claiming Gifts

A few months ago I attended a women’s conference here in New York City. The theme of the conference was hope. On Saturday, we had the opportunity to attend one of about 20 different breakout sessions offered. One title caught my eye. I wanted to go to it, but felt I didn’t really belong there. I was sure the other women attending would see right through me and label me an imposter immediately. As my eyes wandered to other session titles, I let fear drive my feet away from the room where women were gathering for the session I wanted to attend. Then the emcee walked back on the stage and grabbed the microphone.

“I just want to encourage you for a moment. What is the one session you are too scared to attend?” I froze as my eyes darted back to the scary title. “Would you consider going there today? Don’t let fear or embarrassment hold you back from where you should be.” I was certain she was talking directly to me. I gathered up some confidence, and turned around. My heart raced as I walked back in to the session titled “Hope as an Artist”.

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Anticipating a Son

Can I tell you a secret? I’m kind of scared to have a son. I always thought I would have two daughters. Obviously, there is no reason for this. It wasn’t even a longing, a hope, or a wish; although there is some comfort in being a “girl mom” that would bring a bit of familiarity to having two children of the same gender. Mostly though, it was just a thought that cemented itself more and more firmly in my mind over the past four years raising a daughter until I started to envision a future with two little girls in tow. I didn’t really believe that first ultrasound picture that clearly (at least to Brett – I still think all ultrasound pictures look like creepy aliens) showed that a boy was growing in my womb, not a girl as I had thought.

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Understanding

Everyone in our family voted on Tuesday, even my three-year-old daughter. She, along with her classmates, voted for cupcakes. Chocolate or vanilla.  Since she is my daughter and was therefore born with a constant craving for chocolate, she was confident in her vote and that the outcome would result in eating a delicious, chocolaty cupcake with her classmates on Wednesday afternoon. I didn’t do much to prepare her for the unexpected outcome of vanilla being the winner. She was giddy and energized when I dropped her off, ready to let her voice be heard.

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