The ballet culminates in the lieutenant general’s return to his family. Before he goes, he touches his son’s face in wonder, and when he saves himself and returns, he hoists the child up on one shoulder.

My son plays that child.

Dressed in a white button-down shirt and khaki shorts, he wears an expression of solemn focus for the ballet’s duration. I have seen him do it five times now, two dress rehearsals and three productions. The last show, the one in a company studio in Mississippi, was the only one I could control my weeping enough to get pictures.


Any week I can play with Leeroy can’t be ALL bad, and since he let me pick this week’s song, ZZ Topp’s sharp dressed man, I have to say I am tickled pink.… Read the rest

Sonic goes to pieces

“If Sonic keeps hitting, he’ll have to sit with me.”

“No!” The hedgehog took another swipe at Caroline.

“Sonic, we need to talk about control.” I plucked the toy out of Sam’s arms and hugged it close. Sam roared and leapt, trying to steal it back.

Scott offered, “At least he’s quit hitting.”

“This weekend was incredible. He had to come down sometime.” Sam held up one hand but didn’t jump again.

“Did he have to crash?”

“That’s the real question, isn’t it?” I returned Sonic and waited to see if Sam would continue using his toy as a weapon.


I have missed Leeroy, Lance’s robot assistant over at the 100 Word Song.… Read the rest

Because elephants should live forever

After my grandmother lost her vision to glaucoma, her engagement ring went missing. We tore up the house, but it was gone. She talked about it all the time, but talking couldn’t bring it back. When she eventually entered her final decline, she had a few tests run, more for the rest of us than herself, to make sure there was nothing at all we could do. The doctor called my grandfather over and said what everyone expected, but added, “she has something lodged in her intestinal tract.” Nobody had the heart to tell her we’d finally found the ring.

Look at me, 100 word songing 2 weeks in a row.… Read the rest

When The Morning Comes

Here we go with the 100 word song! This week, it’s OK Go’s “This Too Shall Pass”.


Since Tuesday, I’ve watched this video twelve times with Sam. He finds something new every time. I’m trying to teach him to step back, when his heart explodes, to breathe and say ‘this too shall pass’. I know I’m doomed to failure. My Mom pressed “Let it Be” on me in the same way, but I can’t let anything be. Nothing at all. So I know that Sam has to find his own song to speak peace to his heart. And yet he sings it, and when he sings, I hope it will pass, so he can enjoy his childhood.… Read the rest

That’s The Revolution

“Starman” came on this afternoon. Halfway, through I realized Caroline was singing every word. When did she get in touch with her inner Bowie? Yesterday, it was “Taxman” and both kids. That was less surprising, since I’m raising avowed Beatle maniacs. We belt out Beyoncé, too. I still sing with my Mom. To the Beatles. To Sam and Dave. And I rock with Dad to metal. My parents infected me young, she with the belief that music is timeless, and he with the certainty that the new is always worthwhile. Now, I hope I’m doing the same in my turn.




?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????… Read the rest

Trust issues

“Consider the avocado. Its disproportionate half-moon shell is even shaped like an ovary. The creamy flesh shelters a single seed. This is the very definition of ‘fruit’.”

Obdurate and nine, he replies, “Get off your high horse, Mom. Fruit is sweet.”

Mom protests, “Not all fruit. Not tomatoes…”

“Tomatoes aren’t fruit.”

“Yes they … look, we’ll Google it together.”

He says, “I don’t want to Google it.”

“Look at this page,” she says. “It explains vegetables can be fruits, but fruits can’t be vegetables.”

“That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”

“Just eat your lunch, Jeremy.”

“I don’t like avocados.”


I don’t think that this Mom is going to get her son to have faith that avocados are tasty.… Read the rest

Language of Love

Give me forty minutes, and I’ll whip you up a batch of cookies. Make it an hour, and I’ll throw in a beef vegetable soup. My mother taught me to cook starting at a very young age, and I learned more from my grandfather as I grew older. I have taken their recipes and made them my own. When I feel helpless, I bake for friends. If you are sick, if someone has died, I cannot make your problem go away. But I will listen to you. And I will cook for you. I speak my love in chocolate chips.



Hey!… Read the rest


The day after I wrote  the story where a five year old nearly drowns, I lost Sam for twenty minutes in the Tennessee Aquarium. Irony much? Intellectually, I knew there was no way he could get at the tanks. Everything was encased behind a wall of glass, and no child could sneak through those locked doors. But before security found him two floors above me, trying to escape and get to the car, I ran repeatedly past the same spot, each time looking up into two stories of light infused water, expecting to see my son’s green-coated body floating down.… Read the rest


I’m not talking ballet here. I’m trying to explain the hedony. I throw myself forward lusting into the Dionysian spontaneity. The arena is carnality alive, and all of us are hungry sybarites while the music plays. We blare, and trumpet, and thunder. I do not fall into their arms expecting asylum.  And yet, there is a safe core where the rhythm is deep enough to hold me if I dive in, so long as I keep time with my body while I ride to the shore. This is not sanctuary but an entry point. The dance begins in the air.


Linking up here with Trifecta, this week brought to you by the word “safe”.… Read the rest