Monday, February 7, 2011

Feel the Love

The sky is black, snow hanging in the corners of an immense shroud about to lay down cover. The valley waits. Any moment it will fall. I can hear thunder now - the signal of winter on the move again.

Yes, look. Here it comes.


Just an hour ago we spent sixty glorious minutes outside sunning our faces, kicking off shoes, pulling out the tricycles, cars, and bikes. The boys ran, scooped melting snow into dustpans, and Eliza and Sami climbed the crabapple tree in their bare feet.

You wouldn't believe it after last week's arctic wind that blew over the mountains. Single digits kept me from running in the mornings and I had this thought. "Will we survive?"

Winter here sometimes feels endless, suffocating.

The boys bang on the door to go outside. They make a run for it every time I crack hinges to get mail, pick up packages or answer the bell. All of us are ready for warm temps and blue skies.

Snow is flying now, thick and fast. It is in the air.

But so is love.

A few weeks ago, I was hanging onto the day with my fingertips, my patience worn down to the nubbins. The girls had been indisputably disobedient and as a last ditch effort I pulled all privileges and issued a long time out. When Eliza resurfaced (privileges still withheld) she took out crayons and began to color. This is what she made.


It was a solicitation for empathy, mercy, and love.

I keep it posted in our kitchen. I see it every day - every moment I need to be reminded of why we mother, why we have children, and what it is they need most.

Eliza's been making valentines for everyone in the family. With Ali and Sami's birthday just around the corner, this one was left on the doorstep. Four candles on a purple cake. From their big sister.


And this one for the boys. One candle each.


Love comes so easily for children. Why not for us? We work at it, and all they do is let what's in them come out.

January and February have been busier for me than December. I feel under pressure, worn down, dependent - like I can't get on top of life by myself. And it's showing.

Last week, as I was saying goodnight to Eliza she said, "Mom? Catch the kiss I just blew you. So you won't be grumpy." I was trying to temper my hurry, my discontent, my anxiousness to get all the kids in bed so I could have some "me" time - think straight, sit down. But it hadn't worked. She's observant. And even at five, she knew where I was. Or wasn't.

I returned to her bed, clouds clearing as I made the walk. My heart opened to her, I let her in. I loved her, and all the discontent slipped away. I climbed under her covers and told stories. Stories about me when I was her age - when I was a child.

Children have a wisdom about them. They seem to know what we need. They bring us back to ourselves.

When I went to bed that night, I found this on my bed stand.


Feel the love. That's how to survive.

Or rather... how to live.


  1. Cath,
    This is so precious. The days are long sometimes, huh, but the weeks fly by. You are awesome. I'm glad you're recording these tender moments of your life.

  2. Oh, so beautiful. And so true.

    I'm afraid sending a post your way would not do your blog justice! But I am flattered. If something comes to mind, I will pass it along.

  3. wish i had climbed in a few more times. xox

  4. This is really beautiful!

    Your kids are awesome!

    So long,

  5. Thank you for this post.
    The way that you write is so lovely to read.
    And I agree with the previous comment.
    I need to climb in more.

  6. What a perfect message and I have been thinking along the same line so much...that these kids know better than us sometimes how to react to things, and how to forgive and forget and they can teach us so many lesson if we let them.
    By oldest daughter and I renamed February "rut month" just the other day. Something about the weather and the moods and being cooped up.

  7. Shir - yes, long, but on this particular day writing made me feel much better about it all, like it's not just washing down the drain, and me with it.

    Tricia - I really would love to copy your play dough post, enlarge the pictures and use your lovely words, just as they are. Let me know what you think. You can email me @

    Cristie - love that. I'll remember this.

    Corinna - I agree. Mine, yours, kids in general - they are awesome.

    Jenny - so nice to hear from you!

    Sarah - "rut month." Sure feels like it. You picked up on all those wonderful traits children exemplify - forgiveness, forgetting, patience. You're right - they really are our teachers.

  8. This is just what I needed to hear today!

  9. Hang in there Cath! You are a modern pioneer woman!

  10. Tears are stinging my eyes, but I am smiling. Children do have a wisdom. Sometimes I sense that they know that we have to peel back the layers that we have donned--like the layers of an onion--to the sweetest part of life.

    And seriously, that "Feel the Love" art is a gem.

  11. So sweet. I love how the kiddies so easily forgive and pour out their love upon us. That "Feel the Love" drawing is precious.

  12. Lauren - I'm grateful for moments of hearing just the right thing too.

    Gabers - So glad to hear from you! Thanks for the encouragement dear friend.

    Liz - love the onion metaphor. Beautiful. Thanks for that sweet reminder.

    Shelli - I know. So forgiving. How did Studio 5 go today?? I'm waiting to watch it online.

  13. I loved this post! Thanks for sharing your life with us (out here in blog land:) Children keep us humble.

  14. Yes! I love this, and I needed to hear it today. This is such a long winter, we are all busting at the seams to get outside. My kids can read me like a book, and most days they deserve better than what they get out of me. I definitely need to climb in more often.

  15. Love this post. Feel like this all the time. Kids just have the right perspective. Tonight - at 9:45 after trying to get the kids to bed for the past hour Tyler is patiently waiting in his room for his story - even though I had already read him two ten minutes earlier. I authoritatively said, "no more stories." He sighs, and then says, "But we have to read the scriptures mom." So I told him no, we'll do it in the morning, to which he replies, "But, mom, I WANT to read the scriptures." How could I say no? What example would that have been? So I relented, read Jacob 5 - the olive tree, to Ty. It was enlightening. A child's perspective on plucked branches and wild branches. Glad I didn't pass up the moment. Ty - "sometimes I'm a wild branch, when I run around downstairs and act wild."


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