Monthly Archives: July 2014


Chaos turned twelve this month. I look at him and I see, underneath his still-little-boy face, the teen and the man he is on his way to becoming. And sometimes, I catch a glimpse of the character of that developing young man.

Last week he was among six boys in the back of my van. We were headed home for a treehouse campout birthday party, and everyone was excited. One of the boys had brought along a Lego magazine, and he offered to let Chaos read it. Chaos considered it, then said he’d rather read it when his own copy came in the email…and spend time with his friends now. The friend upped the pressure a little, but Chaos held firm. Finally, the friend sort of pushed the mag into Chaos’ lap, and my boy gently handed it back, saying, “I don’t want to read it right now, thanks. I’ll just spend time with you guys for now.”

Now, I get that he wasn’t being offered drugs or being pressured to go out a graffiti the nearest water tower. But the fact still remains that he was being pressured to do something, by someone whose opinion means something to him, and he was able to calmly stand up for himself, without making it into a confrontation.

Maybe it’s that he’s spend the past ten years standing up to a very strong personality–his sister, Mayhem. Maybe it’s that he’s confident enough in himself and his beliefs not to be swayed by an enticing picture in a magazine. All I know is this: I felt incredibly proud of my boy in that moment.


One Step Behind

So we’re back now, back from a crazy-long (almost 4 weeks!) trip that spanned 9 states, a conference, Smiddy’s parents’ 50th anniversary celebration, and too many good memories to list here. We’re back, but I’m reeling a little.

When did the “new post” layout change? I’m only asking because it seems like everything changed while we were gone, and the WordPress layout is one of those changes? Honestly, since our 21-hour drive home (turns out you CAN drive from western Nebraska to western Oregon in less than 24 hours), I’ve felt a step (or 12) behind.

I logged into FaceBook shortly before our trip’s end, and the first status I saw was from a friend here in Oregon. We’ve been growing a friendship, and I was excited to get back from this trip, take K to lunch, and start going through “Authentic Beauty” with her daughter. Instead, tomorrow night I’m going to her going-away party–the family is moving to Washington next weekend.

And I’m a little stunned. Before we left on our trip, K and I talked about getting the families together for brisket, about trading piano lessons for guitar lessons, and about kids and life. And now, well…

I keep thinking, it’s not like we were lifelong friends. We’ve known each other for 18 months. But we connected…we shared some deep stuff, and we laughed at the same things. And now the potential for that meaningful friendship is gone. It’s not that we’ll cease to be friends, but it will be different. And I think I’m mourning that potential for something bigger.

Yes, I have other friends here, but I don’t think I’ve connected with anyone the same way yet. It feels like I’m starting over. Again.

You know, I think it’s easier when I’m the one moving away.