Me: "Who has the best seat in the house, me or daddy?"

Adam: "Well, Daddy's is nice, but yours is best. Your's is squishier."

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Title Below

Jonah boy - crashed 

The title of this post has been changed due to a very persistent spammer.  The original title was:

Technical Difficulties

I tried to post last night, but the website crashed about four times.  Finally it sent me a note; it was having technical difficulties. 

It's not the only one.

I wanted to tell you all about my trip to the library, but my own technical difficulties were getting in the way.  Without the library, though, my story makes no sense.  So here it is...

The library is amazing.  It's like someone giving you a big ol' gift card to Barnes and Noble, and grabbing any book you are even remotely interested in, taking them home, reading them, and returning them no questions asked.  I go bonkers at the library.  I go to my favorite shelves and just grab any book that calls out to me.  When the pile in my left arm gets so heavy that I can't manage another book (which, by the way, is a lot of books now because of my new buffness), I stagger to the children's section, and ease my ridiculous pile onto one of those shorty tables.  Then I sit in an itty-bitty chair with my butt cheeks hanging off the sides and go through my pile, flipping through the pages and sorting the good ones from the duds like a fishmonger sorts halibut.  This time around I got books on building fountains, watercolor painting, one on raising daughters in an appearance obsessed culture, a couple about the science of water energy, a book on beading, and an amazing little book called The Creative Family... Oh, it will be a string of late nights and long visits to the little girl's room. 

It had been a strange, beautiful rainy day.  A summer storm had rolled in, humid and heavy, and it felt like a day that had been plucked out of early October.  I walked through the library feeling grateful for all of the brave people who took a chance at putting their thoughts down on a page, and then had the faith that someone would publish them, all so that I could be inspired.  And I was.  Am.

Thus inspired, when I got up yesterday I determined to do something amazing with my day.  I exercised, did a little house work, and was just finishing up our family 3-minute patrol when I heard a voice calling.  "Mom...could you come here?".

Enter technical difficulty #1.

Ethan was in the garage.  He was orange.  "I'm sorry..." he started.  Somehow he had managed to knock a small plastic container of oil painting pigment powder off of a shelf.  It broke.  He picked it up.  It dumped out all over him and the ground.  Then he had nervously paced back and forth trying to figure out what to do.

For five minutes.

In the orange powder.

Most unfortunately, the powder also happens to be very toxic.  It needed to be cleaned up carefully.  I called my PHD brother to get clean-up instructions.  I had Ethan strip down right in the garage before hitting the shower.  I had to trust him to clean the nooks and crannies, but the mama in me wanted to get in there with a luffa.  I created a sort of haz-mat suit for myself, and armed with gloves, a mask, plastic booties (Ok, Safeway bags and rubber bands, but they did the job), and some special clean-up supplies from the hardware store, I spent the next four hours in the garage, working until not a trace of orange remained.  After the mess was cleaned up, I remembered that the washer repair guy is coming today (more technical problems), so of course I had to tidy up around the machine.  Once I got going out there it was hard to stop, and it just made sense to drag out all the baby clothes to locate the toddler-sized summer duds (yes, he's that big). At 11:30, I finally stopped (not finished...stopped).

It wasn't the day I planned, but I had a lot of time to think as I schlepped around in my plastic suit.  I thought about how much I wanted to protect my children from anything that would hurt them.    I thought about chocolate (I always think about chocolate).  And I thought about the paintings I would never paint in my life because I chose to have five children.  They will be my only chances at making masterpieces, so I gotta get it right.

The orange pigment was a total loss.  I probably wasn't going to need it anyway.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Family Nite

Yesterday was a conference at church.  There were a lot of really wonderful speakers, and I got to listen to the entire thing because I was in the choir and NOT sitting with my five wiggly children.  I was not cocking one eyebrow or doing The Angry Whisper.  No one nearby required a nose wipe, a referee, or a cheerio.  And not once did I use the sign-language "No!" signal.  If you don't know what it looks like, just pucker your face, stick out your jaw and pretend you are snatching a fly out of the air.  It's pure magic, baby.  

I even took conference notes.  And if those notes were in front of me right now I might be able to remember what they talked about yesterday in greater detail.  At the moment, all I remember is one moment of counsel, and sadly I don't even know who said it.  But I remember what he said:
"I hope that tomorrow for Family Night you will work on your 72 hour kits".
I swear there were some other really touching, moving, motivating, inspiring, and amazing things said.  I even cried once.  Yet, even without "the five distractions", 72 hour kits are all I remember.

So, tonight we tried.  The functional word being tried
We broke out the old kit.

We discovered that:
Adam no longer wears 2T Dalmatian undies
Military MRE's from 1997 taste nasty (Hey, now, they expired in 02.  That's THIS century!)
Vaseline, diaper cream, lotion and pretty much anything in a container will leak
We now know where the mess kit is, one week late
Small pull-top cans of fruit can explode in the heat
If you leave the burst cans long enough, the contents biodegrade into black liquid
Tampons look like a stick of dynamite to a 14 year old

By the end of the night, we had accomplished very little,
but it was all good for a few laughs. 

My favorite quote of the night came from Tessa:

Ellie:  "Tessa, don't color in that coloring book. 
That's for an emergency some day for if we get bored."

Tessa:  "Well, good, cause I'm bored right now."

May we never need to use our 72 hour kit. 
Or at least not until we have replaced the canned fruit.

Spider Boy

Sunday, June 26, 2011


It was one-thirty in the morning, and Tessa sat beside me on the couch playing
Pet-shops Old-maid, solitaire style.  That is what happens when you take a nap at 7PM and wake up at 10.  I was pooped, (yes, I said pooped!) after doing The Shred (Jillian Michael's butt-kicking workout) and then gardening with Kathy and Bishop.  Well, you could call it gardening, or you could call it Looking for Spiders in Creepy Ivy, or perhaps Making Big Piles of Yard Crap on the Curb so that your Neighbors can see what SLOBS You Really Are (in case they ever doubted.)

Then last night we had a special surprise.  My sister, who lives in Utah, came to visit us with her hubby.  It was so wonderful to see her and be in the same space with her.  We ate and laughed,
and I asked myself how I could live so far away from her.  

When I was born, my sister Julie was 11.  I adored her.  I wanted to be just like her.  I was sure she was magical.  When I would wake up from a nap and see her little white weekend suitcase in the living room, I knew JuJu was here, and that for the next day or two I would sit on her lap, have her braid my hair, and hold her hand as we took walks.  She was like a real life, honest-to-goodness fairy godmother.  She had honey-gold hair, in perfectly straight seventies style.  She was the one who explained to me that the ends of my long hair were comprised of the actual hair that had been on my head when I was a baby.  After she told me that, I wouldn't let anyone even trim my hair for years.   

Julie is technically my half sister, and only stayed with us on the weekends, but I didn't know what any of it meant or why I had to say goodbye through eyes clouded with tears every Sunday afternoon.  I just knew I loved her, I knew she loved me, and I couldn't understand why we ever had to be apart.

As my sister and I worked side by side in the kitchen yesterday, she told me about my mother.  Our eyes misted and I listened in awe as she described a woman that I only knew in my own way, as her daughter.  But Julie saw her as a beautiful step-mother, the antithesis of all step-mother archetypes.  She told me that if she were to name the most influential people in her life, my mother would be among the choice few at the top of her list. 

Today I went to lunch with Wise-Woman Chantal and we talked about mothering.  She said that every child, even if they have the same parents as a sibling, have completely different parents.  Different, because they respond specifically to that child's unique personality, specific behaviors and individual spirit.  No two children can ever have the same parents. 

Who do my children have?  I know I react differently to each one in their moments of fear or sadness.  Some of them probably get more compassion and empathy than others.  I usually see myself as "just being the mom", and it never occurred to me that I am being "Ethan's Mom" and "Adam's Mom", and so on... times five.  Even if I tried to be completely consistent with each child, I would still be seen differently by them, because they are different.

 Jonah discovers cherries.

Julie gave me another gift last night, one that was my mother's to give.  When Mom was alive, she gave my babies a bath in the kitchen sink when she came to visit.  It was so special to me, though I am not sure why.  I guess it just gave me a picture to carry with me in my heart wherein she was frozen in time, forever enjoying my child.  I loved seeing Mom with babies she loved, and I loved it that I had been able to give her grand babies to nibble on.  I can still hear her voice saying "Please pass the baby", the way someone might ask you to pass the butter. 

It felt right to see Julie soaping up baby Jonah,
 tickling and teasing and coaxing smiles and kisses. 

She gave Jonah a bath, and she gave me
a new way of remembering my mother.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Grab your spoon...

When I went out tonight to water my seriously parched potted plants, I decided to give my sun-fried Japanese Maple a long, deep drink.  I stood on the warm walkway feeling the heat vapors rising against my feet and legs, and looked up into the clear night sky.  A blessedly cool breeze stirred up the heady aromas of nasturtiums and lemon-mint that had baked all day in the fierce sun.  Way up there in space, framed by dozens of stars that I haven't taken the time to notice in months, a tiny light traced an invisible path in the sky. 
The water gurgled, and from outside, the house seemed quiet.

We have survived five whole days of summer vacation.  So far that includes several movies, twice at the pool, a watermelon, a pineapple, and even a daddy-daughter camp out.  The rhythm of my days has changed and I am having to find new ways to beat this old drum. 
There is time to just beeeeeeeee.
It feels so good not to have to worry about bed times and homework. 
No, not good... FABULOUS! 
In fact, I saw someone tonight that I haven't seen in ages... Fun Mom.

Fun Mom is usually locked in a cluttered closet, bound with dirty laundry and gagged with a slimy kitchen sponge.  We can't risk having her on the loose, telling knock-knock jokes and letting kids think that she is in charge.  Why, if they were to think that, next they would be expecting to stay up all night, eat cookies for dinner, and stop brushing their teeth entirely.

Too late.

Fun Mom took the last of the yummy chocolate pudding, passed out spoons, and sat on the kitchen floor with the girls and ate right out of the bowl.

Don't tell the boys!

The floating heads

Father's Day Dinner

I made a yummy dinner for Guy on Father's Day.  And since I am not a stingy cook, I will happily share some of the tricks that made this meal turn out so well.  First off, I actually read and followed some directions since winging it with meat can turn it to rubber.  I wanted to put the tender back in to my pork tenderloin.  I was a little scared, but I tried this and it was amazing:

Pre-heat the oven to 550.  Roast the tenderloin in a roasting pan with no lid for EXACTLY 5 1/2 minutes per pound (freaky, huh?  But I promise that it was salmonella-free and thoroughly cooked because you...) turn off the oven and leave the door shut for one hour. 

Then I topped it with a glaze (my own little recipe):
1 mango
2-3 tbsp sugar
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp potato starch (or corn starch)

Puree all ingredients together and then simmer on stove for a few minutes until thickened. 
Add the leaves of 3 stalks of fresh thyme.  Drizzle over meat and serve.  For a great marinade, stir in some Mango Chipotle Chutney from World Market and go nuts.

Oh, and here are my Yum Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes:
1 boiled potato per person, plus 2, skins on
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
3 tbsp butter
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tsp fresh minced garlic
a drizzle of milk
(have your cardiologist on stand-by)

Combine ingredients and mash by hand with a potato masher, leaving it slightly lumpy. 
Serve with a smile.

Look! a picture of Ethan without a hand in the way.

And earlier this week...

Road Rash... this is what happens when a 10% graded road and
a 14 year old boy on a skateboard have a meeting of the minds.

Nibble, anyone?

Yikes!  The dreaded stairs. 
Jonah spent the afternoon going up and down... so far, no falls.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

No more teachers, no more books...

... No more parent's dirty looks! 

It has been the most difficult year yet with the kids, school-wise.  Turns out, the more kids you have the more obnoxiousness there is to deal with on the school front.  But no more.  Today was the last day of school.  The last day on the conveyor belt, as we have taken to calling it (more on that later!).

When I was a girl, every year mom would retell the story of her last day of second grade.  Her school backed up to a field, and as the dismissal bell rang out, pronouncing that summer had officially begun, all of the children would scramble from their desks and, cheering, run across the field towards their homes.  That day my mother joined them, and as they ran whooping and hollering, she took a mis-step into a gopher hole, twisted her ankle, and broke her leg.  She spent the whole summer in a cast.

I don't know why mom always told that story, except that maybe that last-day-of-school feeling washed  over her as we came through the door excited for summer.  Perhaps there is a lesson of care to be learned.  Maybe we are supposed to watch our step as we embark on new adventures.  Maybe it's just a story.

This school year was hard in more ways than can be counted, multiplied, divided and then converted into a decimal.  One of our children started the year with a bang, ending the first grading period with high marks, but as the year trudged on, his sparks began to fizzle out.  Falling behind became seriously falling behind, which eventually morphed into "If I get any further behind I'll be able to see my own butt".  I have learned a lot of things in the process.  You cannot MAKE a child DO anything.  You can encourage-remind-plead-bargain-reward-scold-punish-scream and finally Loose-all-civility, act-like-a-moron, and threaten-to-sell-said-child-to-the-Avon-lady-as-a-makeup-model.  Ultimately, you are not in charge (and by you, I mean me).  The part of the child that governs self preservation, and values future-fun must be intact and functioning well.  That's fine for most kids, but some never get there.  I have learned that I need to be a cheerleader, not always a coach.  I have learned that the assignments will fade into History, but that how I have spoken will remain in the Current Events folder in his mind, maybe for ever.  I have learned that I am still learning.

As is our tradition, we took the kids to get ice cream for our last-day-of-school celebration.  Then Guy packed the girls up to take them camping and I took the boys, all three, swimming.  Jonah navigated his way around the top step and I sheltered him from falling.  When they are little you can do that.  It's not easy, or sometimes even possible, when they get older.

Later, as Adam and I headed off to the movies, I dropped Ethan off for his first dance. 
"Dance with cute girls!"  I shout out the the door as he closes it and wait for him to say "no-way".
"I will."  he says confidently as the door slams.
Oh, my gosh!  Wait a minute!  No protests, no blushing?
I unroll the window (Thank you, Japan, for automatic windows),
"Wait!  When you ask a girl to dance, make sure you are polite!" I babble, grasping for some sort of mother-wisdom.  "And no bear hugging!" I instruct, complete with hand movements.  It's was a really bad version of charades.  Mini-van charades.  "One hand on her waist, right hand up.  No!  Left hand up, holding her hand..." I hear the words I am saying, and somehow it seems like I am making it worse all on my own. 

"See ya, Mom."  He waves and turns.  I hem and hah a feeble goodbye-have-fun-I-love-you as he heads for the door.  It's like he's running across a field full of gopher holes.  I roll up the window and tell Adam that I feel like crying.  In the rear-view mirror I see that he has that "You're so weird" look on his face.  I tell him that when he goes to his first dance I will cry for sure. 

"Why?"  He asks, weird look amplifying.

"Because you're nice to me."  I say, half joking.

At the movie, I find myself out in the lobby with a noisy 10 month old.  Some nice ladies from Texas flirt with him and visit with us for a while.  They ask me about my kids.  After I give them the low-down, I feel lucky and happy and sad and old.  Really, really old.

I miss Guy.  I imagine him in the tent with our chatty girls, promising them that there are no bugs or bears waiting to eat them.  A fat baby sleeps beside me.  One that is growing up so fast if I stare at him long enough I think I can actually see it happening.

I wish I could keep them all out of fields forever. 
I hate gophers.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What a mighty good man

It's been kinda, sorta, well... a rough week.  The kind of week that makes me ask questions like, "What the Sam-heck ever made me think I could be a mother?" or "Why don't my kids ever get abducted by aliens?  Is that really too much to ask?".

First of all, I studied art in school, which means I took one obligatory child development class.  They never mentioned a "developmental phase" called "my parents suck rocks".  And just because I own ovaries does not mean I have a quarter of a clue.  Frankly, the trial and error method we have employed thus far occasionally has it's flaws.  I prefer the "fly by the seat of my temper" approach.  There is the whole "random grope for a consequence" that inspired the infamous "no fun for 6 months" grounding.  That was a good one.  Oh, and let's not forget the ever popular "because I said so." 
Oh, yeah, baby.  Now that's parenting.

But this week I bottomed out in a whole new way.  I was ruminating on how rotten one of our kids has been acting of late.  I was counting all of the ingratitudes.  We do so much for these kids!  We give them so much of our time and attention.  Why, if I had been given one tenth the kind of help and encouragement we give our kids...

and that is where I fell off the track I was on,
and landed on a new one.  And then came the train that broad-sided me. 

I started thinking about how hard I had struggled in school.  I was left alone to deal with difficult homework.  When I got behind in classes, I tried frantically to dig my self out.  I was a marginal student with a very low academic self-image.  I began to think about how many hundreds of hours of homework help Guy has given to Ethan, and I wondered, what might I have done if I had been given that level of help and support?  I felt jealous.  Seriously jealous.

Then, this week Guy and I began talking about how busy his father had been when he was a kid, always gone to work or fulfilling church responsibilities.  Afterward, I began thinking about how blessed my kids are to have the dad they have.  He may not be the sports dad that Ethan thinks he wishes he had, but he is such an amazing dad. 

He rocks babies, reads stories and he cooks an amazing dinner out of a can of garbanzos and some rice.  He is the homework-helper extraordinaire, and never misses a dad-kid date.  He is so patient, and really considers the hearts of our children when we counsel together about how to better parent our kids.

So this parenting thing isn't second nature to me,
 or even third, but my Guy has it down pat.

My kids are soooo blessed, and so am I.

Guy crooning to Jonah, the only song that puts him to sleep...
 "Go to sleep, little creep..."

It takes a real man to go to craft night at the school. 
Pass the feathers, please!

Never ending homework help.

Helping daddy make ganache!

Just another tea party.

Teaching Adam how the piano works.

Happy Father's Day, Sweetie. 
When you finally get around to reading this in a few weeks,
come find me and I will smootch you (maybe more!) (like two smootches).
Love ya, Dude.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

That Other Story (or) The Calm Before the Flood

Once a month or so a few of us get together to make "stuff".  We take turns hosting, sharing something we know how to do with the others, and then we eat, of course.    Last week it was my turn.  You know, just before the flood.

I taught everyone silk painting, which is kind of like teaching finger painting to kids, in other words, there is not much to teach.  Silk painting is so simple and doing it is so relaxing because the dyes wick into the fabric and almost paint themselves.  The silks are super cheap, less that two bucks each, and the kit of dyes is reasonable - for $60 you get 30 colors and all the tools you will need to make dozens of projects. ( ).
  Devide the cost and you can have a blast for not much mula.
I was drunk on creative juice at the time and somehow let these lovely ladies slip out of the door, gorgeous silks in hand, without snapping photographic proof of their amazing creations, so you will just have to believe me when I say - they were jaw-droppers.

I will be doing 2 more classes at least, as there were so many women who wanted to do this, but only so many square feet in my studio.  I will be sure to document those.  In the mean time, you can pretend you were with us...

 Steph and Kathy pinning a scarf to a box frame

 Amanda makes magic with just a dropper and a few colors

 Joanna's scarf in progress

My final products.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

What to do with a dirty towel (or) Another Story

Tessa was sassing.
It's becoming her new thing.
I sent her to her room because sassing is so exhausting for little girls that they simply must go get some rest right away. 
Here is how it went down:

Me: "Go to your room.  When you can act nice, you can come back out."

Tess, heading down the hall: "Mom..."

"Nope.  Go to your room."

"But Mom..."

"To. Your. Room."

"But Mom!!!"


"But Mama, there's water in the hall!!!!!"

"I'm sorry, baby!!!"  I yelp as I spring from the couch and run for the bathroom.  I don't get far before I am slopping through a fast moving H2O.  Instinctively, I hoist my pants up, even though I'm donning capris.  "Everybody quick!  Grab every towel you can find, clean or dirty!"  I added that last part because I knew if I didn't, I would have 3 children walking past used bath towels to bring me napkins.  Turning the corner at the bathroom door, I slid to a halt as I saw a sheet of water pouring over the four inch tile shower ledge.  The tub was half full of murky blue water that seemed to be bubbling up from the drain.  A quick mental inventory narrowed the source.  "Adam, hurry, go shut off the washer!!!"

I stood futilely piling towels in front of the waterfall coming over the shower stoop, and calling orders as children excitedly ran up and down the hall throwing towels in front of bedroom doors in an attempt to contain the flash flood.  On my knees in the bathroom, I called Guy on the cell, who had been gone only a short while on a date with Ethan.  "The bathroom is flooding!  I need you to come home!" 
He wanted details. 
Jonah began crying. 
The girls began squealing and hopping from towel-island to towel-island. 
A vessel in my forehead began to bulge. 
I told Guy to "just get here".  

Fast forward: 18 sloppy towels and sundry soaked rags, one drain snake, one plunger, two days and 6 doses of drain cleaner later, we called a plumber.  Because, well, we really needed to wash some dishes, laundry and human bodies, and also, we are clearly plumbingly-challenged.

Mr. Denney came, and in short order he cleared the main line (I am leaving him in my will.  He is awesome.  Call me if you need a good plumber who is also somewhat of a student of human nature).  He called me out to the studio where, don't ask why, there is a clean out pipe sticking out of our wall. 

"I, um, found what was blocking your line..."
he said with a puzzled look on his face,
"This is a first for me."  (30 years of plumbing, and we managed to do
what no other residents have done before us).
I had been waiting for him to show me a massive hairball
in the color range of 6C Medium Golden Brown.  But he held up...

...wait for it...


A whole, entire washcloth.  Which, by the way, was utterly unmarred
by the drain cleaner, in case you were wondering.  

It's really not important how it got there (though I believe there is also a lego guy and a spoon down there) (that's another story) (that story starts with a lego guy slipping down the drain, and ends when the spoon on a string lowered down the drain to retrieve said lego guy slips off of the string) (good times).   

At this very moment I am sitting with my feet propped up on one of 5 laundry baskets that sits in the living room.  There are about 8 loads to go.

Oh, and the blue water... well apparently that was from the silk dye that someone poured down the kitchen sink.  The silk dye from the lovely silks we made earlier that day.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Change of Plans

I planned to tell you
 all about the silk painting I did today with some of my gal-pals.

There has been a change of plans. 
It's called a flooded house.

I am waiting for Guy to get back from the hardware store
 with some doo-hickies and what-cha-ma-callits
 to fix our backed up plumbing.

I learned that we have enough bath towels to cover
the square footage of our hall, entry, and parts of several rooms. 

I learned some of my children are great in an emergency.
Others are not so great.

Cereal for dinner.
Using the neighbors toilet.
Hoping we can figure this out without calling a plumber.

Funny how plans can change. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

A baby who crawls lives here...

Just when I thought
I had my floors under control...

 Our tiny Humanus-mobilicus is making his presence known.

It starts as toys and books they can reach and knock down.  Later it's legos and dirty socks.  It morphs into backpacks, skateboards and more dirty socks.

Maybe it will always be dirty socks.

I gotta admit- the DVDs, books and toys have never looked better than they do spread all over my floor.  Hand prints on the mirror, I'm waiting for you!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

That's what little girls are made of

When I was sick over the weekend,
I awoke from a nap to find the girls had raided my flower garden to bring me sweet little vases of get-well flowers.  One of the vases, a tiny white porcelain vase with delicate flowers printed on the sides, is one of only three things I possess that belonged to my grandmother.  Another, a blue-tinted glass vase, was given to me by my sister when I became a mom.  She told me it was "to hold the little dandelions that your children will bring you".  Over the years it has served it's purpose well. 

I think it is in the heart of all little girls, from the time they can embrace a baby doll and pat it's back (or a remote control, or a shoe...), to be nurturers.  We are hard wired to care for -and about- others.  The more we love them, the more we are willing to do to tend to their needs.  It has been explained that this is one of the reasons girls might be willing to become promiscuous when they reach teen years; we have a drive within us to comfort and please others.  In this case, though, the recipient would be a teenage boy, and -well, that's when Dad gets to exercise his God-given drive to protect his offspring. 

In fact, the studies that show the "fight or flight" response to a perceived threat were all done on men.  When later, similar studies were conducted on women, the researchers found that a woman's response is quite different.  "They" (you know, the "they" in "They did a study"), had to give the response a catchy name, so they called it "tend or befriend".  It is the phenomenon occurring when a woman who is being threatened will turn to her aggressors and try to please, tend, comfort or befriend them, thus reducing the stress level of their aggressor and in some instances giving the woman more control over her situation .  In childbirth we learn that this instinct works against her favor, as she surrenders her desires to whomever is taking command, often agreeing to interventions she would not have otherwise agreed to.

My point... I'm sure I left it around here somewhere...

We are hard wired this way.  We can't help but help.  We care.  We comfort.  We nurture.  We love.

Oh, we have our off days - once a month or so.  But isn't it nice, in our culture of "look out for number one", that it's not all Lord of the Flies?  Women bring a balance (and often the food and entertainment) to life.

If you don't have one already, go out and get a little bitty vase for your dandelions.  One of the beauties of being a nurturer is that children learn by example, and therefore as you nurture your sons, they become flower-bringers too.  They see their mothers, and hopefully their fathers, showing kindness and empathy, and they follow suit.

Girls are nice, but we can all be a little bit sugar and spice.