Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Confessions of a Sprout Mommy

I need to get this out: I’m in love with my plant babies.  Evidence provided below (and in previous sentence, wherein I called them “plant babies”).

1. They’re basically all I talk about anymore. Example:  (Person): “What’s new with you guys?” (Me): “My garden is growing!  Things are coming out of the dirt!” (Person): “Cool.  Anything else?” (Me): “Beet sprouts are PURPLE!”
2. I sing to them sometimes. 
3. I check on them every half hour when I’m at home.  I swear that’s how long it takes for them to stretch their little leafy arms up a little further in an effort to give the sun a big hug.
4. I drew a picture of them.  I couldn’t help it.
5. I get excited when I see their little bums popping out of the dirt. “This one’s coming!” I call out to Kendon, then turn to my little sprout. “Come on, little guy, you’re almost there!” And I think it hears me. And I feel giddy.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Memories of puppy love


Geography test Tuesday.  I’ll write that in my planner. Later.
We stayed up talking until 4:30 this morning.  I wonder if he made it to work on time.  The way his hands feel resting on my leg while staring at me with those deep, brown eyes…


What’s the difference between political realism and constructivism?  Houghton is looking at me like he wants me to volunteer a comment. I raise my hand and share an idea from Alexander Wendt.  We could be together right now. We could run away to the beach for a day.  I’d let his hand go up, up, up my leg…


We’re on to liberalism.  The democratic peace theory. Current explorations in globalization and interdependence.  We talked about politics. Movies. Us.  I’m picturing us in an airport, where we sit side by side on the floor and wait for our next flight, our own agents of globalization.

The role of international law in constraining state behavior…

Last night he said I love you. Whispered it so closely it tickled my ear.

Focus. Focus. Focus….

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Ask me about my feet.

Yesterday my friend Kim called me and invited me to go on a barefoot walk for children without shoes.   “What do we do?” I asked. “We take a walk. Without shoes,” she replied.  And I was in.

We met at Center Street, where I learned the event was sponsored by TOMS shoe company.  I removed my shoes and had the TOMS logo painted on my face, and we all began to rally with our signs down University Avenue.

And by “we all” I mean…. Well, all seven of us.  Seven of us women in our 20’s.  We got some attention, but not because people were fascinated by our cause.  Cars of student-age boys continuously flipped U-turns and honked at us throughout our walk.  We even got a few whistles.  And I just kept walking along, waving my sign that read, “Ask me about my feet.” No one did, and if they had I don’t know what I would have told them. Because really, there were only three things I knew about my feet in that moment:

1. The bottoms of them were black.

2. They had recently stepped in something wet that may have been dog pee or maybe just spilled soda.

3.  My toenails needed to be repainted and SOON.

And so during that walk with our army of seven I silently prayed that no one asked me about my feet.

At the end of our gallant march I contemplated that protest.  I felt a little like I had just provided free advertising for TOMS.  And I always hoped that the first time I picketed a sign somewhere, it would be for a cause I was fiercely passionate about; and I would wave my sign and yell until my voice left me and feel exhilarated and proud and collapse into bed at the end of the day with a sense of accomplishment for having contributed something great to the world. It wasn’t very much like that. I went home, washed my feet, scratched the blue silvery paint off my face, and went to bed thinking hard about how we’re almost out of milk. 

A not-so-flattering photo of my face, the billboard.

P.S. I really do believe that children need shoes in the world.  So, at the risk of once again being a walking billboard, you might want to clickety click here instead of asking me about my feet.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


This week I planted some seeds.

I tenderly tucked them into a bed of fresh, rich-smelling soil, humming a Simon and Garfunkel lullaby and giving them a bedtime drink. I strained my ears to hear them, perhaps whispering the foresty fairy tales of their grandfathers, or asking for more water, or kicking off the blankets.  I poked my head in to check on them hourly that day, hoping to see one of them peek its tiny green head out to catch a glimpse of the sun.  None of them did.  And then I realized there was one more thing I hadn’t done for them.

Somewhere inside of me there grows a wild jungle and a struggling vineyard.  The jungle is my imagination; the vineyard is my dreams. And in between them rests the barren wasteland; the cemetery where I bury my insecurities. Occasionally I visit this in-between place to check that it remains still and desolate, for many times horrible things have grown here and tried to suck the moisture from my jungle and choke the branches in my vineyard.  It’s cold here: a perfect place for burying my winter, for keeping my baby seeds away from the cold negativity that sometimes flurries into my soul. 

And so, on the day I tenderly tucked in my seeds, I buried a deep, frigid grave for my fears.  I buried my doubts in my abilities; my discouraging thoughts of 5,000 unfinished projects; my guilt at not being a better friend; the pain and remorse for the miscarriage I still don’t talk about.

And I carved with my finger over that grave, “Here lies winter,” and I walked away. For my seeds – for myself – I walked into a new beginning.  Then the smell of blossoms and fresh soil and the taste of sunshine on my skin awakened my vineyard and my jungle into a lush frenzy of growth.  And somewhere, deep beneath the surface of my garden, I swear I heard a hundred baby seeds whispering tales of springs long gone by.