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Are you “just a mom”?

Come on over to Families in the Loop where I’ve got a post up about the identity crisis of being a mother. Talk to me about whether you’ve ever introduced yourself as “just a mom.”

How about we stand up and proudly own that title and all that entails, huh?

Click here to view my post.

Sharing. It's not just for toddlers.


The bells of St. Brigit’s are calling tonight

pealing, appealing,

across the sea.

I cannot go; I am not free

bound here in ministry.


Silence and sanctuary are calling tonight

softly, in stage whispers my soul cannot snub.

Slumbering amidst the restless din

I dream of holy hush and polished pews.


I yearn for my holy Father tonight

His presence palpable in the nave

I pine for Bibles with broken spines

spaces where I know God to be.


I rest, cradled in faith tonight

for the bells call but do not toll.

Grace covers; my debts are paid.

All is well with my soul.

This was a surprise prompt from Write on Edge:  Add 100 words of fiction (any genre) to the following first line:

“The bells of St. Brigit’s are calling tonight.”

Sharing. It's not just for toddlers.


Her steps echo on the slate walk.

She turns; searching, but cannot see the others;

the veritable ghost-army keeping pace.

A whisper of perfume

The familiar oak a skeleton in the yard.

Smells of the past and of a storm yet to come.


Memories hits with the open door

and she



a rabbit hole,

through the glass of the grandfather clock

its hands spinning backward.

She’s caught – captive in a sandstorm.

There is no shielding herself from the barrage:

– should’ve

– could’ve

– what if?

– why?


Flayed raw by the storm, old scars tear open.

She reaches for an anchor, but finds only the hard curves of an hourglass

nipping, shaping, crushing.

No! she thinks. Not here. I don’t fit here anymore!

The glass is strong, unyielding beneath her fists.


She weeps, trapped, until she remembers.

Let it go.

Her hands are clenched,

crushing sand to her raw palms.

Let it go.

Slowly, painfully, she uncurls each finger and lets the sand blow away.


Standing on the porch, she turns her back on the open door,

clatters down the stairs

suddenly clear;

lighter than when she came up the walk.

She’s remembered: the past is a foreign country:

she cannot live there.


Poetry inspired by the Write on Edge prompt: “The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.” ~ L. P. Hartley: The Go-Between (1953).

Sharing. It's not just for toddlers.



Wrapping myself in a towel, I get out of the shower and listen. It’s the habit of a mother, the automatic check for voices, for sounds of play.

There is only silence.

This cannot be good.

I pad down the hall to her room, where I see no children, but I hear voices, murmurs. Giggling.

Treading softly, I circle the room until I see the lower half of my son sticking out from under the bed. He’s on his tummy, with his legs crossed up in the air behind him. Relaxed. Happy.

Under the bed?

Voices again, and I realize she’s completely under the bed, and they’re just having a chat. Under the bed.

For the I don’t know how many-ith time, I marvel at this relationship.

Come here, my other half, let’s chat in the dark. A hideout under the bed? Why not? It’s perfect! Now, I have so many things to tell you, so get comfortable….

I watch and try to make sense of their conversation until a water droplet slides down my neck and I realize I’ve been standing there in a towel for how long?

My daughter is still not visible; she’s all the way under the bed, obscured by a bedskirt and a pile of pink duvet. That’s her. Never one to go halfway on anything. My son is half under and half out, yet fully immersed in their private world. I am trespassing when I finally clear my throat and ask, “So how often do you two have important chats under the bed, exactly?”

After a pause and a giggle, two heads pop out from under the box-springs, photo negatives of each other. Light and dark. Boy and girl. Fireworks and calm.

“Not that often,” he answers, flashing his jack-o-lantern grin.

And just like that, they’re gone.

Back into their private world.

Sharing. It's not just for toddlers.