Children

Advent

Every Sunday, the children are invited forward at our church. It’s one of my favorite parts of the service. Squiggly kids. Tentative ones. The bosses. The boisterous. The people-pleasers. Their unabashed traits shining in all their glory. No time-crafted mask covers that beauty yet. Sigh.

What does Advent mean? the children are asked. It’s one simple question. One simple answer. Coming. And the first purple candle of Advent is lit.

This year, John and I mailed Advent candles [...]

The Sting of Messing Where You Shouldn’t

Yesterday, we ended a lovely family weekend with a walk to The Museum of Natural History. Hidden behind the museum is a small water fountain park. Our grandson excitedly ran through the soft green grass towards the water and right over a swarm of yellow jackets. Surprisingly he didn’t get stung. But like all New Yorkers, I expected at minimum a warning sign to be posted about the danger.

Penny’s yellow jacket experience turned out [...]

Raising Kids In The City

‘What’s up with my kids? They climb on everything. And our furniture is so cheap, it’s always breaking.’

‘I regret now buying what we did when we moved here. It’s not holding up with our boys.’ Another woman added.

Before you think this is a discipline issue, this conversation came from our Brooklyn cohort this past Wednesday night. They are raising kids in small city spaces. 650-square-foot is the average size of a NYC family apartment. We [...]

God, we yield to your ways. But we don’t like them. Not now. Not today.

We would hear our girls’ laughter drift down from playing dress up. Interruptions of anger over older brothers pranks. Years of prayers. Joys. Heartaches. Change. We grey and wrinkle, waiting. Death comes but not for us. Not yet. God, we yield to your ways. But we don’t like them. Not now. Not today.

I penned these words this morning when I learned of Kappel Cloninger’s unexpected death at 27 years old. As parents you know. [...]

From Small Beginnings…

Tami Resch and I were diligently working in her basement in 2005. We had grand plans to develop a system of coaching, care, celebration and connection for women like us. Women who were busy raising kids and starting churches.

Like other moms, we worked in between cooking meals, doing laundry and driving kids to and from after-school activities. That year, Tami and Steve’s youngest, Katherine, was enrolled in dance classes. So we packed up her dance [...]

The Mother Heart of God

This weekend I’m attending a baby shower for my daughter, Michaelanne, who will give birth in June. We’ll also be celebrating Mother’s Day together. I’m excited but I’m also ambivalent.

My child is entering the world of parenting from which there is no return. She has the opportunity to experience amazing joy and heartbreaking pain. She can choose to stay alive to the agony of a broken world (which we experience daily as mothers) as [...]

The Corner of Childhood and Harlem

Tall confidant radiating beauty

sees me

emerging from the taxi

velvet skin

the color of safety

greets me

 

Suddenly

I’m a child again

sitting on a hard wooden bench

ankle-socked legs

dangling

 

IMG_2684My multi-tasking mother plays the piano

simultaneously parenting

from her perch

on the hot humid platform

 

By |November 21st, 2014|Shari Thomas|5 Comments|

What Drives Us to Live the Way We Live?

I used to love May with its increasing warmer weather, greening grass and signs of summer right around the corner. I could hardly stick with bedtime routines, wanting the kids to enjoy the lengthening nights, fireflies and the first sounds of crickets.

Slowly, something shifted in May. What once was an enjoyable end-of- the-year teacher party (my kids drew pictures or took flowers to thank their teachers) turned into a full blown affair only an [...]

Mothers, Snake Handlers and Christ figures

I was hoping for five minutes. Just five minutes alone in the shower.

The thought of showering without interruptions, without cries for help or utter silence indicating something was amiss, was my most luxurious wish in those early years of mothering.

I’ve heard of toddlers staying in their rooms playing contently, safely staying out of harms way. These, however, were not my offspring. And from the sounds of it, most of you don’t have docile kids [...]