All the Kindergarten Feelings

September 14, 2022

“Let me quick take your picture,” I say, shuffling Nora up my hip while posing Allie on the bus steps. She smiles, her hands tucked nervously under her chin. My nose burns, but the tears don’t fall. My eyes catch the bus driver’s gaze—the skin around his eyes crinkles—how many moms has he waved to, trusting him with their babies on their first day?

Stepping back, I pause—it feels like in one moment, everything has changed. And like a movie, the last six years rewind in front of me.

I see Allie on a bike for the first time and her first lost tooth. I remember the times she told me, “I wanna be just like you when I grow up, Mama!”

I picture her holding Nora for the first time—her nose scrunched up in delight. All the Christmas and family vacations flash in front of me. I picture the red scooter on her third birthday. A black eye comes into focus, but I can’t remember how it happened. Time keeps moving back past her first birthday with a pink owl cake and her first doll.

The movie in my mind slows down to the day of the birth. I see myself at 41 weeks pregnant, waddling through contractions in a city park. The air was chilly, and the leaves were changing, but I felt hot—my body fiery with new life. Each step became heavier with each contraction.

Finally, on the bed at the birthing center, I cried, “I can’t do this!” The midwife gripped my hand, “You are doing this! You have to.” The room filled with tiny cries until I locked eyes with a wrinkly, squishy babe.

Standing on the road by the bus, I try to poke holes in my memories—mining for regrets and where I could have done better. I know they are there.

But those aren’t the scenes that popped up. It was my baby girl’s first words, first steps, the middle of the night rocking, all the milestones and special days, and the ordinary ones in between.

My stomach turns in knots, knowing the days will never be the same—but my memories remind me there’s still so much ahead.

Waving one last time as the bus pulls away, I smile—grateful to feel so much.

Farming Writing

How to Save $5 on a Dozen Eggs

First, and this is key; you must declare, “I’ve always wanted chickens! Wouldn’t it be fun?” (Even if you just thought of it yesterday.) You imagine restoring the run-down coop in your farm yard and ask your husband, “Can you fix this coop for…

August 23, 2022

The Harvest Meals You Didn’t Ask For

The knife slices through the potato, the sharp edge hitting the cutting board with each chop. Thwack. Thwack. It’s not quite noon, but I want the mashed potatoes made now, so all I have to do at 4 o’clock is pop the pan into…

August 12, 2022
Farming Writing

On Being a Farm Mom During Harvest

“She’s probably the last little one we’ll have at harvest,” my father-in-law said, looking at Nora in her car seat. She smiled at me, her cheeks covered in chocolate, leftover from dinner in the field. I could tell from a distance that her hands…

August 8, 2022
Friendship Writing

Knives in the Drawer

The forks clank as I drop them into the drawer, still hot from the dishwasher. With each bang, I think back to the email that unexpectedly dropped into my inbox yesterday. I opened the email and leaned over my granite countertop, my chin resting…

July 1, 2022

Ten Ways to Stop Being a Writer

Open your computer to a blank Google Doc and then decide now is a good time to update all your photos. Google: What’s the best photo storage website to use? (But really. I need help with this. Amazon Photos is acting weird all of…

June 30, 2022
Farming marriage Writing

In Good Hands

I shivered, tucking my hands into the pockets of my brand new Carhartt coveralls. Just the year before, I wore dress pants and skirts and walked the halls as a high school counselor. My old life in the city was a world away from…

June 9, 2022
Fiction Writing

Woman At-Large After Trying to Put Pants on Her Toddler

Chouteau County – A central Montana woman allegedly tried to put pants on her less than two-year-old daughter on Monday morning. The suspect was last seen fleeing the scene wearing slippers and a baseball cap. It appeared she had a book in her hand. …

April 22, 2022
Farming marriage

Sometimes I’m an Idiot Sandwich

For weeks, people on social media have been excited about spring. More light! Longer days! My cranky side thinks, Yay, more hours for my husband to be gone!   My stomach turns in knots in the weeks leading up to the next busy season. I…

April 8, 2022