Category Archives: family

John Adams Russell

October 4, 1944 – September 23, 2017 What I wrote about John this weekend on Instagram: The world lost one of the greats yesterday, John Adams Russell. It was my privilege and honor to be John’s third and final daughter-in-law and to spend 19 years in the light of his love. John was fiercely committed […]

Seventeen years

September 9, 2000 Not the greatest photo of us, but I still love it because it’s pretty clear we’re having a good time Seventeen years ago September 9th, in a thunderstorm, Matt and I got married.  We didn’t know what lay ahead, and I think it’s safe to say the years between then and now […]

Tradition and adaptation, metaphor and flying

I have written a lot about traditions, and how they can form the scaffolding of family life. That’s certainly true for us.  For many years our family’s calendar has been dotted with traditions big and small.  As the kids have grown, some of these have fallen by the wayside and others have shifted but remained […]

Commencement

Tomorrow, both children graduate – Whit from sixth grade and Grace from eighth.  At the school they’ve both been at since they were four, sixth grade and eighth grade are inflection points (the other is twelfth grade), so they each have graduation ceremonies.  As you can probably imagine, I’m perpetually in tears these days and […]

Happy birthday

Dear Matt, Last year was nobody’s favorite year.  Not yours, not mine, not Grace’s, and not Whit’s.  A host of things were challenging, but none more than your injury.  At the end of August, you tore two of your hamstring tendons and wound up in surgery.  It was a stressful and scary week while we […]

Matrescence 2.0

December 2002 I loved reading The Birth of a Mother in the New York Times, and not just because that photograph reminded me of one of my favorite photos of Grace when she was a baby (see above, December 2002).  I read the article, which asserts that matrescence (the process of becoming a mother – […]

Winter break

I want to remember winter break this year, because it was utterly ordinary and not at all perfect.  Already, as I write this in early January, the not-perfectness, the yelling and the imperfection, is fading into the slurry of memory and I’m recalling the shimmer of quiet days together.  It was the last time that […]

Favorite words

We have been doing a lot of vocabulary studying lately around here.  SSATs and ISEEs will do that to you.  There’s a lot about standardized tests I do not love, but any discussion of vocabulary and words I flat-out do. Last weekend, we had a couple of hours in the car as a foursome.  We […]

Thanksgiving

The closest I’ve come to touching the meaning of Thanksgiving is 2002.  Grace was a month old, and Matt’s father, John, received a lifesaving heart transplant a couple of days before Thanksgiving.  Matt, Grace, and I spent the day with my family, including both of my grandfathers (see above, with my maternal grandfather and Grace).  […]

Hair trigger

It hasn’t been a very calm few months at our house.  Which is strange, because in other ways it’s been very calm.  We haven’t done much other than work, physical therapy, and homework (me, Matt, and kids, in that order).  But everybody feels frayed and tense, not to mention tired, and we seem to be […]