The best way to celebrate

Leaves in autumn color

I’m sitting at the kitchen table, sipping tea and writing, my sister-in-law, our kids, and I having just returned from a short hike to a waterfall, my three-year-old nephew’s first.

The first waterfall I remember seeing was Niagara Falls, though I probably went to one or two before it. I…


What a break in tradition is teaching me about friendship

Ten hands placed alongside each other up a tree trunk

“There’s nothing better,” I once heard a man in a restaurant say, “than sharing a bottle of wine with friends.”

Wine with friends, wine with friends tumbled in my head like clothes in a dryer.

Canada’s Athabasca River flows a cloudy blue that would probably look clear if it would…


How my husband and I divide in order to unite

A red rope knotted around a tree branch into a heart shape

When asked what’s kept her 50+ year marriage going, Dolly Parton responds, “I always say ‘Stay gone!’ and there’s a lot of truth to that.”

We’re on an extended trip outside the country from which my husband is to leave a month before our kids and I.

In bed a…


Clearing anxiety through early-morning expression

A piece of paper with writing on it, a calligraphy pen and flowers next to it

It’s 5am and my chest is tight, breathing shallow. I sense upcoming changes that break my heart, terrify and invigorate me, and I haven’t written to completion in almost two weeks.

While it’s been an unusually slow reading year for me, lately I’ve been reading a lot. Non-fiction mostly, much…


Where politics, education, and family converge

In the waiting, that’s where I am, we are. Seven-something on Wednesday morning, the day after the U.S. presidential election. No winner yet declared. My kids still in bed after a late night of results watching.

We can do that, stay up late and sleep in late, because we homeschool…


Spoiler: It’s not my children

Two tulips in the rain

I once was a raging mother who thought death preferable to the interior hell I was in. In that hell, I didn’t exist — there was no room for me. …


A small-town girl fishes rivers that aren’t rivers

A young child fishing

I’m seven and we live beside the Belfast River. This river, like many others on the coast of Georgia, isn’t a real river draining the interior of the land. Instead, it’s a dark tidal creek that swells and falls twice daily, the moon its conductor.

We have a dock, and…


What’s the point of remembering?

A stick figure human hangs from the bottom of a heart
  1. Brent. 8th grade. We had every class together, sat near or next to each other in all of them, were science lab partners for half the year. He played the bass, basketball, football, was super smart. Drew pictures of me, spoof-y, non-sexual, badass ones based on a nickname he and…


An argument for relationship-first parenting

A massive tree with sunlight shining through its leaves and branches

As mothers, we’re all concerned with being good ones. Moms who meet their kids needs, who ensure they’re fed, clean, and educated, whose minds, hearts, and bodies are developed to their full potential.

Successful mothering, as we know it, is performance. Acting a certain way, dressing a certain way, dressing…


A philosophy, a vision, a revolution

A small metal door with heart-shaped window and a candle glowing on the other side of it

My kids asked recently what “radical” means; they’ve heard it a lot in political advertisements. I suggested that it’s holding beliefs or taking actions that are outside the norm and that often, though not always, come from a place of concern for others. …

Ashley Kim

Living just beyond my comfort zone.

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