I've moved!

I'm still writing; you just won't find me here any longer. If you want to keep reading my writing, head over to mollyflinkman.com. I'll keep a cup of coffee warm for you.

Monday, October 26, 2015


word of the day: present \ˈpre-zənt\ not past or future; existing or happening now

I went back and forth between "present" and "volatile" tonight. Two words that don't really have that much in common, but for whatever reason they keep bumping into each other in my brain.

Volatile did not exist in my spoken vocabulary until Jake used it a few months back to describe a certain person in our house and all her two-ness. Now it describes the very essence of my life. Somedays it's oatmeal versus toast. Others it's jeans versus green leggings or the black shirt instead of the gray one. A few weeks ago, we had to take a lunch break hiatus because, in a great lapse of judgment, I cut her peanut butter sandwich in half. 

I am learning that the thing she wants is usually the opposite of what I want, and so, each day brings new boundaries to test and new deals to negotiate. (Me: Lily, let's read one book before bed. Lily: I want to read two books. Me: We can read two books. Lily: I want to read lossa books. Oy.)

Lately I find myself in the middle of these moments where part of me wants to tap out. Let an expert handle it. Three hours into the potty training process and I was feeling totally unqualified for the task at hand. So go many moments of this whole parenting gig. 

Then yesterday, I was sitting and watching Norah cruise the furniture in our living room. She let go for a moment, and I thought she might walk to Jake (She didn't. Appears to be a little more of a risk calculator. Can't imagine where she gets that tendency). In that moment though, I had this instinctual feeling like I needed to capture the moment. My phone was in the kitchen though which forced me to be present in the actual moment (a novel concept, I know). 

I was reminded in that split second that so much of my job as a parent is simply to be present in every moment with my kids. 

It actually reminds me of one of my favorite lines from How I Met Your Mother (weirdly enough). Marshall was beside himself because Ted's girlfriend had never seen Star Wars. His logic: "The only people in the universe who have never seen Star Wars are the characters in Star Wars and that's cause they lived them. That's cause they lived the Star Wars." 

I want to live the Star Wars. The potty training bathroom celebrations and the accidents on the way up the stairs. The sleeping through the night and the "I need a drink of water" at 6 a.m. The whole ceramic pumpkin and the shattered one. The peanut butter sandwich, oatmeal, graham cracker, and pancake (their rank changes on any give day).

I've been thinking lately that if Jake and I don't love our kids well in each moment we have with them, who else will? 

So in those moments where it would be easy to tap out, I've taken to closing my eyes and breathing in the reminder to love well. 

Also to keep sandwiches whole and to never suggest jeans as a clothing option. 

And, let's be real, of course there are moments to capture which I will not miss. 

Like Lily's first library card.
Or Norah's champion free-standing.
Or the fact that when I set out to make homemade Dalmatian costumes this year, I sort of made cow costumes. The guesses were about 50/50 when we went "Sticker Treating" at the library last week. Cutest Dalmatian cows around. No disparity there.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


word of the day: musings \ˈmyüz-ing\ thoughtfully abstracted.

I read this story once about a woman who was at the beach with her son. She sat reading a magazine while her son chased after hermit crabs. He was perfectly blissful until one of the crabs neared his mother who screamed. Her fear inadvertently taught him to fear, and that was that with their fun afternoon.

So, there was a mouse in my house last week. 

I saw it first on Thursday night. It darted into the finished side of our basement and back before anyone else could see it. It reappeared a little more slowly Friday morning while I was in the basement with the girls. It shimmied underneath the baby gate toward Lily and me before turning back around, and of course I was all, "Look, Lily! A mouse just like we read about in your books. Cool!"


Reality would show me yelping and jumping off the floor to my feet (at which point I was immediately reminded of the hermit crab story). My inner monologue did its best to talk me down. It's not going to come at you, Molly. It's just a smaller version of a chipmunk, and those don't freak you out. It's kind of cute, really. 

So, I took a deep breath and looked at Lily. She looked at the place where the mouse had been, looked back at me and said, "It's not scary, mom." 

So, there's that at least.

I've seen the mouse once since then but given that it was at the bottom of the washing machine and a load of "clean" clothes, our short relationship has ended. (until, I'm sure, we find the rest of his family members.)

The forecast is showing frost for this weekend, and the clouds seem to be hanging around for longer periods of time, so I keep looking at these pictures to remind myself that we'll make it through the sun-less winter here in Ohio (at least that's what they tell me to expect).

It really is beautiful here, and I will never tire of watching trees change into their fall hues. 

I read this quote the other day and have been churning it ever since:
The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let the dead things go.

I suppose it fits well with my recent desire to unsubscribe to all the junk I don't need. To focus rather on the sustaining things that bring life. But, I was reminded in reading that quote of a post I wrote a few years ago about abscission, which basically, is the act of cutting off. So, in terms of fall, abscission means that when it's time for a tree to lose its leaves, cells appear and, like scissors, cut the leaf from the branch.

So, to quote myself, (a tacky habit I've adopted lately), the leaves don't fall off. They are cut [from the branch itself].

A good reminder in a season of change--while warm weather turns to frost and sandals turn to that pair of brown ankle boots you forgot you had--that you can't let the dead things go without letting go. Change and personal growth don't just happen on their own accord. I've got to open my hands to both letting the dead things go and grabbing on to the lovely. Action verbs seem to be the going theme in my life lately. 

So, we'll hunker down and prepare for winter ahead. Thankfully, Jeremy and  Kelly taught us how to play Settlers of Catan. And even more thankfully, Jake and I were ambitious (and cheap) enough to make our own game board and set, so we can play even in their absence. 
We really feel like this is the key to making new friends here. 

Or at least a better way to spend some quality time together that doesn't involve watching Netflix (Bartlet for America!). 

Mice and all.