It’s been a week of hurts.

The pinnacle came on Sunday when Erik was goofy on Lortab recovering from his hand surgery (scout trip: two breaks, three pins), Mary gashed her arm on the swingset, Ben suffered a jagged splinter through the heart, a neighborhood wrestling match left Gabe’s face covered with scratches and Xander, poor Xander broke his toe and ripped the nail from it’s bed– trailing blood across the floor and filling the house with his screams, “Mommy, mommy! Help me mommy!” And even when he’s in pain I can’t help but love that he still calls me ‘mommy.’

Only Hans, Stefan and I escaped injury and I’m writing this from our hiding spot under the kitchen table. I am, so very sad and sorry for my injured people– especially Xander as he limps around the house and Erik as he struggles to put on deodorant and button his shirt–but, selfishly, I’m also quite sorry for myself that we had to cancel our trip to Lake Powell this week.

I’m spoiled; I know. We did, after all, spend two weeks in Europe this summer. But my poor children came home to a slow and depressed mother, a house full of undone projects and foolish deadlines. More a shadow than a parent, I’ve fed them only sporadically, neglected my duty as the tooth fairy and asked them to repeat their questions not once, not twice, but three or four times.

School starts on the 24th and not one child has had a sunburn. That sounds responsible; but it’s just sad. We need to soak up more summer before school steals my children away during most of the daylight hours.

And somehow I thought a few days at Lake Powell would redeem it all: the star-filled nights, the cool glassy water, the honest hunger after a day of swimming and jumping and skiing and hiking, the tight sunbrowned skin and the hours upon hours uninterrupted by cell phones, television or even my beloved internet.

At the lake, I could be the mother I want to be.

The moment we decided not to go, our vacation days filled in the blink of an eye: Stefan’s Eagle Project, violin lessons, help with the Primary party, a promised shopping trip for my niece, the massive pile of things to ebay… we’ll scratch in an afternoon at my parent’s pool and maybe a dinner out, but no long lazy days together in the sun and sand.

My children don’t mind. They occupy themselves with Playmobil and firecrackers and TV and making 15 second movies.

But I mind, I miss them already.

August 10, 2009



  1. Ken

    August 12, 2009

    Hans and Xander,
    Terrific video! Thanks for sending. I hope you recover quickly.
    With love,
    Grandpa Ken

  2. Kelly

    August 12, 2009

    Oh…the small treasures in each day! This small clip is priceless….I feel I know your family well enough now that I can picture them as adults celebrating Mary’s wedding day and pulling out these small clips of their childhood….ahhh, the memories. A true sign that life goes on.

    xo, Kelly

  3. Linn

    August 12, 2009

    That is a fabulous video–those that live at our house loved it! I’m sorry there have been so many injuries lately. I hope you all recover quickly. School is coming way too fast–I wrote about that exact thought on our blog yesterday. You are wonderful Michelle!

  4. Lizzy

    August 12, 2009

    I haven’t got a sunburn for 3 years and i rarely remember sunblock.Plus, it is not your fault Europe wasn’t sunny. Tell Hans and Xander I like their movie. We make movies too!

  5. Reluctant Nomad

    August 12, 2009

    we have that nerf gun. 😉

  6. Jeanelle

    August 12, 2009

    Love the movie!! I cringed reading about Xander’s toenail. UGH. One week — are we still on???

  7. Jeanelle

    August 12, 2009

    p.s. I’m not as great as Lake Powell but we’ll still have a wonderful time!!! 😉

  8. Christie

    August 12, 2009

    I ripped my own toenail off last week moving a bookshelf in my daughter’s room. Parallel lives, much?

    Sorry about the lost trip. There is NOTHING better than a few days on that lake. I would live there if I could.

  9. twoelves

    August 12, 2009

    I’m so sorry you guys couldn’t go. I would be so disappointed as well. And I hear ya on the school thing. I’m already getting sad that they are going back so soon. I don’t understand the moms that “can’t wait”. Andrew is starting kindergarten – he’ll have his big sis there rooting him along, but I will miss him terribly. I miss talking to you as well. I might come out in Sept – let’s get together for sure!

  10. Tracy

    August 12, 2009

    oh girl, you are the best mom. i say keep cover, stay safe, and you know where to send your old Jottum if you are too tired to ebay!!! xoxo,t

  11. Kevin

    August 13, 2009

    Sweet movie guys! I was laughing my buns off! Can’t wait to see you all before school starts.

  12. Selwyn

    August 13, 2009

    Oh Michelle! What a week you’re having. I hope under the table’s comfortable – and at least it has internet access =)

    I have no advice, only hugs xoxoxo! And I heartily recommend and humbly suggest that I come over in summer and therefore we HAVE to spend time at Lake Powell, ‘kay?

    P.S. That is seriously the best Hamlet I have EVER seen. Love it!

  13. Heather

    August 13, 2009

    What about the splinter through the heart, that sounds like the worst one. Or was it metaphorical? When I was watching the clip I thought, “Oh, that explains the splinter through the heart.” But maybe you didn’t catch it on video.

  14. duchess

    August 13, 2009

    Don’t be too hard on yourself & enjoy the remainder of your time together. I checked & that sun is still shining.

  15. Denise

    August 14, 2009

    I think you’re aloud to say ouch — A LOT! I think Americans rush grief. Get some sackcloth and ashes. Take a seat. This will take awhile.

  16. Bonnie

    August 14, 2009

    I’m so sorry for all the injuries your family has gotten! I hope they get better soon. And LOL – that video was hilarious! Loved it!

  17. Coach A.

    August 30, 2009

    Ouch is right!! Hope all heals fast. 🙂

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