I would like to nominate Swistle for Most Perfectly-Stated Summary of These Particular Parenting Issues, and also for the larger award of Most Reassuring and Consistently Insightful, Relatable, and/or Delightful Blog Presence During a Pandemic.


Semi-relatedly, it’s interesting to me how I have been incredibly drawn to things that are consistent, that offer a sense of stability in the tsunami-debris of pandemic life, and yet other things that routinely happen at scheduled times each year are actively annoying to me. Easter, for instance. I mean, were the parents, especially those with young kids, consulted about this, because honestly who has the emotional energy for yet another round of holiday magic-making? I love a Reese’s egg as much as the next guy but the whole entire rest of it just seems exhausting.


It’s been sunny over the last couple days and I cannot BELIEVE the effect it has on me. I bitch and moan each and every year about Oregon’s dark wet winters but man, this season has been rough for real. The days are getting noticeably longer now, there are daffodils and crocuses everywhere, and this March sneak peek of brighter days ahead has been just the ticket.


Riley has his learner’s permit! I know it probably gets tiresome to hear how mind blowing it is that children do not stay small forever because duh and yet this indisputable fact never stops straight-up blowing my damn mind. My little guy, now a 6-foot-tall manchild with a mustache that must be held at bay, driving a VEHICLE.

I don’t really know how to get over the sorrow of having those small children — my boys’ younger selves — being gone forever. (Even as I so deeply appreciate being past those early years.) Sometimes I imagine that these deep-voiced teenagers are like nesting dolls, that the babies I held and the toddlers I played with are all there inside, and when I hug them now I have my arms around the whole of them, the whole of our lives together.


15 Responses to “Matryoshka”

  1. Swistle on March 13th, 2021 10:30 am

    *kicks rocks, blushing*

    The twins are learning to drive too, and it is bizarre to me. Bizarre. Riley is, like, five. Mayyyybe six. Possibly three. The twins are still wearing pink/blue ear hats and combining their strength to move their whole playpen. None of the three of them should be EVEN ABLE TO SEE OVER THE STEERING WHEEL.

  2. itsjustme on March 13th, 2021 10:37 am

    Swistle forever! 😍😍😍

    That last paragraph made me cry. Happy/sad tears, which is really how I feel about my kids growing up.

  3. Gigi on March 13th, 2021 3:02 pm

    Swistle truly is one of the most reassuring voices on the internet.

    And yes, as with Itsjustme, that last paragraph brought on the tears. I love the analogy that our little guy is still in there somewhere, like a nesting doll.

  4. JB on March 13th, 2021 5:03 pm

    Oh, this is achingly lovely. I shall haug all of the versions of my babies/toddlers/little kids/tweens/teens in my arms today.
    Thank you… this is a gift.

  5. g~ on March 13th, 2021 5:40 pm

    I wholeheartedly agree with your nomination. In fact, you and Swistle are the only two bloggers that I have consistently read over the past…Jesus, I just realized that I have been reading you two longer than Riley has been alive! Good Lord. I need a minute.

    I have one child completely independently driving the other child around and that, friend, ‘harshed my mellow.’

  6. becky on March 14th, 2021 10:16 am

    Oh, that last paragraph made me sob. My boys are the same ages, and you’ve once again captured the bittersweet perfectly.

  7. Sonja Rutherford on March 15th, 2021 11:59 am

    I’ve been mourning my almost 10 year old leaving the little kid stuff behind, and also it’s almost time for my period so when I read those last couple sentences I burst into tears. DAMN YOU! :)

  8. Juli on March 15th, 2021 5:04 pm

    My Youngest turned 19 today. I did my standard FB message for the world to see, accompanied by 20 pictures of the baby/boy/child/teen he was.

    It’s bittersweet, seeing him so far off track right now. Damn COVID.

    But today marks the 19th chapter of his story. I can only hope he choses his words wisely.

    The permit is the beginning of so many new and amazing things. And the ability to watch them grow into men is a privilege.

  9. Shawna on March 16th, 2021 9:07 am

    Is Riley 16 already? Or can you get a learner’s permit there when you’re 15? Zoot’s daughter is 15 and has her learner’s permit and she’s in Alabama.

    You have to be 16 here, and I think I overlapped pregnancies with you and Zoot, so it’s startling to see them posting about their kids driving already when Sage won’t be able to get her permit until next January.

    That first paragraph – yes! I’m a regular reader and commenter over at Swistle’s blog. I think I actually found her through you a number of years ago maybe?

    That last paragraph – you totally got me too. I was just talking to the kids about how strange it feels to know that I’ll never see them as little kids again.

  10. Shawna on March 16th, 2021 9:09 am

    “startling to see YOU posting about YOUR kids…”


  11. Linda on March 16th, 2021 9:31 am

    Shawna: here in OR you can get your learner’s permit when you’re 15 (can only drive with parents in the car). He turns 16 at the end of August but actually has to wait a bit — you have to have your learner’s permit for 6 months before getting your driver’s license.

  12. Kathleen on March 16th, 2021 4:57 pm

    Nesting dolls—what a beautiful and fitting description. This description hit me hard in the feels today (oldest is 17, talking about his post high school life), and I have a feeling I’m going to remember these words of yours for a long time. Thank you for still writing here. I am a long time reader who treasures your writing. :)

  13. Mary Clare on March 18th, 2021 10:32 am

    Thanks for the nesting doll analogy is perfect for growing kids. I also am applying it to my aging parents. In the face of aging related changes (not pleasant physical and personality changes) that image of nesting dolls is a sweet way to think of the past parts of themselves.

  14. Lindsay Feizet on April 5th, 2021 8:28 am

    What a beautiful, perfect description. Thank you, from another long time reader. ❤️

  15. Abby on April 12th, 2021 7:22 am

    Ooof that last paragraph hits the nail on the head. My children are still young and I still miss the versions of them from a year or two years ago. Thank you for giving words to that.

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