What He’ll Be When He Grows Up

[AUGUST 26, 2015: I’m updating this post from 2011 for this week’s #wholemama link up, which has moved over to Erika Shirk’s blog, Overflow. I love this post and feel it fits so well with this week’s theme, BE.] By Amanda Cleary Eastep At 7, my son is in earnest. Gripping the back of the seat as we drive […]

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Celebration: A marriage of joining and loosing

chinese-laterns

By Amanda Cleary Eastep On September 20th, CELEBRATION… …will be a banquet hall garden with neat rows of white chairs and flowers and a white runner separating the bride’s and groom’s families until we are joined like the teeth of a zipper as she marches up the aisle… …will be a bride who will be more beautiful than she ever […]

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The Dance of the Elders

By Amanda Cleary Eastep That summer night on the rain-shiny driveway, we danced like crazy people…   …and we sang, all of us happy remnants of the Sunday afternoon party that celebrated the graduation of my three kids. Their whole lives lay ahead of them as we friends and family honored the big steps of […]

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The Spaces that Hold Our Gardens and Barbs

garden-spider

This post is part of the #wholemama summer series started by blogger Esther Emery. Last week’s theme was SPACE. Even though I didn’t write in time to add it to the Tuesday link-up, there are posts focusing on “space” from 20 amazing women on Esther’s website. IN MEMORY OF SOMEONE WE LOVED By Amanda Cleary Eastep There was […]

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Quiet Riot

winter-girl

By Amanda Cleary Eastep 1. Nearly every day for 15 years I have heard my son’s voice until the judge decides my son will live with his father while his two sisters and I will move out of the house, but I leave most of the children’s books because it upsets him to see me pack […]

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When Your Power Ain’t So Super, Woman

By Amanda Cleary Eastep He wants me to wear a cape to the grocery store. “I don’t have a cape, Sweetie.” My four year old streaks out of the kitchen, the red cape I sewed flying out behind him. My next door neighbor regularly ridicules me. How the hell can I let my son run […]

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Because Your Good Friends Will Follow You Out the Window

By Amanda Cleary Eastep One after the other, the six of us crawl out my friend’s apartment bedroom window and onto the flat, tar paper roof of Wilma’s Cafe where the farmers gather on Saturday mornings to drink coffee and eat Western omelets after milking or plowing or planting, depending on the season. To me […]

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You wouldn’t believe the stars

By Amanda Cleary Eastep “You wouldn’t believe the stars.” My daughter tells me this in one of her voice messages from the refugee camp in north Africa. She and her friend had dragged their bedding out onto the desert sand, staying up until 2 a.m. as if this was some junior high sleepover, chatting and “wow”ing and awestruck. We live 30 […]

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Peace Is Giving Me that Look

By Amanda Cleary Eastep “You have that look.“ My daughter says this as we hold each other in an embrace that sighs, “Don’t leave home,” and responds, “I have to go.” She’s taken to glancing sideways at me when we hug to make sure I’m not crying. I am on the inside. Wailing like a mad […]

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The Advent of Impact

By Amanda Cleary Eastep We are parked in the middle of a dark road in the Wisconsin countryside on our way home from my first ever grown-up New Year’s Eve party in my cousins’ basement. Cousin #1 is wondering why cousin #2, who may have sucked down a few too many Pabst Blue Ribbons, isn’t behind us […]

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