flower girl.

I had a rough couple of days this week.

I drove to Eugene, met with Angie's defense team, slept, testified, and was home inside 26 hours. I hugged Emily so hard I thought she'd protest. But she didn't. It's like she knew Mommy needed an extra squeezy-squeeze. Just like she hugged me two extra times when I put her down for her nap before I left. I needed it then, and I surely needed it when I got home.

There are all kinds of thoughts still running marathons in my head from the trial: the testimony, the questions the prosecution asked, the faces of the jurors, the smile I snuck in to Angie as I lingered in the courtroom at break time.

But what I remember most about this week, and what I want to remember most about this week, wasn't the drive, the trial or the exhaustion. It was the next day at the grocery store.

Being slightly over-ambitious, I had planned on making my homemade berry shortcake for dessert on Friday. Not only would it be a nice thank-you to my Dad for watching the kids while I was away, but it would be a great opportunity for Emily and I to put on our aprons and get some eggy-flour on ourselves.

So we drove to Safeway where we always do our shopping to pick out some berries, heavy whipping cream and a few other things.

At this particular store, somewhere after picking up your cart but before arriving at the fruit and veggies, you pass the floral department.

"Mommy! We need flooooowerrrrrrs!", twirling with her head cocked to one side, arms above her head.

Yes, honey. We most certainly need flowers.

I asked her which flowers she wanted to take home; a job she took very seriously. So she crossed her arms and circled the display, heavy-stepping so I knew she was contemplating every option.

"Mommy! I want BOTH!"

"Both what?"


My perceptive daughter had sought out the only bunch of Gerber Daisies in the entire display. How did she know they were my favorite? That's my girl.

Patiently she waited until we got to the checkout line to hand the clerk her flowers. Without hesitation she whipped behind the checkout stand and took the flowers straight out of the clerk's hand as soon as she heard the scanner beep. Then, as if she were just handed the keys to the castle, she got on her toes and held up the bouquet to the clerk:

"Excoose mees? Would you like to smell my floooooowers?"

And who could say no to that. Tell me.

Instantly the woman was captivated. And so was every checker and customer within 20 feet. Everyone stopped. And Emily noticed.

"They're lovely," admired the checker. Emily sniffed them herself, smiled, and moved to the nearest person.

"Would yoooou like to smell my flowers?"

And so it began.

I counted 11 people. Eleven. Three checkers, four female customers, one older man who glistened long after his encounter with my Little One, two women entering the store as we were leaving, and finally -- the woman across the way at the bank. She approached each, one by one, and invited them to--if only for a moment--come and experience her world of flowers.

To see my child practically bursting to share the joy within her with everyone she saw -- was incredible.  And just what I needed.

Thank you, peanut.


to my son.

Dear Ethan,

Mommy here. You're much older now, but when I wrote this you were not yet 8 months old. You love being held by your mommy. When I step out of view, you f-a-h-reak. You can still fall asleep in my arms, even though it puts mommy's biceps to the test. Today I had occasion to think about you as more than just a smiling baby; as a boy, a man, a husband and a father. So while you still look at every word I say wide-eyed, there are a few things I want to say.

I will make mistakes. There have already been several. But I grow a bit more patient every day, a bit more wise every day, and put the fruits of that growth toward being a better woman for you, Emily and Daddy. This doesn't mean, however, that I'm not going to royally screw the pooch on more occasions than can be counted. More importantly, though, you need to know it's okay to make mistakes. So when I make one, I will admit it. And apologize. Because the whole do-as-I-say-and-not-as-I-do thing never got anyone anywhere.

I promise to treat you how I expect your wife to treat you. Okay, mister. Head out of the gutter. I'm talking about respect. I promise to respect you as a man, even when you are little. I promise to love you so you know what it looks like, and don't chase the first pair of cute panties that comes flinging herself at you.

I expect you to open doors and stand when a lady leaves the table. Your Daddy has spoiled me, so you can blame him.

I promise to give you away (for reals) when you get married. I'm saying this now, when you're still learning to splash Sophie the Giraffe in your bathtub, and will continue to self-affirm until the day you say I do. It's going to take several decades to accomplish this, so I hope you don't plan on getting married until you're in your 50s.

I will never shame you. You can ask your Daddy -- I take this seriously. I believe the esteem a woman finds in her husband is the esteem the world finds in her husband. And the esteem a mom shows her son is what he will learn to expect from others. I want you to know that when your world is falling apart, you can come to me because I will stand by and support you. Period.

I love you.

The end.