E-mail Conversation Circa 2012

What follows is an actual e-mail conversation between John and I from May of 2012. At that time Jane would have been about five months old…

…Clara two and half and Ivy five, though not yet in school…

..and e-mail was John and my primary method of communication while he was at work.


Can you email or call Abi and see if they are available for us to visit on the 31st? And to refresh my memory, you were thinking leaving Thursday morning, so I should take off right?

Did things improve with the girls today?



yes until it rained in kitchen – now sucks jane asllep pn arm, stuck and afraid to move



Would you mind elaborating on “rained in kitchen”?


And then, according to my old e-mails I was cleaning out, I never answered him. Which makes me giggle every time I re-read it. Because what must he have thought at work knowing total chaos waited him at home? “Well, at least they didn’t burn the house down.” or “I guess it’ll be cleaner now.” or “Just another typical day at the Stevens house.” I have no idea, and he doesn’t remember either but, unless it rained in the kitchen twice in May of 2012 (a possibility I am NOT discounting!) I did blog about it…

“It’s Raining…”


One of the major problems I have staying home with three kids is that while I’m nursing the baby the other two are doing stuff. Some days they are doing nice stuff and some days are like today. Today I came into the kitchen and found that Clara discovered not only how to change the kitchen faucet from a stream to a spray but that you can also pull out the head of the faucet. I pull out the head of the faucet to wash large pans and clean the sink. Clara pulled it out, must have thought it was actually intended to be the worlds best water gun and got right to work spraying Ivy.

Read the rest of it’s raining here: https://behindthewillows.com/2012/05/22/its-raining/




Guess What I Made?

“Mom!” says Clara, “Guess what I made?”

Turns out I hate guessing what the kids have/found/made/like/want. Part of this is because Clara likes to tell you “No,” when you guess the correct answer just to keep you guessing.

I do not always appreciate her form of fun.

My tactic in dealing with guessing games has evolved, I’ve gone from interested and caring new parent to jaded mother who has burned by too many fake “noes”.  I now start crazy and guess wilder and wilder items until they become fed up with me and tell me.

The kids do not always appreciate my form of fun.

“You made a pterodactyl.”

“No,” says Clara, “better than a pterodactyl.”

“Well, I have no idea then, what’s better than a pterodactyl?”

“This!” she says and whips her creation from behind her back.IMG_6721-(2sm)


She doesn’t know what it is either.*IMG_6724-(2sm)

But it is so obviously better than a pterodactyl.

*And why? Why do I have to guess what a thing is when she doesn’t even know what the thing is? I also do not appreciate that kind of fun! 

My Love Affair With Night

Night is ever the seducer. He whispers in my ear and tells me I can do that one more thing before bed. He fills the night with a soft, quite peace and whispers promises of fun to be had. But Morning is waiting for me when he leaves and she is an uncompromising bitch.

Night makes all sorts of compromises. I can have fun with friends, or I can enjoy the solitude. I can read one more chapter, write one more story. I can do one more chore or have one more conversation.


This is the beautiful Ra, with illustrations by the amazing Tooks, we made a book together. A lot of it happened at night. 

Morning refuses to cooperate. Her schedule is inflexible. She demands productivity. Immediately. Compromise is not in Morning’s vocabulary.

I know this.

And yet… Night is always tempting and I am bad at saying no.

Some nights I try.

I try to resist his siren song and when I succeed I meet Morning on a level playing field, but other nights he fights back.

On those nights he hangs the stars so low in a moonless, clear sky you feel as though you could pluck them down. But, of course, you can’t. Still they hover above, another temptation in the dark, and the wanting gets to you and it makes you restless. If you can’t play with the stars you at least have to move. You have to sing, dance, love, cry, you have to feel those nights. Those are the nights filled with tossing and turning. Those are the nights that normally sleeping dogs pace the house and kids wake up with nightmares.

Night compromises but at his heart he will always be a seducer. He doesn’t play fair and he takes what he wants in the end.

And Morning, she is always waiting, hard faced and uncaring on the other side.

I’m constantly lured into poor decisions in my love affair with Night.

Morning and I exist on a battlefield littered with broken alarm clocks and spent tea bags.

But between them lives Nap and we have the sweetest of relationships.

Not Home Yet

It was passed the time the kids should have been off the bus and in the door.

I quick stepped out to the top of the driveway – still no sign of them.

Crouching to peer under the hanging apple tree branches I double checked- nope, no kids.

Jumping up I ran back into the house pulled out my hidden cookie and sat down.


And as I enjoyed my last five minutes of quiet I thought to myself, “Yup.  This is it. I’ve pretty much hit the pinnacle of motherhood and the stereotype of a stay at home mom all in one fell swoop. Good job mama, good job.”

Mosquitoes and School

The first day of school arrives and I, like all the other parents and grandparents around take pictures of my kids. I do this because it was done to me and I hated it so it seems only fair that now I torture my own girls with it.DSC_0306

And then I, like all the other parents and grandparents around, share my pictures with the world. I do this because that’s what bloggers (I swear I will get a new computer and be a regular blogger again one day soon) do.DSC_0305

But I just can’t get on board the “bittersweet memory”  and “growing up so fast” and “where has the time gone” caption bandwagon with the cute signs and the three smiling faces. DSC_0307


A: The house is quiet today and that is a beautiful thing.

B: I hate to be the one to point this out but we are all aging at the same rate, and

C: The time has disappeared into years of sleeplessness and over caffeination and I can’t remember most of it anyway even if I wanted to.

So I post pictures of my kids getting attacked by mosquitoes and I don’t cry and feel bittersweet.


When Mom makes you take a first day of school picture in a swarm of mosquitoes. #whenmosquitoesattack #firstdayofschool

Nope, I’m just happy to be able to drink an entire cup of tea while it’s still hot, knowing that I’ll have some photo evidence that I did indeed send the girls off to school on a mosquito ridden day in 2018 because heaven knows I’ll never remember it otherwise!




Death By Drowning


Fortunately it was just the computer.

Unfortunately there is no “just” when it comes to how much I rely on my computer.

Hopefully soon, my technological life will be in order, the kids will be back in school, I’ll stop running all over the state on a whim and I’ll be back to blogging and writing and creating again. Because as much as I’ve enjoyed this whirlwind of a summer I have missed this.

Putting words on a page has become more important to me than I would have ever guessed.

Until then you can still find me on Instagram (because we killed all the technology in the house this summer except the phone *knock on wood*) where there aren’t many words but there are lots of pictures to get me through until we get it all straightened back out again. 38738842_2276205439273979_5467301984065290240_n

Enjoy what summer you have left!