The sun is shining, a neighbor’s lilac bush is in bloom. When its Lilliputian flowers dance over to my front stoop, I can’t help but sense they’re carrying an early conception of chimera. As it stands, every idea I’ve pursued at length – plans snared to sites built to projects born to gigs proposed – has been hatched in the spring.

Generous lilacs, they are.

Really, it’s just that my brain is as seasonal as they come. Last winter, and every winter before, the pattern emerges: I cannot write, I want to quit, I have nothing to say, not another word.

Wait until May, Ken says, and he is always right.

In May, what with the chirping crickets and tilting moon, it is difficult to shut up.

Things I have been saying:
In a sec.
Pancake or toast?


Bee has been hard at work in her latest humanitarian efforts to save the worms. There are selfish roots in the quest, let the admission stand, as she’s intent only on gathering enough to feed a not-yet-caught toad for her just-now-finished habitat. Still, her method is borderline ethical: when she sees a bird pecking at the grass, she sprints over, shoos away the bird, steals the consummate grub right from beneath her beak.

But what will the birds eat? I ask her.

They can have my toad! she says, before scampering off to the garden, and I’m left thinking of this odd spinning sphere and its twisty ways.

kid holding rock

Books finished:
One Station Away, by Olaf Olafsson
Everything Happens for a Reason, by Kate Bowler
Conversations with Friends, by Sally Rooney
Simple Matters, by Erin Boyle
Silver Girl, by Leslie Pietryzk
The Beauty of the Husband, by Anne Carson

This is the time of year in which I am reminded that all people have goodness, and quite a lot of it. It’s the time of year in which businessmen driving BMWs, coffee-clutching mothers in minivans, school buses and garbage trucks and helmet-clad riders on triathlon bikes all come to a screeching halt, a total stand still, and wait patiently as a meek mother goose and her docile gaggle of eight amble across the road to safety.

I will never tire of the sight; an entire civilization making way for another. Ceasing business as usual to usher in an everyday miracle.


All else is all else: yardwork and wheelbarrows, sinus infections, blackberry chai. Ordering stacked vats of Chinese food and flinging the front door open, calling it a dinner party. Linen dresses coming out of storage, the faint familiarity of must and memories.

Rose dryer sheets for the old dress; rosy thoughts for the old wearer.

In my journal, Beth Ann Fennelly:
When you push your stroller past a group of elderly women, you’ll see in the turning gladness of their bodies a glimpse of the children they had been, turning toward the tin music of the ice cream van.

From well-meaning strangers, in the grocery or post office, I am asked all manner of questions about Scout. Where did he get that full head of dark hair? He doesn’t look a thing like you, does he? Aren’t kids a mystery?

I rarely cite adoption as the reason; some conversations are better carried beyond supermarkets and stamps.

But yesterday, I found the tiniest mole on Scout’s pinky toe. I’d never seen it before, never spotted it once, and I like to think it’s grown there slowly, over time, finally beckoned from hiding by sun and years.

This morning, I took a Sharpie to my own pinky toe.

And now we match.

  • I just have to say I love your writing. I don’t know why I took a minute to read your life, but I did and I’m glad. That’s all. Have a wonderful day and enjoy your lovely littles. They grow us fast and then all of a sudden you are alone… that’s me right now

    • oh goodness, ruthann – thank you for your kind words. i promise to enjoy these lovely littles, as i know you’ve done in your beautiful life. blessings to you.

  • my blondie was adopted and i have have dark hair! opposite of you and Scout😃and i get the same comments haha. sometimes i say something about adoption, sometimes i don’t. but when i do it’s because i feel its a good way to hopefully shed a light on adoption in a positive or different manner… so many people have stereotypes or extremes in their opinions on what they think adoption ‘looks’ like. this entry had a wonderful rhythm to it, by the way. hello may…and welcome back, Erin!

  • One never knows exactly which way the adoption topic will go with strangers. I am 5’1 in a family that is 5’11 and taller. Blond hair while my parents (used to have) dark brown. When I was little, the differences weren’t that hard to find but as I got older I began to hear, “You look just like your Mom” or “You have your Dad’s eyes” (his hazel mine blue), more and more often. We may not share actual genes but now that I’m 45 (sigh) it amazes me how many mannerisms, sayings, etc. make our family “look” identical.

    • that is fascinating! i’ve heard stories just like this! love has such a transforming effect, as does family. thank you for sharing this with me!

  • I too enjoy people of all walks of life stopping for goose traffic. Such a small renewing gesture. And the older women glimpsing at versions of their younger lives – beautiful. With any fortune, we’ll be there one day too!

    Always enjoy your words – thank you.

  • I love this post as a Mother of an adopted son. I love your writing. It’s so thoughtful and smart.

  • Last week an entire line of cars stopped to allow a mother deer and her two teeny tiny babies to cross the street. It took a long time, since one of the babies really wanted to wander and explore the middle of the street. Everyone waited patiently while the little guy ambled along. Once traffic started moving again I looked at the oncoming drivers faces as they passed and everyone seemed to be smiling a bit bigger as we carried on. It was an unexpected pause in an otherwise busy day that everyone seemed to need and appreciate. Thank you for your words Erin. They were today’s moment of pause that I needed.

  • Beautiful. This is completely lovely writing. May is the month I look forward to the most. There is magic in May. As the month comes to a close, I have found myself a bit sad. I’ll miss the scents, the coolness, the bright blue skies that have yet to be dulled by the haze of summer. But this post has brought the magic and happiness of this month back full force before I have to bid sweet May goodbye for another year. Completely lovely.

    • Thank you so much, Sara — and I can completely, absolutely relate. It’s such a beautiful month in these parts, too! Blessings for a lovely June in whatever form it arrives. :) Hugs to you!

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