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Guide. Inspire. Play.

On Celebration #3: Q&A

A few weeks ago, on my personal Facebook page, I was asked to write a post about how we use picture schedules to help Roo do as we ask (or, in Shattuck family language, "be a listener.") Here is that post.You have a problem: your...

On Celebration #2: A Happy Thursday People

It was raining last Thursday: a cold drizzle that spit on us as we walked. But we walked anyway, as we do every week, to visit our neighbors and bid them good cheer."Happy Thursday," Roo said. He extended the page on which he had colored...

On Celebration, #1: An Experiment in Joy

Every night Roo has the same question: "Mama's coming home?" Because my wife works such long, unpredictable hours, he's never sure (and never am I.) Audra is gone most weekends, some evenings and even occasionally overnight. Last month she worked 20 days straight for as...

Poem for a Friday: The Nest

THE NESTThe nest is mostly trash. It looks too perfect and terrible to be real. It looks like a sculpture installed at the edge of the pond to nag us for a season about litter, neglect, the coming disasters, the end of our planet. But it isn't: the swans are living here. They are waiting again, as they do every...

On Rebirth, #4: Still

This month Roo has a new question: You still love me?While admiring his own elegant, invisible princess gown: You still love me?While meowing and purring, insinuating himself with feline slyness between our ankles: You still love me?While brandishing an imaginary knife: You still love me?And...

Poem for a Friday: No Idea

NO IDEAOnce I wrote a poem for you. Once long ago when I was twenty- one and in love with someone else, with a person who is not your mother, I wrote about this. About exactly this: the spill, the sticky fever- red elixir of your medicine bleeding over the kitchen floor in the middle of the night, the clock's red numbers...

On Rebirth, #2: I Can

"You couldn't do this," Roo said last week, "when you were a little girl. Because of your casts. Because of your Cerebral Palsy."We were stomping together in one of the oily, ice-cold puddles that dot the driveway after a thaw."You're right," I said. "When I...

Poem for a Friday: In April, Age 3

IN APRIL, AGE 3The daffodils are sad? he asks. Mommy? The daffodils are sick? He kneels beside them in our tiny mud-green patch of garden and with one finger lifts each head in turn, tilting every face---trumpet's blare, heavy cup-and-saucer---up to meet the sun. There, he says. I fixed them. He stands...

On Rebirth, #1: Alive Again

I am leaving for Bible study. Roo is crying. He cries every time I leave the house. "You could die," he says. "You could die, Mommy."He is three now. He is suddenly, painfully aware of the body's fragility, of every way the human machine may...