PAD 2022 – Day 13

To combat the superstitious unluckiness of the number 13, or to embrace its good fortune, today’s prompt asks for a poem that, like the example poem here, joyfully states that “Everything is Going to Be Amazing.” On Twitter, to combat my own anxiousness and anger at the world, I often post something good that I’ve noticed, using the hashtag SmallJoysInTheShitshow. This poem is sort of like that.

13 Things That Don’t Suck

Dark coffee, consumed quietly in early light

A clean kitchen.

Catching the avocado, its neighbour the banana, in perfect ripeness.

Green apple scent of my daughter’s freshly washed hair.

Sexy shoes, on sale.

A purring cat on a lap.

Fresh cookie smell, greeting you as you walk through the door.

Opening a novel to the exact right page, even after the bookmarks slips out.

A heart emoji that would be a hug if it could.

Turning on the radio at the start of a killer song.

Pen strike across the worst thing on a to-do list.

Finding the sunglasses lost since last summer.

The chance to consider these 13 things, knowing there are many more to count.

Photo by Esranur Kalay on

PAD 2021 – Day 24

Today I used the 30/30 prompt calling for a “Ten Things” poem.

10 things about this morning

There are birds. An entire assembly welcoming the day from the bare lilac bushes outside my bedroom window.

There is sun. Spilling through that window, because some lucky Saturdays it awakens before I do.

There is coffee. No less enjoyed though it’s been made and poured by only me. 

There are dishes. Left drying on a rack after another meal spent with people I’m fortunate to make a home with.

There is a table. Awash in morning light, and shadows cast from the chairs we use to make it a gathering place. 

There are cats. Greeting me with demand, but also affection. Possibly gratitude.

There is a sweater. Once belonging to my mom. Slipped over shoulders that have yet to carry what she did.

There is a message. From a faraway friend offering small but welcome news.

There are seedlings. In need of water and attention. Patient in their want of a whole garden.

There are words. Waiting to be fished from a mysterious stream that reliably flows, even when I’ve wandered far from its banks.
Shadowchair by Me



This morning, my six-year-old daughter asked me “What’s a resolution?” My flip response was going to be, “Something Mommy never does because she always fails.” Instead, I told her, “It’s a promise you make to yourself to do something you should do, or to stop doing something you shouldn’t be doing.” I swear I saw the little light bulb over her head as she said “So, I should have a resolution to eat more healthy food?” I told her yes, in fact that’s something probably everyone should do. “It might be hard though,” she said, thinking. Then: “But I when you do something that’s hard to do, you feel really happy about it.”

This optimism and sound logic is just one of many reasons why my kids teach me as much (or probably more) than I teach them. I rarely make resolutions, because when I inevitably fail to achieve those lofty goals, made at the bright, hopeful dawn of each new year, I end up feeling pretty crappy. Why try if you’re going to fail, right? Except, this is a terrible lesson to teach my children. As the supposed adults in the house, my husband and I are constantly preaching the “it’s better to try and fail than to never try at all” philosophy. On firmer, Yoda-inspired days we might even give them the ol’ “Do or do not, there is no try.”

This week my daughters went from never wearing a pair of skates, to gliding around the ice rather confidently, in a matter of hours. They fell down many times. They got up. Their noses were red, their toes were cold, their elbows were bruised, and still they didn’t want to leave. They keep asking when they can go again. Yet there was me next to them on the ice…in my sturdy boots. Why? Because I can’t skate. I tried, feebly, when I was a kid and when I didn’t instantly succeed, I became soured on the whole experience. Now, here I am, with older knees and less resistance to the cold, watching my daughters learn to skate and wishing I could skate along beside them. Wanting to do things with, and for, your kids is pretty strong motivation. Maybe even reason to make a resolution or two.

2015 was an emotionally exhausting year for me. My Mom died in February, and though it wasn’t unexpected, it was still extremely difficult. But one of the many important lessons my Mom taught me, both through words and through action, is that you have to keep going. Keep trying. If my Mom had given up, or thought, “Hell, I’m dying anyway, so why try to live?” she never would have met her second grandchild, or seen her son get married. She never would’ve witnessed how the family she helped build could grow stronger and closer in the face of crisis. Every day she lived was a gift to us, but also a gift to herself. I believe my Mom died with the knowledge that she lived a good life. Of course, like everyone, she surely had regrets, but likely not too many. My Mom embodied the word resolve.

I am optimistic that 2016 will be a great year. Many aspects of 2015 were great too. Losing someone is the best reminder of just how important love is, and just how many people there are to be thankful for. This week, standing on the cold ice while my daughters learned to skate, I was flush with gratitude. I am inspired by them, and by my Mom, to do more. To be better. To try. For the first time in 15 years, I’m going to make a list of resolutions. Number 1, learn to skate. Number 2, tell everyone I love how important they are in my life. Number 3, don’t let fear stop me from trying…anything.