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May 12

Get Loud, Nancy

KK_StJ18It’s been so quiet here.

Life has been so loud, lately.

Someone asked me once how often they should update their blog. I said update it only when you have something to say.

Lately I’m saying so much at so many other places. The feature I wrote about trying to pass paid family leave in Washington State went live on ParentMap. I’m writing Parent Fuel columns two or three times a week. My favorite one is about teens and social media because it’s wrapped inside of a lovely conversation that I had with my KK.

Mostly I say a lot while teaching my writing students. And they teach me right back. Our exchange is this loud color dance that pushes me into creating and makes me see again and again how much clarity the young carry with them.

I’ve been watching a lot while coaching Girls on the Run. Fifteen awesome 3rd through 5th graders just lit up this spring season with so much bright energy that I will be sad for weeks as our twice a week practices are now over.

How’s that for a run-on sentence?

What did I come to say today? That the sky outside my office window is a light blue and I have no fancy word for this shade. That these sentences I already wrote don’t contain the darkness of my dreams lately. Nor do they spell out why I’ve been dreaming of weird funeral scenes and being lost in New York City. How I’m obsessed with the passing of time as news of an early middle-age death and one injury that changes the course of a life fill my immediate airwaves.

Sometimes I think writing about stuff that’s close to home but not my story feels wrong. Sometimes I feel like a spy and worry that I’ll offend people. But I can say that all of the crushing updates push up against the fact of my KK’s graduation from 8th grade in a few short weeks. And that’s the headline that I can’t get away from: the girl who just bought her first pair of wedge heels with money she earned herself.

On Mother’s Day, I held my new grandniece and rocked her to sleep. My tween Annie was jealous, thinking I loved this baby more than my own two girls. No, I rocked myself as I rocked this baby. This, this, I whispered, is the ticking of the clock and the circle of life, the news I can never escape. As my life gathers speed toward higher numbers, I felt that baby’s new arm sneak around my waist to hold me close. She pushed secrets from the other side that I couldn’t hear into my almost still body. Someday I’ll know what she told me on Sunday. Until then, I’m taking the pearls stuck inside every minute of this life of mine and loving them as fiercely as I can, second by glorious second.

2 comments

  1. Kimberley Bryan-Brown

    This is really lovely! Beautifully told about the passage of time, the daily dance with it and more.

    1. Nancy Schatz Alton

      Thanks Kim!

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