Leila Love

Talking about Daddy, “When I tickle him he doesn’t laugh because his tickles are already gone. But my tickles are always there.”

“I’m the goodest yoga pose ever.”

After Mommy said tomorrow was free dress day (they don’t have to wear uniforms) at school, “Mommy, I just love my uniform clothes. I want to wear them every day. Even weekends.”

Talking about her swim teacher, “I think he’s not a coach.” (Her gymnastics teachers have to be referred to as “coach.” Swim teachers go by their first names.)

“I’ll tell ya’ this smells like a fresh, clean bathing suit.”

After Mommy complained she does not have anyone helping her get ready, “You’re my Mommy! I’m not your Mommy!”

Leila: “Why is my piano bench so messy?” Mommy: “We can pick it up later.” Leila: “Okay, I’ll play my guitar.”

Talking about her birthday party, “Okay, we’ll just do the usual.”

Mommy: “We probably shouldn’t smell markers.” Leila: “But that marker smells really good.”

“But where do you live when you die?”


I march to show my daughter that we stand up for ourselves and we stand up for others and we stand with others. Yesterday was a much too belated (on my part), tiny step in a long march towards equality and freedom for all. But I took it. And my husband took it. And my daughter took it. And we’ll take another. And we’ll march together.

As my friend so beautifully articulated, “I’m humbled by the work of others before me, embarrassed by my silence and complicity, and eager to catch up.”

A word for 2017


v. (used with object)

to subject to a process of vaporization and subsequent condensation, as for purification or concentration.

To extract the volatile components of…

To concentrate, purify, or obtain by…

To remove by…

To extract the essential elements of; refine…

To let fall in drops…

I suppose it’s a habit. Without much thought, as the year ended my mind began to wander and sort and sift through words. I suppose I could make it a goal, or an intention. But it’s more of a come-to-Jesus as I stand at the front porch staring down the horizon of the upcoming year. So that is what you will be. Okay. I breath it in and let it swirl around and begin the process of acceptance.

My life does not revolve around the calendar year, and still a single word emerges for the third time. The collection of these 365 days is so much bigger than a word, and it’s as simple as it too.


I think that is it. I think that is 2017. I can see it in big ways and in small. I can see it in my work and my parenting and my partnering and my practice. I can see it in my closet and our budget. As if the universe has said, “enough.” Enough accumulating. Now pare down. Now find the essence.

At first the prospect was scary. And already I am becoming accustomed. I am training myself to ask what is necessary. With money, with time, with thoughts.

I think scarcity will be my nemesis.

I need to practice gratitude, to breathe it in fully. And I am hopeful I will be filled with a quiet, bare beauty.