Deborah Bryan's Blog, page 2

September 28, 2014

My childhood birthday parties were, like my entire childhood, awkward. Three groups of kids attended:

1. My siblings

2. My best friend, whose mom regretted her daughter could find no better friend

3. Kids who reminded me, by the moment, they were only there because their moms made them come*

Today my oldest son celebrated his fifth birthday. I leaked out the eyes throughout the day, with thanks for my own girlfriends who’d driven many miles to attend. For my mom’s insistence her kids have rockin’...

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Published on September 28, 2014 18:36

September 27, 2014

Five years ago a handful of hours from now, I held my newborn baby in my arms and felt the wonder of loving someone so new so immensely.

thank you, Li'l D, for making a mom of me

I’ve watched that tiny baby grow into a little boy, my Li’l D, first smiling, than laughing, then toddling, then running, and now capable of so much I can barely believe it.Didn’t I just bring him home from the hospital?

For almost exactly five years now,I have

fed him

bathed him

changed his diapers

changed his clothing

wept to see my dying mom hold him

walked with...

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Published on September 27, 2014 19:13

Last week I wrote about a little reminder to live in the now. I’m going to go back there in a moment, but first … I wanted to share this image of my sweet reminder.


Starbucks has never been more fun.

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Published on September 27, 2014 06:17

September 24, 2014

That moment

when he smiles,

looks you in the eye,


(with a straight face)

tells you who you are

That moment

when he mistakes

how much you care

what he does


does not


That moment

when you


tell him, but



to smile back

(Your words

will not be heard;

best to preserve


for those


to hear them)

That moment,

the end;



the beginning

of something



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Published on September 24, 2014 19:34

September 23, 2014


“Yes, sweetheart?”

“Mommy, look what I drew, Mommy!”

“That’s lovely.” I’m not quite sure what it is, but his enthusiasm really is inspiring.

“Mommy! I added a line! Look, Mommy! Mommy, look! Mommy!”

“Oh, my word! Can you please give me a second?”

“Yes, Mommy.”


“Mommy? It’s been a second! Mommy!”

“How about you just call me ‘Deborah’ for now, kiddo? Could you do that?”

If I hear “mommy” one more time, I am going to run screaming.

“Yes, Deborah. Deborah, see the circle I dre...

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Published on September 23, 2014 13:24

September 21, 2014

My baby’s cold awakened him and me at 11pm, 4am and 5:15am.

At 5:45am, I whisked us off to Starbucks to buy the bigger boys more sleep time.

Once here, I thought I should buy a newspaper, or maybe just read the news on my phone.

Then, seeing my baby’s joy at chewing on my shirt’s drawstring, I thought I might step out of the tide of doing and just enjoy being. Like him.

I see

my baby’s wonder at windows, and conversation, and seeing new people

a man who stirs sugar into his coffee as if he is condu...

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Published on September 21, 2014 06:31

September 19, 2014


“This is not a good time for this call,” I told the vendor whose call I’d just accidentally answered.

“But I want you to know how much I’m doing to help you and what I’m doing to resolve these issues and–“

“This is not a good time for this call,” I restated. “I spent an ungodly amount of time trying to resolve account issues that shouldn’t even have been issues yesterday. It took me away from the big stuff I needed to do, stuff I now need to focus on. I cannot spend one more second with you on...

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Published on September 19, 2014 05:28 • 1 view

September 18, 2014

“I was crying at school and I couldn’t control it,” my little boy whispered as I stroked his hair moments ago.

“Oh, sweetie,” I murmured. “You don’t have to worry about that. You just worry about feeling better.”

He nodded.

“Do you know I even cried, when I saw how much you were hurting? It’s okay. It’s okay to cry. It doesn’t need to be controlled.”

He didn’t reply, but his eyes drifted closed. I continued stroking his hair and thought:

I don’t want

you to struggle with stoicism as I have, like th...

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Published on September 18, 2014 01:27 • 1 view

September 15, 2014

Two women I admire suffer tonight.

Tori once wrote here about how the darkness in her yesterdays helps her better appreciate the light today. Right now, she can unlikelyimagine the possibility of seeing light again.

Humble’s kids went missing one week ago. They’re probably with their non-custodial parent, but I can only imagine that is a “probably” full of what-ifs, worry and the sadness of a hundred kisses missed.

As I think about these remarkable women, I remember one terrible day in college w...

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Published on September 15, 2014 21:03

September 14, 2014

I shaved my head for St. Baldrick’s two and a half years ago.

“Don’t do that!” urged some folks around me. “Think about how you’ll look!”

“Eh, it’s just hair,” I’d reply. “It’ll grow back.” My husband agreed, and sent me off to Chicago with warm wishes.

My hair then

One woman, knowing I’d recently converted to Judaism, explained why what I was doing felt“icky.” The highest level of giving, after all, is when neither the donor nor the recipient know each other. She felt the spectacle outshone the...

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Published on September 14, 2014 10:36 • 1 view