Friday, July 29, 2016

Take The Picture

Approximately a week ago, G found scissors in the playroom while I was making dinner. It doesn't take much Sherlock-ing to deduce what happened next ...

A photo posted by Caitlin Walker (@walkerwhimsy) on

After I finally gave up trying to blend the chopped sections and shaved her head, she stuffily informed me, "IT LOOKED BETTER WHEN I DID IT, MOM."

Her Royal Highness
The thing is, we're supposed to do family pictures Sunday.

When was our last official photo, you ask?

Let me just tell you this: every printed picture in my home predates/features a newborn kid #3.

He's two and a half.

So an updated family portrait? Kind of a big deal.

And now, JUST IN TIME for it, everyone has matching buzzy cuts!

Including .... ME!

Except I kept my bangs. Because Franken-zits. And forehead wrinkles.

I chopped it all off in my bathroom. Partly to allay mom guilt, partly to feel spontaneous again, and partly because HOLY COW IT'S FREAKING HOT THIS SUMMER.

As I sliced and diced, I contemplated rescheduling our photo session. And staring down at a sink full of hair, I had an epiphany.

Okay, maybe it doesn't deserve that label. But I've been functioning on 5 non-consecutive hours of sleep a night for five years, so for me, IT WAS TOTALLY AN EPIPHANY.

Ready for this truth bomb? This nugget of wisdom? This Proverb from a Ma-verb?

... "okayyyyy, stop it now" whispers a weak and thready voice of rationality ...

Here we go:


It's not exactly what I imagined our family photo would feature, but it's US.

My God. It is soooo us.

It made me think about all the other times I haven't taken a photo because the setting wasn't perfect. The floor was littered with baby toys and Cheerios. I looked like I had been steamrolled seventeen times (as opposed to the usual twelve to fourteen.) Someone's face was covered with cookie. People weren't wearing pants.

... let's be realistic, though. There are FOUR of them and ONE of me and they are basically wild animals. Pants and clean floors and applying concealer and wiping faces every 10 seconds are all somewhere below "KEEP THEM ALL ALIVE" on the priority list. Way, wayyyyyyyyyy below ...

My challenge to myself, and to you if you'd like, is to just TAKE THE DAMN PICTURE.

The family portrait ... in a dressing room.

A photo posted by Caitlin Walker (@walkerwhimsy) on

The "Art" projects.

A photo posted by Caitlin Walker (@walkerwhimsy) on

This (mostly pants-less) disaster-in-progress.

Record the moments and the memories of your loved ones in all their weird glory. Take pictures WITH your kids, not just of them (extra hard if you, like me, feel you resemble a deformed Muppet.) Your results might be out of focus or overexposed or grainy or terribly proportioned or a million other things.


We are hoping for happy kids and PANTS - PLEASEFORTHELOVEOFGODPANTS - this weekend. The buzz cuts are just part of our messy, beautiful (... but yeah, mostly messy) story. <3

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Reasons & Ruminations

When tragedies occur, it’s in our nature to want a reason. WHY did this happen? HOW could it have been prevented? WHO is to blame? WHAT can we do to stop it from happening again?

If we can identify a cause, we can bury the uncomfortable truth that we have much less control that we’d like to think. Lately, however, the reaction to tragedy has been to scramble frantically onto our soapbox of choice and explain it all away.

Too many guns! Not enough guns! Homophobia! Homosexuality! Muslims! Christians! Trump! Obama! Illegal immigration! Race! Police brutality! Processed food! Vaccines! Abortions! Global warming!

We live in a world where bad things - terrible, horrifying, gut-wrenching things - happen every single day. And instead of coming together, we let them drive a wedge even deeper into what is an already dangerously divided society. We pick and choose “reasons” for these atrocities and use them to bludgeon anyone who disagrees.

As I’ve watched and cried and raged over recent events like the Orlando mass shooting (and the deafening silence of so many who claim to "love"), the death of Christina Grimmie, the “sentencing” of Brock Turner, our joke of an election process, our corrupt government, the transgender bathroom brouhaha, and all the other pain and suffering and injustice and ridiculousness that is happening every moment, I can’t help but wonder what I was thinking to bring children into such a fucked up world. 

How the hell do I explain to them we live in a society where someone thought he had the right to murder 49 innocent people because they were different than him? And how do I explain that instead of reacting with shock and grief and horror, many flew right by logic and straight to their keyboards, desperate to prove they know WHY it happened and HOW it can be prevented?

For now, I’ll shield them. But as they grow, I hope to teach them sometimes there is no reason except that evil runs rampant in our world. I hope to teach them to react with compassion, to feel grief, and to recognize the immeasurable value of a human life no matter how different that life is from their own.

I certainly can’t pretend to know why awful events occur. But I can do my very small part by raising good, compassionate people who know how to spread love and light and peace. That is my fight. Living my humanity, recognizing the beauty and fragility and preciousness of life, and teaching my kids to do the same.

For the families and friends of the victims of these tragedies, our hearts grieve with you. May your loved ones be honored by our commitment to choose love over hate every day.
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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Resolution Makeover

I am a resolution addict.  I love the rush that comes with the midnight countdown. THIS IS THE YEAR, I think. This time I'll do all the things I didn't do last year ... or the year before that. 

Since fourth grade, I've created lists of adventures to have, foods to try, places to go, and changes to make. Over the years, Become a spy and Discover unicorns have changed to standard basic adult-y things. Save $1,000. Lose weight. Don't stab anyone with a fork. It's a part of growing up, of course, but I've noticed my goals have morphed from things I want to do because life is supposed to be fun and lovely and exciting to things I feel like I have to do because I hate the way I am. Basically, every resolution I've made in the past ten years could be summed up as "Stop being a fucking loser." Not exactly healthy, especially when mixed with mental illness.
So THIS year, I'm examining the underlying motives for every goal I make. Guilt-based, self hate-based, "should"-based, all the things I resolve to do because I don't want people to judge me, all the resolutions that stem from the idea I'm somehow not good enough just the way I am - ALL OF THOSE - are getting canned.

From this ...

To this!

If you haven't seen either of those movies, sorry. I don't do relevant very well. Also, you should probably resolve to watch more oldish children's movies.

As a completely hypothetical example, say I can't button my pre-pregnancy skinny jeans without damaging internal organs. Instead of Workout nineteen times a week and Subsist on kale, I'm resolving to GIVE IT UP AND BUY BIGGER PANTS, ALREADY and Substitute a candy bar for an apple twice a week.

Small, measurable, specific. Not completely impossible (which is, you know, kinda important.) I'm not setting myself up for failure, I'm not contributing to low self-esteem and feelings of failure, and I don't have to eat fucking kale. WIN.

In 2016, be the awesome person you already are. HAPPY NEW YEAR! <3
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