Learning from Laughter and the Trees: Under the Apple Tree Again

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Grandpa, Cedar, and Isaac digging the hole for Scatters under the apple tree.

By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

The rain is pouring down with periodic rumbles of thunder. It is cold and the sun has set, but we can tell that there is a need in Isaac’s heart to make this trek. We put on hats and shoes and give into the rain as we walk down the street and into the backyard of my dad’s house.

It’s too dark to see the loosened soil, but we bend down low and Isaac says, “This is where we buried Scatters.” Cedar, who is almost two, bends down too and after a minute looks up at Erinn and says “Meow” and points to the dirt. Erinn says, “Is this where Scatters is? Did he die?” Cedar responds, “Meow die.” Continue reading

My spouse was one of the clergy standing before the white nationalists in Charlottesville

PASTORS+By Liza Neal

My spouse was one of the clergy standing in a line before the white nationalists in Charlottesville.  We both knew God is calling us to stand up to white supremacy.  We understood the risk.  Only one of us was going because we didn’t want our child to lose both parents.

That weekend I thought a lot about Peter’s wife.  She is barely mentioned.  In the synoptic gospels Peter’s mother-in-law has a fever, Jesus heals her, and she offers hospitality.  You can’t have a mother-in-law without a wife… Continue reading

Lying awake these nights

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By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

I lie awake feeling the weight of the world on my chest. Death haunting our country again. Fifty lives and hundreds wounded. All from guns. I can’t twist my head around any rational for guns. I don’t understand the safety argument. I think of the man in the window and the media argument that he fits “no mold” for motive or terrorism. They can’t say it. That he fits exactly the mold of the violent rampage that rules this country. White men. There is a violent disease filled with numbing, racist hatred. It is a disease that knows no empathy, no kindness, no vulnerability, no self-knowledge, no community. It is a lonely, despicable rotting disease. I lie there with tears in my eyes and rage in my belly at the patriarchy and white supremacy that rules.

And then…I think of these two baby boys that sleep soundly feet away from my bed. I love them more than anything. I love their laughter and their tears and the people they are becoming. I think of this disease that is ready to pounce and swallow them whole. What can I do? How can I mother in a way where they refuse the outstretched hand offered to them as white men? My heart gives in and weeps.

New Online Class for Parents-to-be and Seekers

f60ead_73c06bda70bd49c3947f23dc638eaacf~mv2.jpgBy Chelsea Page

Childfree Not Carefree

Years before I created my new online class about the virgin Mary’s motherhood journey and the reproductive justice ethics led by women of color, I wrote to a friend:

My decision not to birth a child and, later, not to adopt a child, has been so lengthy, messy, and labor-intensive that I feel astonished that I have literally nothing to show for it. I hoped that at least I have cleared space for a different kind of family or community in my life. I await it with some of the eager impatience that I imagine my infertile sisters feel when they long for a child. Continue reading

Learning from Laughter and the Trees: Yogurt and Blueberries

kiddos-2By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann. Written on January 11, 2017.

11 years ago today, I was heading back to school, to community two weeks after my mom died.
9 years ago today, I was getting off a plane from France having just met the love of my life.
8 years ago today, I was in Washington DC protesting Guantanamo as Obama prepared to take office.
2 years ago today, I was working on a Word and World school in Detroit on Environmental Justice.
1 year ago today, after a labor that was cooped by the medical industry, I gave birth to Cedar.
And today?….

Today I lost the battle to get Isaac to school. I couldn’t get him out the door. Knowing that I couldn’t let him just stay home and have fun if I wanted him to go next week, I told him that I could not play or engage. That this was my working time. I set a timer for when school would end. Told him I loved him and I would talk to him when the timer went off (a mantra I would repeat a hundred times over the next two hours). I handed him a yogurt stick and a box of blueberries and left him alone. After some protesting, he got quiet…so I peaked in. There he was in the living room, using his yogurt stick to make twenty yogurt circles on the floor and carefully putting one blueberry on top of each pile. When his work was finished, he yelled “Mommy!” He was good at this game. He wasn’t going to let us not engage for two whole hours. He was ready to destroy the house if need be. I took a deep breath and told him I would talk to him after the timer. Continue reading

Learning from Laughter and the Trees: Tell Me About Easter, Mommy.

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Photo credit: Erinn Fahey

By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

“Tell me about Easter, Mommy.” Oh, Shit. Has that time come already? How to explain resurrection to a three year old? How do I tell my kid that Jesus died and came back to life? How do I explain our most sacred story?

We’ve spent the last year and a half learning about death, holding it sacred, singing songs, holding fish funerals, burying my Grandma Bea, and visiting my mom’s grave. We’ve tried to hold the tension of telling him the truth and also being gentle with his heart paying close attention to any moments of confusion or fear. We made a decision to be honest with him about the very earthly reality of death, something that even adults in our culture try to ignore. Death is a beautiful, ordinary, and hard part of life. Continue reading

Learning from Laughter: Sabbath Economics Support Group for Parents

cherriesBy Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

“But one of the greatest gifts we feel she can receive is a life in this community: we want her to know and feel the love of people who are alive, who don’t give a damn about money and who are willing to do with their lives what they think God is asking”                                             – Jeanie Wylie-Kellermann Continue reading