Finding Ninee » Sharing our parenting and special needs stories with heart and humor.

People write for a lot of reasons. I write because when I don’t, my histories gather together and stick like magnets inside of me. Combined, they’re heavy and awkward and fall down to my feet and then climb back up to churn my stomach, clog my lungs, and hunch my shoulders. I write because while […]

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  • Dana - People write…”To build a nest for the stories that stick together like magnets and sink to their feet.” Damn, Kristi, sometimes your words take my breath away. I’m glad you didn’t delete this and start over – I always appreciate your insight on social issues, and I thank you for sharing your #metoos. Because none of them are too small, or not important enough, or too long ago.October 19, 2017 – 10:30 pmReplyCancel

  • JT Walters - I write about being a Mom of a special needs child too and someone referred me to you. Funny, I do not recall who because that was many years ago.

    And it has been wonderful not being alone. So thank you Kristi. You have brought so much advocacy to families of children with special needs. Thank God you write! For some of us it is just too painful.

    Love you and thank you!!!October 19, 2017 – 11:16 pmReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - And thank you too by the way. You’re one of the reasons I stick around. I love your beginning I feel all of that, I like how you were able to write exactly what it feels like to have not written and then how it you write to see how you feel about something. Wow. Anyway sorry I’m late. Who knew it’d be so hard to write about why you write.

    I hadn’t heard about the, “Me too”. I’ve been off facebook for a couple a weeks and that’s where I find out stuff too. Excellent conclusion to your post. Last night I when I was trying to brainstorm I was reading quotes for writers, one quote was “You get to live twice”. That’s a great quote for perfect moments but not so great for so many other reasons people write.October 20, 2017 – 8:02 amReplyCancel

  • Emily - Your words about why you write are so poetic and descriptive…pure beauty! And yeah, it’s amazing how we suppress certain things and yet, the #metoo movement sort of gave us permission to not only speak out, but to let those suppressed memories surface. It hurts to recall those moments (and for others, it’s more than moments and so much worse), but there is some comfort in knowing we are not alone…October 20, 2017 – 8:25 amReplyCancel

  • My Inner Chick - Hello, Sweets,

    you forgot one: You write so Kim S. R. can savor and learn from your words!

    I write to “Survive.”

    xxx from MN.October 20, 2017 – 9:41 amReplyCancel

  • Kerry - Wow. This:

    Often, one thought leads to another I thought I’d forgotten.

    Brief and so true.

    I am glad you can write about all the things you want here Kristi. Of course, inclusion and special needs children is important and mostly what this blog is, but I am happy you can use your platform here to speak about gender issues and social issues and so much more.

    I have been observing quietly this #MeToo movement. For many it goes so much deeper and not all are able to think about what they have been through, let alone to write about it for anyone to read. I admit I’ve been rather sheltered in my life, but I want society to do better, for my nieces and your son and so many others.

    Thanks for writing this.October 20, 2017 – 1:54 pmReplyCancel

  • Debi - #MeToo and #youtoo and #hertoo and #mydaughterstoo and #mymothertoo and #yesallofthem. I don’t think there’s a woman’s platform out there that doesn’t include potential for #metoo. I’m just sorry we have to drag these memories into the sunlight for anyone to take the problem seriously.October 20, 2017 – 3:45 pmReplyCancel

  • clark - I liked your post. I liked so much that I wrote a FTSF post.

    (damn! that, implied in those two sentences, is a much more succinct expression of what it is about writing that keeps me coming back, no matter how much that ‘they will laugh or scorn’ voice in my world might whisper.)

    as always you have said, in part, what I might have; you have selected the words that shape tangled thoughts into something simple, direct, yet in no way lacking the depth of inference and meaning.October 20, 2017 – 6:54 pmReplyCancel

Do you ever think about who you’d be if you’d been born a different gender? A different race? Born to a different family, or taken a different job years ago? Do you think about who you’d be now, if you’d said yes instead of no, or no, rather than yes? Would you still be you? […]

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  • Emily - Awww…Happy Anniversary you two!! That’s awesome and I love your wedding pics! I love thinking about “what if” scenarios…I think about them a lot in terms of where I am (or not am) in my career. I also think about past relationships — what if I ended up with so and so? So weird to think about and in fact, there is a chapter on “what if” in my memoir where I imagine a different scenario with my ex from college. I am going to try to do this prompt, because it’s a good one!September 28, 2017 – 10:49 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks, Emily! OMG I so hope you’ll do it. Even if it’s an excerpt from your memoir. Because so awesome so awesome. The what ifs are amazing and horrifying and all between. Also? You beat Janine at commenting 😉September 28, 2017 – 10:57 pmReplyCancel

  • jt walters - Happy Anniversary. Odd you will be spending it at Universal and then not.

    I count the things I am grateful for today like your friendship and advocacy for all parents of children with special needs. You are the right Mom at the right time for Tucker and you have the maturity only to fight the battles you have too.

    Count your blessings my friend and live a happier lufe. You did everything perfect.September 29, 2017 – 1:54 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - We’re at home. Just got back from dinner and thank you for the anniversary wishes! And you’re so sweet! I’m grateful for your friendship, too. Also? Not perfect, but good enough is sometimes good enough right? 🙂September 29, 2017 – 9:29 pmReplyCancel

      • jt walters - Absolutely!!! And you’ll get Zelda!!September 29, 2017 – 9:52 pmReplyCancel

  • Lisa @ TheGoldenSpoons - I’m th opposite -wondering what if I had waited a little longer before getting married (at 21) and having my first kid (at 25).I think we could drive ourselves crazy with “what ifs.” There are a million things any of us could change if we could go back in time, but what would that change about our now lives & would it really be worth it? Of course, none of us will ever really know, will we?!?! 🙂 Happy Anniversary!!!!September 29, 2017 – 1:56 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - That makes sense, Lisa, that you wonder the opposite. I guess we all wonder about the what ifs, and yes they can drive us crazy! 🙂 Thank you!September 29, 2017 – 9:30 pmReplyCancel

  • Twindaddy - Everything happened the way it was supposed to happen. Wondering what could have been just distracts you from what has been. And it looks like everything turned out amazing for you.September 29, 2017 – 4:47 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Truth, friend. I do think things are as they should be. Amazing sometimes, crappy sometimes, but the way it’s supposed to be maybe. Probably. xoSeptember 29, 2017 – 9:33 pmReplyCancel

  • Kerry - I love this line… Some feel like burnt-out lightbulbs that used to have power, but are now a simple recycling problem.

    Happy 10th to you guys Kristi.

    I will try to join in this week, as I am a pro on this particular question, was just discussing something like it earlier with a family member, but deadline and I am panicking.

    Hear you are headed for Florida. Have fun.September 29, 2017 – 8:28 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I’m so thankful you noticed that line, Kerry! I love that line too, so much 🙂 I so hope you’ll be able to join in. I know your post will be amazing. The deadline isn’t until late Sunday night, so there’s time. I’d love to hear your thoughts! And yes, we’re going to Florida in a week. Thank you!September 29, 2017 – 9:41 pmReplyCancel

  • Echo - Kristi, you and I have such an unspeakable bond. We have so much more in common than anyone could imagine and a lot of your “what if’s” are my “what if’s”, but there are also so many more. I know one day we will talk for hours about all of our “what if’s”! I love and adore you, my friend!September 29, 2017 – 10:18 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - We so do, my friend. And honestly, I deleted half of this post because of all the “what ifs” and figured it’d gotten too boring, too much and PLEASE let’s meet in person. We WILL talk for hours. We can even head bang our tired heads (which may be more like nodding these days) to some good old Metallica. I totally love and adore you, too. Always. And *ah hem* the link up is open until late Sunday night. No pressure but I’d LOVE to read some of your own what ifs. xoxo <3September 29, 2017 – 11:30 pmReplyCancel

  • My Inner Chick - MYYY
    what beautiful people.
    That’s not fair!
    Anyhow, I love your words, your insights, your gratitude.
    So much to love….
    it’s hard to take it all in.
    xxxSeptember 30, 2017 – 12:15 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - You’re too kind. Oh, to be young again, right? Or, young-ish? How fleeting. Also, SO MUCH LOVE TO YOU. Always. xxxSeptember 30, 2017 – 11:04 pmReplyCancel

  • Dana - Happy anniversary! Those what-ifs can be paralyzing if you let them be…but I’ve gone through the same thought process as you have. The what ifs would replace the what ares, and the what ares are pretty damn good. Man buns and all.October 1, 2017 – 9:20 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - LOL yes, man buns and all, Dana! It’s probably impossible to not think about the what ifs.. but the what ares are pretty lovely so… yes. Thank you!October 1, 2017 – 7:54 pmReplyCancel

  • Linda Atwell - Oh, Kristi, you touched on so many things I want to comment on but I’m going to limit it to a couple so my comment won’t become an entire POST! The first one, although this isn’t the most important one, but I loved the what if I’d realized I wasn’t fat, back when I thought I was fat line. My friend and I were just talking about that the other day. Oh, if we had just realized!!!

    I often think of life like the old pacman video game–you know, how you can choose to go one way or if you choose to go the other way you could make a difference of how many thingees you eat and if you get eaten. I don’t know if that makes sense, but yes, every decision we make changes our life and its variables in so many ways. If we turn left instead of right one day, we may not meet the person we end up with…and then every turn, every decision plays on the other decision and it goes on and on.

    Thank you for this beautiful post. And more importantly, CONGRATULATIONS to you and Robert and ten years of marital bliss. OK, almost no one has total marital bliss, son congrats on the life you’ve built together. And, best wishes on many, many more.

    I truly believe we are where we are supposed to be at this point in time. We are the mother to the person(s) we are supposed to beOctober 1, 2017 – 10:16 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Linda, I love the Pacman image – it makes total sense. Every turn takes us somewhere new, for sure and it’s hard to not wonder about the what ifs, but I agree that we’re where we’re supposed to be. The mothers to the people we’re supposed to mother. And thank you for the congratulations! LOL to total marital bliss but yes, we’ve built a good life together and I wouldn’t change much! Thank you! October 3, 2017 – 9:15 amReplyCancel

  • Lisa @ The Meaning of Me - Didn’t make it in for this for a million reasons. So much of this makes me nod and understand right along with you. Our paths have been so similar. I think you must know where I live on this sort of thing – no matter what the road has been thus far, every choice, every event leads to what and who we are today. And most days that’s a great thing. It’s harder to accept and believe when life feels stalled, not quite what we want. But perhaps all of this is necessary, too.
    Great post. Happy anniversary to both of you! May you have many more great “what ifs” in the years ahead. xoOctober 2, 2017 – 9:32 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thank you, Lisa! Our paths have been similar… and you’re right about it being harder to accept when life feels stalled, or there’s a scary, change-everything decision to make… But, again, as you said, maybe that’s part of it. xoxo October 3, 2017 – 9:25 amReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - If I’d written, I think my post would have totally echoed yours! I think what ifs as often as my good days when I say “this is the life”. It may not be the life another person would want, and it may not be the life I thought I’d have, but it is indeed EVERYTHING.October 8, 2017 – 2:30 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - You’re so right about “it is indeed EVERYTHING,” Kenya. Yup. It really is (although so different from what I’d imagined too). xoOctober 11, 2017 – 5:32 pmReplyCancel

I spoke with a mama last night. She’s spent the past seven years, off and on, writing a book. A really great book. “Loving Lindsey” by Linda Atwell – A Personal Author Interview and Book Review (OOH and a giveaway!) First though…some thoughts. Each mama knows that newborn babies who become children (and suddenly teens […]

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  • JT Walters - No matter how hard our journey is, Mom’s of special needs children are never alone.September 22, 2017 – 12:01 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - The internet and blogging for sure has brought so many wonderful people together that might never have otherwise met for sure.September 22, 2017 – 6:03 pmReplyCancel

    • Linda Atwell - You are so right. We are never alone. Especially since the internet came into play. Very wise words.September 23, 2017 – 11:50 pmReplyCancel

  • Denise Smarcz - I’ve been anxiously waiting for Linda’s book to be released since I first heard about it on her Facebook post. Thankfully, I will soon be able to read the book. Wishing Linda a HUGE SUCCESS on Loving Lindsey!September 22, 2017 – 12:47 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Wishing her the same! And just by commenting, you’re entered into the signed book give-away! Thanks so much 🙂September 22, 2017 – 10:36 pmReplyCancel

    • Linda Atwell - Thanks, Denise, for the good wishes. It’s fun to dream big, but we’re trying to be realistic. If our story helps a few families (and they get a few chuckles out of it along the way), we’ll feel our job is done. Lindsey was willing to share because she didn’t want some of the things that happened to her to happen to another young person. Hopefully, Tucker will pick your name! (I can’t lie, I really wish he could pick every single person here!) Thanks again.September 23, 2017 – 11:54 pmReplyCancel

  • Allison G smith - Fantastic interview! I’m so intrigued and can’t wait to read Linda’s book. Thanks Kristi. XOXOSeptember 22, 2017 – 7:27 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks, Allie! I was thinking that if you’re up to it, that she’d be a great one to do an author interview with. I almost asked her what her favorite book as a kid was but then was like “NO THAT BELONGS TO ALLIE!” xoSeptember 22, 2017 – 10:37 pmReplyCancel

    • Linda Atwell - Allie, I believed I interviewed you (almost two years ago) when I did a book review for Mothering Through the Darkness. I feel honored that you would put my book on your list. Maybe Tucker will pick your name????!!!September 24, 2017 – 12:03 amReplyCancel

  • Emily - Sounds like an amazing story and memoir — will definitely add it to my list! And wow, the Liebster Award — I remember those days! You’re right – it was a big deal!September 22, 2017 – 10:06 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - OMG the Liebster Award. I was obsessed with where it came from and what it meant. It really was a huge big deal back then! I miss blogging being like that.September 22, 2017 – 10:38 pmReplyCancel

    • Linda Atwell - You remember the Liebster Award, too? That means we all go way, way, way back. I was so honored when Kristi presented it to me. I took it very seriously when I gave it to another mom blogger. And, as far as Loving Lindsey, our story certainly wasn’t a merry-go-round ride, although both my husband and myself prefer those to rollercoasters. Anyway, Emily, if you like books that generate a lot of emotion, I think you will enjoy this read. It’s been getting lovely reviews, and I’m pretty darn stoked about that. 🙂September 24, 2017 – 12:09 amReplyCancel

  • Lisa @ The Meaning of Me - Oh, this is lovely! I’ve read Linda’s blog occasionally over the years since I landed here in blog land. Book sounds just wonderful! Congratulations to Linda and thanks, Kristi, for sharing her book with us. xoSeptember 22, 2017 – 11:12 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks, Lisa! The book really is wonderful. You’ll enjoy it and both of us get tips for those “later years” which I’ve kinda mentally dismissed at times, until I can’t because once, I was unable to imagine being the mom to an 8 year old and here we are…September 22, 2017 – 10:40 pmReplyCancel

    • Linda Atwell - Lisa–I too am grateful Kristi was willing to share. She actually read an earlier version and then the finished copy. Poor girl! But I’m thrilled she liked it enough to share it with all of you. Hopefully, it will help other parents prevent some of the challenges we had to face when Lindsey transitioned into adulthood. If it saves one person…well, it will be worth it.September 24, 2017 – 12:12 amReplyCancel

  • Audrina - This is the best book review I have read because you took the time to tell stories of yours and the author. It made it much better and you must have loved the book and be a great writer to do it this way.September 22, 2017 – 10:44 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thank you! I tried to do the book justice with some other stories. I really appreciate you noticing that! And yes, I did love the book, and hope you do as well if you get the chance to read it!September 23, 2017 – 11:40 pmReplyCancel

  • Linda Atwell - That would be so much fun! Maybe it will work out. Thanks for another shout out, Kristi. You are an incredible cheerleader!September 24, 2017 – 12:04 amReplyCancel

  • Linda Atwell - Audrina–I so agree with you! Kristi weaves stories together and before you know it your entrenched in the tale. I almost forgot she was talking about my book—that’s how good of a job she does. I hope you get a chance to read Loving Lindsey. My daughter–as challenging as she is at times, is hilariously funny at other times (without meaning to be) which makes her even more humorous. Have a great weekend.September 24, 2017 – 12:17 amReplyCancel

  • Jennifer P. - Good lord you did it again. How you make a book review something to read online is so great. Thanks and now I want to read this book!September 24, 2017 – 10:49 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Oh you’re too kind. I’m so glad you want to read the book. Every human should read it! xoxoSeptember 25, 2017 – 12:09 amReplyCancel

    • Linda Atwell - Jennifer P–I’m so tickled you want to read. I hope you enjoy as much as I enjoyed your comment. And I agree with you–Kristi makes everything sound so awesome. I’m honored she was willing to share our story with all of you. Good luck in the drawing!September 25, 2017 – 12:28 amReplyCancel

  • Jennifer P. - Right? This line though is what I meant.
    Blank screens wait for us to type our stories.

    The screen refrains from groaning while we hit delete and then undo delete, and delete again.

    The screen only laughs a little bit when we type “eiodjfkdjvojeiofhjnefnjkkj” because sometimes, that’s what writing feels like.

    It gives me hope to keep writing!September 25, 2017 – 12:13 amReplyCancel

Our feet leave imprints in the sand, and the air smells of salt and potential. I think about breathing, how I need to get in better shape, and about how good the sun feels on my chest. In this moment, life is smiling with the makings of a perfect day. We set up a beach […]

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  • JT Walters - When it comes to natural disasters, I am humbled by your friendship as we try to text each other through H. IRMA. What lasts through natural disasters is the compassion we have shown each other; clarity who our real friends are and valuing them even more.

    Thank you for keeping a watchful eye on me through H. IRMA and during the long recovery process.

    You are a hero Kristi and my good friend.

    JT WaltersSeptember 14, 2017 – 10:51 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Aw girl, I’m no hero by far but am so so glad you’re okay!!! What an ordeal you all have had (again!). September 15, 2017 – 9:07 pmReplyCancel

      • JT Walters - And humble too!September 15, 2017 – 9:10 pmReplyCancel

        • Kristi Campbell - HAHA. But really, I’m so not a hero. You’re a hero for sticking in there and helping neighbors rebuild their homes and their confidence in humanity. September 15, 2017 – 9:13 pmReplyCancel

  • Linda Atwell - We do rebuild. Sometimes easier than others. Obviously, property can be rebuilt–with time, but loss of life, well, sadly, sometimes those left behind never rebuild.

    I used to be a catastrophe adjuster for a major insurance company. All these disasters bring back memories. Most of the claims I handled were covered, until Katrina. I didn’t actually handle Katrina claims, but I handled Rita, the storm that came in right after. The sad part about Katrina, as well as Harvey and Irma is that much of the damage was done from flood and flood is not covered under any homeowner policy (that I’m aware of). As I watch the news, see the losses, my heart breaks. Maybe these people who lost so much will be able to rebuild with low interests loans. Others may have lost so much that they just cannot afford to start over. (If there was wind damage, that would be covered under the HO policy). The losses we are seeing on the national news is so devastating to me. I so many ways, I’m glad I’m retired. It would almost be unbearable to tell family after family that they have no coverage and will have to apply for funds through FEMA. Well, that’s enough of that sad information. Especially since your piece ended on such a positive note. I hate being a Debbie downer tonight. Have a great weekend.September 15, 2017 – 12:38 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I remember your blog post about the accident when you were in insurance. The imagery sticks with me and I find myself thinking about you sitting on the roof every now and again out of nowhere. And that’s just from reading your post… Living through all of that loss, and telling people they wouldn’t be covered. ROUGH. Also I didn’t know that flooding isn’t covered. That seems wrong. It’s okay to be Debbie Downer on any night. I actually deleted a bunch of this post because I ended up getting really sad in it and then realized I wasn’t adding anything worthwhile by doing so. But it is awful. All of it. xoxo September 15, 2017 – 9:12 pmReplyCancel

  • Twindaddy - I don’t remember how old I was, maybe 7 or 8. We were at Sunset Beach, just a few miles from Myrtle Beach. I was swimming in the ocean one day and nearly got sucked away by the undercurrent. I remember swimming with all I had towards the shore and not moving an inch forward. I was close to the pier, though, and was able to maneuver myself sideways towards it. I was able to grab on to one of the posts and hold on until the current found a different path. I immediately left the water, wrapped myself in a towel, and wondered how close to death I had actually come. I was young and resilient, though, as are most kids that young. I was back out in the water in no time. I’ve never really pondered if it was a sign or what it meant.September 15, 2017 – 6:14 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Wow. Isn’t it amazing how much this stuff comes up, unexpectedly? Sometimes, I wonder if there’s a message there. Maybe, it’s just that we’re all more mortal than we know, but maybe, why us, also, you know? I mean WHY US? Why did you get to swim to the pier, why did I eventually take enough breaths… why does my son’s friend die at the age of seven? I so hope there is more to all of us. How close are we, all the time, you know? September 15, 2017 – 11:12 pmReplyCancel

  • Emily - I think I still have PTSD from Hurricane Sandy…our neighbors across the street had a giant oak tree fall and sheer off the entire front part of their house. It was terrifying to see and they were in their house at the time (but thankfully all ok). The morning after as we all stood out in front of their house crying, I hugged each of them and said, “you’re all ok, That’s what matters.” As luck would have it, a house was for rent right down the street. They moved in a week or so later and rebuilt the front part of their house. A year later they were able to have a sense of humor about it and sent out holiday cards with a pic of their wrecked house on the back that said, “thanks for the memories, Sandy.” It cracked me up, but anyway, my point in telling you this is that yes, they did rebuild and recover and move on…September 15, 2017 – 2:27 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Emily, I’m SURE you still do have PTSD from HS. For real. OMG to your neighbors and all of it. I started to add the time we had a dorocho (something like that) here, and had no power for days. We went to McDonald’s to charge our phones, and all of us slept in the basement because it was a little cooler. I don’t know why I din’t write about that. September 15, 2017 – 11:15 pmReplyCancel

  • Lisa @ The Meaning of Me - No matter what the disaster, what the scenario in life, we rebuild because that’s what we do. Humans are resilient creatures and there is strength and beauty in that. We go on…perhaps stronger than before.September 15, 2017 – 4:14 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - We do go on…but there’s also the underlying thing of “HOW?” when it’s somebody else keeping on, when I’m positive I would not be…September 15, 2017 – 11:16 pmReplyCancel

  • Kerry - Wow. Kristi, what a powerfully raw post you’ve written here. I am terrified of riptides but your story doesn’t sound all that fun either. Probably because I am not a strong swimmer. Anyway, thanks for sharing that. I love the ocean for what it can teach us with its might and force, but when the power of all that comes onto land and destroys homes and lives, it is truly a humbling thing to hear about. Love how you tied these two ideas together from the sentence starter.September 15, 2017 – 8:22 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thank you Kerry. I appreciate your perspective so much. I’m terrified of riptides in a new way than I used to be, because of my son. I deleted a lot of this post and now think that was a mistake, and thank you for that. Love to you my friend. September 15, 2017 – 11:18 pmReplyCancel

  • My Inner Chick - **Rebuilding**
    Such layers of metaphor and beauty.
    As always, I’m just in love w/ you. xxxSeptember 20, 2017 – 6:48 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Aw I’m just in love with you, too. You’re amazing. And thank you. xxxSeptember 20, 2017 – 11:12 pmReplyCancel

  • Roshni - Today, I was listening to news commentary about Puerto Rico and how electricity will not come back for another 4-6 months! The interviewer was incredulous but the person who was being interviewed was calm and talked about relying on generators, but more importantly, relying on others. How strong a community they must have as a result of these natural disasters! It just speaks of their resilience!September 22, 2017 – 6:16 pmReplyCancel

On a day when July was ready for August, I sat and talked with a mother and tried to help hold her unexpected grief. It flowed over the Earth anyway and my own grief sat with us on porch chairs as we remembered Brad (my ex-husband) and wondered. “Why him?” Of course, there’s always a storm, […]

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  • Dana - Oh Kristi, this may be the most beautiful, heart-breaking and hopeful piece you’ve ever written. That I’ve read from you, anyway. I’m so sorry for the losses you’ve grieved this summer, and the conversations you’ve had to have with Tucker about loss.

    I can’t wait to hug you in person. xoxoAugust 31, 2017 – 10:35 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Oh Dana, wow, thank you. I felt like this sucked compared to all of the emotion surrounding it, but maybe, that’s how it works…it sucks and we share anyway, knowing the emotion will be there, or something close enough. It’s been tough talking to Tux about it all. Like, REALLY tough. The funeral services were today, and we brought him, because he said he wanted to go. There was a butterfly garden memorial thing that was gorgeous. The kids all wrote messages on dissolvable paper, and put them into the holy water, and then watered the butterfly garden with the water. It was good, but also, Tucker kept wondering about why he didn’t see his friend’s soul fly to Heaven. “I thought he’d wait for today to go…” GAH. September 2, 2017 – 12:05 amReplyCancel

  • Linda Atwell - Oh, Kristi, you speak the truth. This is just beautiful. And sad. And lovely. Hugs to you my friend.September 1, 2017 – 12:30 amReplyCancel

  • JT Walters - Kristi you are the magical Mom to Tucker and knocked this out of the park.

    Publish!! Parents need helping their children through grief.September 1, 2017 – 4:04 amReplyCancel

  • My Inner Chick - ***On a day when July was ready for August***


    Your words sort of go deep inside and wrap around my soul. I don’t get that often, but when I do, I FEEL, I cry, I experience God, & I jump for joy.

    All of those things.

    Love and appreciation from MN. xxxSeptember 1, 2017 – 8:37 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Kimmy, thank you thank you. Your words do the same for me, my friend. I appreciate your love and appreciation. Know that it’s right back at you. September 2, 2017 – 12:09 amReplyCancel

  • Debi - When my friend’s mother died, she saw butterflies everywhere, too. One followed her all summer all over her garden. There must be something to that. There must.

    I’m so sorry for both of your summer’s losses, Kristi. In my tradition, we say “may their memories be for a blessing,” and I hope that’s ok to wish for you and the others in your world who are grieving.September 1, 2017 – 11:39 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Wow. Maybe that’s a real thing then. I wasn’t expecting to see them, but my friend who is the mom to my son’s best friend mentioned it, I realized that they are everywhere, in spite of the weather, and all of it. I love that your tradition says “may their memories be for a blessing.” That is not only okay but very welcome, and I very much appreciate you sharing that. I’d like to know more about your tradition. September 2, 2017 – 12:11 amReplyCancel

      • Debi - Kristi, I’m Jewish. In our tradition, when someone dies, their family is supported in grief in an intense way for 7 days. It’s called “sitting shiva,” “shiva” being the Hebrew word for seven. The bereaved person is cared for completely by their community – fed, kept company, etc. – and daily prayer services move to their home. More observant people have even more ritual involved and for longer, which could be its own blog post, of course. Every year, on the anniversary of the death, the bereaved recite a specific prayer and light a candle that burns for about 24 hours. If you go to the kosher section of your nearest grocery store, you’ll see these little candles there in jars that look like oj glasses (which is actually how my family reused them!). The traditional statement of sympathy is what I wrote above: “May his/her memory be for a blessing.”

        My husband’s father died 24 years ago, and we still light a candle every year on the anniversary (known as “yahrzeit”). Ditto for our grandparents. It’s a lovely tradition that allows for a lot of openness to mourning. I’ve been grateful for it on more than one occasion.September 3, 2017 – 10:35 amReplyCancel

        • Kristi Campbell - My step mom is Jewish, but she married my dad late in life, and I’m not very familiar with the traditions. Thank you for sharing this. I’ve heard of shiva before but never knew it meant seven. My son’s friend has a lot of support from their church… the grief, I suppose is the same, but I really am jealous of the rituals, and want to learn more. About all of them. I love the idea of lighting a candle each year, and put my son’s friend’s birthday and death day in my calendar so that I’d remember to honor him on those days moving forward. I know the family has a lot of support and love and prayers now, but also know they will dwindle and that there will be such hard days soon. I love love love your tradition. Thank you for taking the time to tell me about it. September 4, 2017 – 12:16 amReplyCancel

  • Emily - Oh Kristi, I am so sorry for both these losses, which are heart-breaking in similar as well as different ways. I think it’s hard enough for adults to process death — especially of young people and children — but the way you helped Tucker process (and continue to process) his friend’s passing was amazing. I think children are more open than adults when it comes to discussing death and sometimes I think we can learn from them and how they are not afraid to talk about it. I’m sending you and Tucker a big virtual hug.xoxoSeptember 1, 2017 – 12:43 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thank you Emily. They are both heartbreaking, and also, different. Because somehow, 47 seemed so wrong (and still does) but seven?? I mean, seven. OMG. I agree that children are more open than adults about all of it. I’m trying so hard to give him the info he needs while keeping details out…. still gah. I appreciate the hugs. xooxo September 2, 2017 – 12:13 amReplyCancel

  • Anne Cagen - This is so timely for me having suddenly just lost a good friend. Thank you Kristi. You’re beautiful.September 1, 2017 – 1:06 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thank you thank you, and YOU are beautiful. I’m so very sorry for the loss of your friend. September 2, 2017 – 12:14 amReplyCancel

  • Twindaddy - </3September 1, 2017 – 9:45 pmReplyCancel

  • Echo - Death has no compassion. It takes whoever, whenever. It comes when least expected, but also takes longer than expected. Death is on its own time.

    Its so sad that you lost two people so close together. I am so sorry, Kristi.September 4, 2017 – 12:45 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks, Echo. <3 I appreciate it. My loss pales to the two mamas though, and I just can’t think about how I’d carry on. xoSeptember 4, 2017 – 7:57 pmReplyCancel

  • Lisa @ The Meaning of Me - Oh, Kristi, I still just have no words for this. Hope you and Tucker (and all who are touched by these deaths) are doing as well as can be expected. I’m so sorry that you are experiencing this sadness. I think you did just fine talking to T. about bottles and bodies and souls. Well done, mama.
    Love you guys. Love and prayers.September 4, 2017 – 12:40 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks Lisa. We love you, too. Of course, my sadness is nothing compared to the moms. I appreciate the thought that the water bottle talk works okay…it’s so hard to know what to say, and what to leave out… xoxo September 4, 2017 – 8:24 pmReplyCancel

  • Kerry - I think there is surely something to the butterfly thing. They are silent and I don’t see them, so delicate, that if I had to think of any representation of the spirit and soul of someone, I’d think butterfly.

    Kids deserve to know, but the questions they ask are so hard sometimes. Just the other day my five-year-old nephew asked or stated, not sure which still, “Kerry, mommies and daddies always come back, right?” And I was flummoxed. *sigh*

    I wrote all about it in my TToT this week because it really blew me away and I still can’t stop thinking about it. He obviously wanted my reassurance and I gave it, but inside I couldn’t stop myself from saying/thinking…”most times they do.” The opposite, loss of a child, I can’t imagine.September 4, 2017 – 9:51 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Wow, Kerry. What a hard hard thing to answer about mommies and daddies always coming back. Of COURSE we have to lie, right? I wrestle with this one too. How much to say? I’m going to your TToT now. xoSeptember 5, 2017 – 7:35 pmReplyCancel

  • Allie G smith - This gutted me. I don’t know how to comment. I’m sorry.September 5, 2017 – 7:49 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I *know.* So much. My heart is completely broken for my son’s friends family. And for my ex MIL and their family. Sigh. xoSeptember 5, 2017 – 7:43 pmReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - Oh my 🙁 My condolences again for Brad and for Tucker’s friend. I know that’s got to hard to see another mom who has lost her child, no matter how young or how old. It’s just not supposed to happen that way. I love you expressed bodies & souls to Tucker. I love the way he remembers his friend.September 7, 2017 – 1:14 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Kenya, thank you. It’s so NOT supposed to happen that way… and when it does, what do we do? How do we support? How do we talk to our little boys when they ask “how often do kids die, Mom?” UGH. I love the way he remembers his friend, too. We bought water balloons the other day, so he could wash my car with them and remember his buddy… September 7, 2017 – 11:21 pmReplyCancel

It’s August. “Will you watch me play?” he asks. I don’t want to. In fact, I can think of 1,001 things I’d rather do than watch my not-so-little little boy play Legends of Zelda on his WiiU. I look up, ready to tell him “No.” To explain that I’m working, that watching somebody else play […]

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  • Emily - It’s amazing how thinking about a month can bring back so much for you…I never really thought about what a particular month means to me, I think because I’m always focused on the year, such as, “the year ___ was hard” or “the year ___ was the year that ___ happened.” I can’t remember the last time I posted (oh wait, there it is at comment luv – not THAT long ago, but still…you make me want to think about blogging again more than once in a while!August 10, 2017 – 10:05 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I think I’m mostly focused on the year, too, but August is when I turn older, and I’d planned to write about how I am so much older than Tucker’s peers, but then, well, it went a different direction, I guess. But I AM so much older than Tucker’s peer’s moms,and I know that will become an issue at some point, and it makes me sad and also remember my own birthdays. If that makes sense.August 10, 2017 – 11:04 pmReplyCancel

      • Emily - Yes, makes sense, but do NOT worry about your age in comparison to Tucker’s peers’ moms…I had Matthew at 38 so there have been times when I feel so old compared to some of the moms with kids the same age as him, but then I realized, who cares? They may have the youth over me, but I have the wisdom. 🙂August 11, 2017 – 9:27 amReplyCancel

  • Deb - Love. This and you.August 10, 2017 – 11:11 pmReplyCancel

  • jt walters - It is August and it is a time of grief but optimism for renewal.

    Enjoy it. Trick T into making you a Zelda expert. When you watch him play or better yet engage in video play you are building bonds to the more mature T while baby T fades away.

    Trust me one day when you try to engage him, he will hand you your laptop as if to say, “Don’t you have work to do?” I almost cried the first time Alex did it to me but then I pulled out the remote and defiantly told him I wanted to watch music videos *Alex’s favorite thing.” And he was over the whole work thing. We have that bridge to his young adulthood.

    Make Zelda your bridge. I am not a country music fan but learned to appreciate Lukes Bryant and even Pitbull.

    It is all about building bridges to stay connected as in sports and teams.

    Good for you watching Tucker who is coming a teenager rapidly.August 10, 2017 – 11:14 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I am not a country music fan, either but what we bond with our sons is what we bond with and of course, become fans. I’m trying with Zelda. August 10, 2017 – 11:27 pmReplyCancel

      • JT walters - You played baseball out side and made scrabbled eggs for dinner, you turned drowning Tucker into swim team Tucker, your family has come so far bonding.

        Personally, I worry about all of our children getting lost in those nonse videos so Tucker is wise to have you watch him and you are wise to play Zelda with him. You have taught him to discover the beauty in nature as I recall you two digging for ire.

        Be aware of that clock. It is ticking away. It is reminding you that parenting is a short time experience.


        Like I said I’m captive to Luke Bryant and Pit Bull.August 11, 2017 – 9:16 amReplyCancel

  • Debi Lewis - This is just beautiful. It is also totally brilliant to see watching them play a video game as just like watching a sporting event — and I can’t believe I’ve never thought of it that way. My daughter watches YouTube videos of people playing SIMS, and I never understood the attraction until reading this. “Show me,” you say, and that conveys so much of the way you seem to really SEE your son, really try to understand him. I learned so much from you here. Thank you, Kristi.August 10, 2017 – 11:53 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - You’re so kind, Debi, thank you. I never thought about it like that either… Tux watches Dan TDM playing Minecraft and I’ve always wondered WHAT? WHY? But it’s a bit the same, as watching football, or something, right? Thank you so much for your kind words. They mean so much to me. August 11, 2017 – 9:18 pmReplyCancel

  • Lux G. - So much has happened. Time flies, huh? Your not so little boy looks gorgeous. I wish you and your family well, this August and always.August 11, 2017 – 10:12 amReplyCancel

  • Dana - I had no plans to write for this FTSF, but this…now I have to. For all the Augusts. Thanks for inspiring me, Kristi. xoxoAugust 11, 2017 – 12:28 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - That I inspired you to write your amazing post is an honor and I thank you. So glad you wrote. xoxo LUNCH after school starts??? First day here is 28th. That Friday? August 11, 2017 – 9:27 pmReplyCancel

  • Allison Smith - Wow. I’m not sure where to begin. I will skip over the contentious – cause you know I don’t like the Broncos. I will agree that watching ANYONE play video games sucks. I cannot believe how long his hair is – he looks so different. Was it only last summer we saw each other? And finally. I am very very sorry about your ex-husband. Shocked! Did he have a health condition? As you know, my brother died in his sleep as well. Everyone says if you have to go, that’s the way – but not in your forties. And it fills me with terror – the thought that when I put my head on my pillow each night…So, so, so sorry.August 11, 2017 – 12:28 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - LOL Broncos RULE, sister. And yeah, it was last summer. He hasn’t had a haircut since then… decided he wants a manbun after watching some YouTuber… thank you about my ex. He didn’t have any health conditions and I can’t claim to know much about his life over the past 15 years. They did do an autopsy but no results for a couple of months… I try to not think of dying each night, but wow. So scary 🙁 When are you free to catch up on the phone, anyway? August 11, 2017 – 9:30 pmReplyCancel

  • Lisa @TheGoldenSpoons - Well, if you read my post you know I TOTALLY get this! Damn August! Hoping for more days while simultaneously wishing away the minutes – yes!, yes, yes!August 11, 2017 – 2:58 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - LOL Damn August is so right! Yes to days and wishing away minutes. Happy birthday to your August babies and hubs, Lisa!August 11, 2017 – 9:35 pmReplyCancel

  • Twindaddy - Don’t blink. Soon he’ll be a hulking senior with plans for what he will do after graduation. Sigh…August 12, 2017 – 4:44 pmReplyCancel

  • Echo - I find myself saying no way to often and for various reasons. I need to open myself up to saying yes to my kids more often, before they get old enough to stop asking me all together.August 14, 2017 – 3:43 pmReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - We have zero school supplies as of today. We do have some leftovers though so I feel like we have something.

    Christopher is 12 and “watch me” hasn’t ended yet, thankfully he’s over Minecraft because I just couldn’t. As he’s getting older I do tend to give him more of my time because I feel in a flash one day he won’t be asking me. Don’t beat yourself up for not watching when you’d rather be or need to be something else. I think there is a time and a place when it’s the perfect moment even if the time eventually runs out – we get it in when it counts most – hopefully in the life changing moments when they are deciding who they’ll become – we were there, present, engaging and helpful.August 15, 2017 – 3:40 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - We ordered the too expensive school tool box, mostly because I just *can’t* right now… I love that Christopher still has “watch me” and yeah, I feel like the time is fleeting too. I get that. Thank you for the a few years from now perspective too… always such a good reminder of how fast it goes. August 19, 2017 – 11:43 pmReplyCancel

  • Linda Atwell - I am sorry that death and life and love and worry all occur in one month. In your birth month. 🙁

    You always make me think. My initial answer to one of my kids would have been no. Then you brought me along your journey, allowing me to think about how watching games at events is watching someone else play. I love how you think things out, process them. You truly are the best.August 17, 2017 – 9:16 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Aw thank YOU for your kindness. I don’t get there on my own, ever. I think I get there because I’m so dang old! UGH 🙁 to that, but also that I’m here, for this age, and well, all of it. Thank you. August 19, 2017 – 11:45 pmReplyCancel

  • My Inner Chick - ***August is the realization that each of us is always old enough to die.***

    you do it to me every single time.

    When I read your words, I know my heart is still beating)))

    xxxx from MNAugust 18, 2017 – 4:20 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I hate that we;re always old enough to die. But, it helps, right? I mean, remembering that we are? August 19, 2017 – 11:46 pmReplyCancel

  • Kerry - I hear time in a way I haven’t heard it before. Time is marching. I can hear time marching.

    Such a powerful line, that you hear that.

    I also love Tucker’s answer to why watch.

    Summer of birthdays for you and yet I am sorry you had to do something so sad in the month of yours.

    Happy Birthday Kristi. I hope you could enjoy it, once you were back with your family and life, this week. I know back to school looms and it means a lot of time keeps on marching on.

    I am no fan of video games nor football, but good for you for being the mom who puts some of that aside for your boy when he asked you to do that with him.August 26, 2017 – 5:56 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Kerry, I’m so sorry I didn’t see this sooner. It’s been ONE HECK of a month and summer… but I hear time marching even more now, and thank you for the happy birthday wishes. School started here yesterday, and we should talk about football and video games. They can be amazing. Or, annoying. Maybe mostly annoying but amazing too… August 29, 2017 – 11:53 pmReplyCancel

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