snapshot—friday morning

If I tell you how life really is, will you still listen? It’s 11:00 am, the day begins again. Every two to three hours the baby button restarts. In the mornings, thankfully, this means coffee. Then back to bed to write amidst another set of sheets damp from pee or spit up. Back to the washer on the second snow day in a row, no school but the sun pops from ground to sky. So why am I thinking about ice cream when it’s 2 degrees F outside?

from, a walk in Vermont

The baby lies next to me, restless from the threat of a mouthful of teeth rushing in all at once. Or so it seems. I hear the front door open and close. Boots, jackets, and mittens fall on the floor. “Sure is cold out there,” he says, “rushing into the bedroom smelling like burnt wood and mushrooms.

from, a walk in Vermont

Snack time pulls me away from writing. One boy in my lap the other by my side. Wet socks and pants. Off and on. Into the kitchen for peanut butter and fruit. “There are good and bad numbers in the game,” he says shutting his computer before he finishes eating. I put the baby to sleep. The other boy leans into my leg and writes a music poem in his notebook, each letter and line designates a different tone. Spontaneous song poem: “L: blue, blue, blue—bluuuuue.”

from, a walk in Vermont

Dune, dune pah pah pah pahhhh. What was I going to write? Knee to knee, his tree pencil skirts across the page. My fingers slowly tap the keyboard, lazy in search of silence to wander around. His legs wiggle next to me. Someone found his pink apartment. I don’t question his poetry, listen instead and spell out words on demand. “T-H-E…I know how to spell this.” “The fish lived with the black fish…It’s a poem about the lonesome fish. Read it. This is one I wrote about a very cool spaceship house.”

from, a walk in Vermont

I feel like I’m taking writing life lessons from a five year old. “I drew a zooba zooba on the second page.” “What does this note say?” Thoughts fire every other second. “Hexagon, triangle, when are we going to make blueberry muffins?”

from, a walk in Vermont

One is a poet, the other, a teether. This will all change again soon, I think.
from, a walk in Vermont

Hope your new year is off to a good start. Happy happy all.

(photos: shot in Vermont)


  1. says

    The description of your day takes me back to a time when our daughter drew images endlessly and dictated stories. One has to love the wild creativity of youth…and we need to hold onto it!
    I’m a new reader here and wondered if the writing that you talk of is for your photography book? Also, could you recommend a couple of your favorite books on the art and craft of writing? I’d appreciate it. I’ve been working on a project that I plan to either develop into an e-course or a book.

    • ArtandLemons says

      Hi Anna, thanks for your comment. Yes, kids are incredible teachers of creativity. They always have the “On” button pressed. I was referring to a personal narrative essay that I’m working on along with my photo book and course projects. I schedule daily writing time and choose which piece to work on according to deadlines I’ve set.

      Absolutely, I love reading about writing craft! Here are my favorites: “If You Want To Write” by Brenda Euland, “How To Be A Writer: Hemingway’s Advice to Aspiring Authors” edited by Larry W. Phillips, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft” by Stephen King, these writing tips from Jack Kerouac (, “Writing Down the Bones” by Natalie Goldberg, and “Zen in the Art of Writing: Releasing the Creative Genius Within You” by Ray Bradbury.

      Best of luck with your project and I can’t wait to hear more about it!


      • says

        Thanks so much for all the reading suggestions, Nikki! The majority of my reading centers around textiles, beading, art, and photography, thus, Bird by Bird is the only book on your list that I’ve read (numerous times). We might even get up to a balmy one below zero today, so I hope to slip off to our local puny library and see if they have any of these titles.
        Enjoy those hectic days with your little ones, as they do pass quickly! Our daughter graduates from college this spring and I just shake my head wondering where all the time went.

  2. AndreiaV says

    Hi Nikki,

    It´s always so nice to hear your stories along with those great photos. For instants i imagine myself in that snowy landscape :)
    I feel sorry for your little boy but better days will come. Lots of hugs and kisses calm down and cheers up the little angel :)
    Your oldest is going to be a good writer like his momma.
    I´ve heard on the news that is pretty cold there…hope you´re well and the weather will get better for sure.

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