Author: Sara Orris

Nothing But Dust

I had hoped to write about finding peace this week. In so many ways my life has become much more peaceful, especially over the last year. Many stressors from the last decade have lessened and I am enjoying the benefit of having older children who actually sleep. Unfortunately, however, I’m not comfortable saying that I’m content and at peace with my life. I’m actually aching for change. There is a country song I simply love called “Dust” by Eli Young Band. The song is on my running playlist, I blast it when it’s on in the car, and I sing along at the top of my lungs whenever it’s socially appropriate. Now, to be clear, if this was me in that picture I’d have my husband next to me and my three kids in my rear view but that’s not the point. Some days I just wish we could pack up our lives and get the hell out of here. When I was twenty-three, my husband (then boyfriend) and I did just that. We packed up what little we had—second hand furniture, extra kitchen supplies my mother didn’t need, our clothes, and a tiny TV—and we left the state where both of us had grown up to move to the Washington, DC area for graduate school. We knew NO ONE. It was just us, a tiny bank account, and...

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Hopes and Wishes for My Daughter

Dear Beautiful Daughter of Mine, I hope you will always know how much you are loved. I know sometimes I can be angry, preoccupied, or inconsistent with my directions, praise, and expectations. Please understand that I am doing my best and even though I may have a bad day I am always filled to the brim with love for you. There is nothing you could do to erase my love for you. If I don’t tell or show you enough please let me know what you need. I wish I could give you all of the things you’ve ever asked for. I absolutely hate saying “no” to you. Please understand that we are working very hard to make as much money as we can to support you and make you happy. Please also understand that we have no idea how we will pay for college tuition or other expenses the future may bring. We are a bit anxious when it comes to money and, most times, I need to say no. I hope you love yourself. You are each so special and unique. Other people may say things that will hurt you and make you question your worth. You will see images everywhere that may make you wonder if you are pretty enough, thin enough, or special enough. You will be tempted to do things that will not be...

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Back to School…Or…Where Did All of My Money Go?

Ah, “Back to School”. So exciting, right? I guess…in some ways. As a special educator, “Back to School” does not just apply to my children but to me as well. Back to work, back to our routines, back to busy schedules and back our “normal” lives. I find comfort in routine and I’m much more productive and in many ways happier once we are all clicking along on a nice schedule of school, lessons, and sports. I enjoy work and I get a bit sluggish and antsy by the end of summer. I’m ready to get back to the job I love. Unfortunately, however, “Back to School” also means spending money at close to holiday season levels. In fact, I honestly feel as if I have absolutely no extra money from late August through Christmas. This is why: 1. Registration Fees. It starts early in August and gently enough. The emails start to come in: “Early-bird Girl Scout Registration due now!”, “Register for Fall soccer by August 31st to assure your favored team!”. Then those emails and other reminders come more often as the month wears on. Religious education registration, dance classes, art class…and they just keep coming. 2. School supplies and school clothes. As I was shopping for supplies for our Fourth of July weekend I rounded the corner in the store and saw this: I successfully avoided...

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My Third Baby

My baby is growing up. As she creeps up on her fourth birthday, I am still referring to her as “the baby” and I’m pretty sure I always will. I am very upset that she is growing up and unfortunately I think I’ve “broken” her with my frequent comments about this since she is now very upset about growing up as well. Anytime someone makes a comment about how big she’s getting, she cries a little. Oops. I had two children pretty close together in my late twenties. I really don’t remember much from 2003 through 2007. I blame...

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Summer Lessons

As an educator I have always worked summer school. While summer school was less hours than my normal work day it still required getting up, getting dressed, and spending a large chunk of my day involved with work. Last summer was the first summer, ever, that I decided not to work. My oldest daughter was recovering from spinal surgery, however, so while I thoroughly enjoyed the time off from work it was definitely not what I would call a “normal” summer. This summer, however, has been pure freedom. I am not working, we have very little planned and scheduled, and no really important commitments. My girls and I can do whatever we want. It’s been lovely. I’ve also learned a few things. My almost four-year-old never stops talking. As a working mother I truly treasure almost every minute I get to spend with my youngest baby. I hang on her every word. I try to grant every wish she has. We spend entire evenings snuggled in a chair together. I miss her when I’m at work—a down into the gut longing. This summer my older girls are spending most mornings at a recreational sports camp. The baby, however, is my constant companion. From the second she wakes up until the time I put her to bed she is in my shadow–talking. She asks questions. She tells me stories. She...

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