What To Do When Your Grass Dies



All the houses looked prettier this morning as I drove through my neighborhood to my chiropractor appointment.  Installed sprinklers and landscapers who visit weekly are the norm in Congress Park (a little neighborhood just outside downtown Denver), contributing to it’s recently-won title of “best place to live in Denver.”

Just so we’re clear, I don’t live in one of the famed Denver four-square behemoths that line the leafy streets of Saint Paul Street & Detroit Avenue; I don’t have a sprinkler system installed either.  And instead of paying for someone to mow my lawn and pick my weeds, I choose to see a chiropractor once a week who helps snap my poor pelvis back into place, #GiantBabiesRuinBodies.

My chiropractor is a Healer—she loves God and she believes that Love Wins, as do I.  So I get undressed and laid prostrate on the blue leather table, reverent and ready for the relief.  As she feels my body, I exhale.  Finally, someone to snap it all back into place.

“Hhmmm…”  She mumbles through her thoughts.

“What’s going on back there?”  I breathe sweaty breath into the crinkly paper covering the face/head rest.

“You’ve got to relax, Honey.”  She finally speaks up.  “I can’t even start working on you.  You’re too tight.”  Her touch and her words sink down into my flesh and bones.



“There you go,”  she coaches.  “What’s going on this morning?”

What’s going on is that my children yell “MR. WEINIE!!” without abandon every single time they see a dachshund while we’re out and about, and it’s embarrassing sometimes.

What’s wrong is that the two older girls planted pumpkin seeds in absurd places around the vegetable garden, and now we have pumpkin problems — huge pumpkins vines snaking around like hot lava, “No Mama!  Don’t step on my pumpkins!”

And don’t even get me started on the little boy who picks baby bell peppers before they even stood a chance—they chose life!  He didn’t.  At least the baby is sleeping through the night now.

What’s going on is that my sod is actually straw, because I don’t have sprinklers.  I know grass should look green, but what about when it’s brown and squirrels blend into it?  I know friends should text you back, but what about when they don’t?  I believe my pant size doesn’t determine my worth, but sometimes I get afraid that it is.

What happened this past week?  Life.  Life happened.

And here’s what I realized on that blue, sweaty, leather table:  I wanted a fixer, not a Healer.  I wanted a life that could be secured by sprinklers, obedience, loyalty, and weight loss. I held tight to my expectations of what a life should look instead of releasing.  Inhaling.  Exhaling.

If only the chaos and crazy (and beauty) of my full life could be snapped back into place with the same technique my chiropractor uses.

But that’s not how our Healer works, is it?  Nope.  God must go deeper, beyond the chaos, pain, and discomfort.  My chiropractor couldn’t do her job, she couldn’t access my injury, until I let her ease apart the scar tissue a shitty week left behind.

She laughed when I told her about the Dachshunds.  “Well I’m glad it made somebody smile,”  I chuckled.  And she reminded me that not every family of six is blessed with the outdoor space for three different pumpkin plants to comfortably invade.

Then she casually recalled that I’ve lost one-hundred-and fifty pounds, and I am a Love Hulk—fearfully and radically crafted by the Healer who cured my cancers and then gifted me FOUR miracle babies.

“Do you think any bit of your life is an accident?”  She teared up a little.




Everything adjusted back into the places God intended upon creation.

The drive home wasn’t nearly as awful.  Instead of resenting all the big houses I can’t afford to live in, I thanked God for the perfect little Victorian bungalow that houses all the healthy humans I love.

“I bless you, green grass.  I bless your lushness,”  I spoke while passing all the sprinkler systems.  And when I arrived home, to my own beautiful mess of a front yard, I thanked God for the hundred-year-old gate protecting the babies who make me better.

One day, things will stay tidy, I tell myself, noticing the chalk pieces and tricycles strewn about.

Life happens, all day, every day.  We don’t get to choose whether or not our kids listen.  We can’t control our income, our blood pressure, or the success of our marriage—even though we think we can.  Sometimes we choose to “fix it” by gripping tighter, controlling, manipulating, and ignoring.

But what if we choose Healing by inviting Truth and Gratitude into the fears that we allow to hold us hostage?

We can breathe.  And somehow, through the miraculous power of Love, we get snapped back into place, where we can receive the Good gift of content sort of kids, lower blood pressure, and happier husbands.

You are fearfully and radically made by a Healer who can’t wait to ever-so-carefully rip you apart, and then mend it all.  Once mended, you have power that puts superwoman to shame, and you realize that you can choose Joy, here.  Now.

Inhale.  Exhale.  Smile.  We are all gonna make it, even if our sod dies.




🎃PS- It’s Halloween, which means I say a special prayer for all teachers everywhere tonight as I fall asleep.  “Lord, help them handle the cocaine-candy angels tomorrow.”  In our house, after we arrive home from our hunting and gathering, we do something that really pisses of the kids, but also really excites the parents and teachers.  The kids dump out their haul on the floor and pick three pieces of candy they would like to eat over the next three days.  You’re welcome.  Amen 🙏🏼

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Dear New Mama Claire



Hi.  Hug.

On the evening of October 16th, 2016 a lot of shit is going to hit a large fan, with many large spinning blades.  Try the following, instead of what you actually do:


  1.  Please don’t order out.  That burger you dreamt about will not fill the hole your lack of self-care created.  Also, the budget will have no wiggle room, so don’t try and justify your compensation prize/take-out burger; sit in the itchiness, take a walk or a bath, drink some water and breathe, rip paper.  Eat the mac-n-cheese with peas and hotdogs that you you made for the kiddos, it will be good enough.

  2. Get off your phone when David reads the bedtime story, please.  You are capable of showing up for the remainder of their ten minutes awake.  You are a good mama.  You make them smile.  They love you and need you for those last moments of their day.  And you can do it.

  3. Turn the TV off when the first kid starts crying.  Not when the second, third, or fourth kid starts crying.  Yes, you had thoughts about this night & how it needed to unfold.  But ideas about how things should look make you spin and scratch instead of rest and breathe.  Please remind your expectations to fuck off.  Pause West World, and breathe.

  4. When you and David do ascend the stairs and reach the top of Crying Kid Mountain, try not to yell at the babies who shattered the idol you created with the burger and HBO.  Yes, you are spinning, but I suggest resisting the urge to spin the tired terrorists up, too.  Some stern words and tender touches will suffice.  DO NOT TAKE RAE INTO THE ECHO-Y BATHROOM, CLOSE THE DOOR, AND YELL ALL THE REASONS SHE NEEDS TO GO TO SLEEP.  She wants to be asleep just as badly as you want her sleep.  Both of you need to put your hands on your belly, breathe deeply,  and sing “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beetles until the tears stop falling and a smile curls onto her face.  This will stop the spinning.

  5. Cry a lot when you get in bed, not just those little tears strapped to bungie cords.  Cry like you’re tossing those suckers out off the bridge never to be seen again.  Ask David to hold your hand longer than he does.  Laugh with him when he starts laughing, and ask for forgiveness from each other and God for refusing to show up and refusing to choose Love.  You both chose to stay small on this night, and that’s okay–you’re a human.  But you can and will do better next time, you’re a Love Hulk, remember?

  6. Wrap up the night with Truth and Gratitude and Joy.  Stitch your tears, laughter, and prayers into the down comforter that envelopes you both.  Then whisper out loud, “We’re all gonna make it.  We’re all gonna make it.  We’re all gonna make it.”

I love you and you’re doing a great job raising your miracles.  Don’t worry about the cancer or the pain or the meds, it all gets figured out, mostly.  God wastes nothing, it’s all Goodhardgood.  Smile.



Claire Bear

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