jen groeber: mama art

4 kids in 3 years: reflections on motherhood, art and life.

Category Archives: The Children

The Playground Disappeared

The playground suddenly disappeared. This both is and is not a metaphor. We were heading to the library, the place I would take the kids for story hours and sing … Continue reading

July 5, 2017 · 2 Comments

Love is the Tarragon

Tarragon. I had never used tarragon before working in a quaint New England sandwich and bake shop in 1994. I didn’t even know what cilantro tasted like or looked like, … Continue reading

June 20, 2017 · 16 Comments

Manipulated

She manipulates me. I have finished the hour-long process of reading to all four of them together something like Harry Potter or The War That Saved Me and then with … Continue reading

June 5, 2017 · 4 Comments

The Art of the Lost Hour

We all grow older, grow up, get stinky, lose track of time. We remember, and then we hold tight suddenly, lamenting. There’s nothing to be done about it at all but this, this one hour outside of time, to celebrate, to mourn, to repurpose into something new that we can hang on a wall to remind us of what was.

May 10, 2017 · 6 Comments

We the People…

  Midweek last week I had one of those strange moments where two very different things that are deeply related rubbed up against each other. Those are generally my favorite … Continue reading

January 29, 2017 · 14 Comments

The Christmas Card

I have always been buried by the weight of parts of things. It’s the finding the cord to hook up the printer and updating the software to work with the … Continue reading

December 25, 2016 · 4 Comments

A Week in Three Parts (You Don’t Stop When the Pom-Pom Drops)

Part I: Fishbone Leaves Last Saturday I was contemplating my role as a woman and a mother. I was deep in thought about who I am, and what I should be … Continue reading

November 11, 2016 · 5 Comments

The Morning After the Election, Still I Rise

Last night I stayed up as long as I could watching the television coverage of the election results. And then somewhere close to midnight I finally went upstairs to bed. … Continue reading

November 9, 2016 · 11 Comments

Labor Day Weekend, Where Did it Go?

  Today was the last day of summer, Labor Day weekend, two days away from the start of school. In the morning I headed out alone to the beach with … Continue reading

September 6, 2016 · 6 Comments

The In-Between

I stepped outside today and it was what we call nether weather. It was neither cool nor warm, windy or calm. It felt like there was no temperature, no sun, the … Continue reading

August 21, 2016 · 4 Comments

The Weightlessness of Water

I could sit underwater and watch my children swim for hours. Well, not hours. I’m no David Blaine. I can only hold my breath for about four times as long … Continue reading

August 5, 2016 · 9 Comments

Last Week of School

  It is their last week of school. And when I’m not feeling overwhelmed at the thought of a recent birthday just passed, or one looming ahead in two weeks, … Continue reading

June 21, 2016 · 7 Comments

Turning Nine and the Football Cake

My son turned nine this weekend and I have absolutely nothing to say about it. I should. I want to say something. But I am in turns fake-preoccupied with something … Continue reading

May 16, 2016 · 18 Comments

We Went to the Ocean

We went to the ocean this weekend. I was resistant. “But we’ll miss three lacrosse games and two birthday parties and a lacrosse practice and an invitation to go to … Continue reading

April 20, 2016 · 20 Comments

My Baby’s First Date

My daughter went on her first date last weekend. They went to the movies. He wore a jacket and a dress shirt. She wore a San Francisco t-shirt from Old … Continue reading

April 12, 2016 · 10 Comments

Happy Jazz Handsy Valentine’s Day

My kids were talking about Valentine’s Day in the back row of the minivan. My five-year-old was beyond excited about the day. They had all been told to wear red, … Continue reading

February 16, 2016 · 14 Comments

What I Remember, There You Are

It begins like this. My alarm goes off and I get out of bed. My husband is already awake, because he is an early bird.  I get out of bed, … Continue reading

January 26, 2016 · 30 Comments

Twin Posts: Mirror in the Sky

I spent the morning at my daughter’s school celebrating her seventh birthday. We had planned for me to make crafts with her class, a collaged ocean seascape and some hot … Continue reading

October 10, 2015 · 15 Comments

Swooping Like Birds

Sunday morning started slowly. We were in recovery. Recovery from the first full week of school and a Saturday where the kids played four different soccer games on four different fields … Continue reading

September 23, 2015 · 10 Comments

Last First Day of School

I began to see my day and the things I would do. Then my week and the things I hoped to accomplish, then my month, and so on. As I told my son, I guess you need new beginnings for sentimental endings and sentimental endings for new beginnings. And now it’s time for the next new beginning.

September 10, 2015 · 9 Comments

The Last Last Time

I was wringing out wet bathing suits and hanging them over the deck railing. Our front porch is about fifteen feet from the road with a lively view of the … Continue reading

September 8, 2015 · 12 Comments

The Summer of Enough

Last week my email account resent a bunch of emails with photo attachments, emails I’d sent a year ago. And my sister replied to a very back-to-school looking picture as … Continue reading

September 2, 2015 · 21 Comments

August is the Cruelest Month

This morning, as my husband walked out the front door, he reminded me that the painters were coming tomorrow and that we needed to vacate the house. They would come … Continue reading

August 30, 2015 · 15 Comments

I Don’t Like Eight-Year-Old Boys, the Never Ending Sequel

I don’t like eight-year-old boys.You might remember that I didn’t like seven-year-old boys much either. It’s hard to describe what the actual thing is that he does that drives me … Continue reading

August 28, 2015 · 6 Comments

Recreating My Childhood, One Board Game At a Time

I’ve been recreating my childhood one board game at a time. Or actually, not my whole entire childhood. Were I to try to recreate my whole entire childhood I’d need … Continue reading

August 17, 2015 · 26 Comments

Summer Camp, All Alone

This week is camp week. You know the kind I mean. You slather four children in sunscreen, pack four bags with yesterday’s damp swimsuits and towels, and then send them … Continue reading

July 30, 2015 · 14 Comments

U2 Can Have Your Cake and Eat It… Too

In six degrees of separation how would we get from U2 to a Doc McStuffins cake? Doc McStuffins cake, inspired by the Doc McStuffins cartoon, for which China Anne McClain … Continue reading

July 23, 2015 · 18 Comments

Father’s Day and the White Undershirt

I woke yesterday morning to the mystical, warm smell of my husband ‘s white undershirt. I was half-asleep and he was half-asleep, and I curled up against him, my head … Continue reading

June 22, 2015 · 14 Comments

Tomorrow She is Never Again Four Years Old (Not Even One Dot)

I look at the clock and it’s 11:34 pm. I picture my newly minted five-year-old, asleep in her bed, covered with the Hello Kitty blanket I stayed up until past … Continue reading

June 18, 2015 · 378 Comments

Leaving the Nest, an Ode to Pre-School

My youngest child is finishing her time at the most amazing school ever. She is graduating from pre-school. I know everyone thinks that their kids go to the most amazing schools. … Continue reading

June 13, 2015 · 15 Comments

The Tooth Fairy Forgot to Come Last Night

The tooth fairy forgot to come last night. Mica walked into my bedroom this morning, waking me with his sad, sweet little face and shuffling footy pajama’ed feet. He said with the … Continue reading

May 20, 2015 · 27 Comments

Little League, It Ain’t No Big Thing

I admit it. I was equipment-shamed by the guy at Modell’s. And Modell’s by the way? It sort of sucks. I’d much rather go to Dick’s. Especially with my mother … Continue reading

May 6, 2015 · 15 Comments

Two-Wheelers, Piano Recitals and Lost Teeth

I went for a run today. Just a week ago on my run there was still snow on the ground deep in the woods, tucked in the valleys, with a gray fog … Continue reading

April 30, 2015 · 13 Comments

Silent All These Years/ Fireworks Mash-Up (For My Daughter)

The other day I heard that Tori Amos song on the radio. I was driving in the minivan, picking the kids up from school. I was loaded… with carseats and … Continue reading

April 23, 2015 · 6 Comments

Learning to Swim

I started swimming again, and it’s been a revelation. I grew up with a pool in the backyard. I have memories of swimming with my sisters at night while my … Continue reading

March 30, 2015 · 23 Comments

Something About Now (Valentine’s Day 2015)

Tim found some old videos on his computer. What with hard-discs being full and switching from desktop dinosaurs to laptops and iPads and iPhones, we hadn’t seen these videos for awhile, … Continue reading

February 15, 2015 · 4 Comments

Reading (to My Children)

I love books. I love to read them. I dream about writing one someday. My shelves are covered, covered, covered with books. Because once one has acquired a book, whether … Continue reading

January 20, 2015 · 19 Comments

Ten Minutes of Thankful (and Then Some)

I was talking the other night with an old friend. She was feeling sad, and bad, and blue. The holidays, the dark winter days, family pressures and perceived failures seemed … Continue reading

January 1, 2015 · 27 Comments

The Twins Turn Six (from the Basement Tapes)

Again and again this year I found myself beginning posts I never finished or finishing posts I never polished enough to post. So they’ve sat half-lost in a virtual notepad, … Continue reading

December 20, 2014 · 10 Comments

Sleeping Children, Peace, and Other Thankful Thoughts

Tim brought Mica to me last night. I was in bed. We were watching television, the president juxtaposed against Ferguson, burning cars and police in riot gear throwing tear gas, … Continue reading

November 26, 2014 · 8 Comments

On Learning to Read, A Study in Adjusting Expectations

Tis’ the season. No, it’s not quite the season for Christmas, although I did hear my first Christmas carol on the radio today. And it’s not scientifically the actual season … Continue reading

November 17, 2014 · 17 Comments

The Nose, A Life in Smells

We have a smeller in the house. One would think I mean that we have someone who’s making the house smell bad, which isn’t that inaccurate. All four of my … Continue reading

October 8, 2014 · 20 Comments

One Year Blog-o-versary, 100 Years

It’s been a year in the blogosphere since I first began, and I had such high hopes. I wanted to write a one year post with that song 100 Years by … Continue reading

October 1, 2014 · 22 Comments

Hand-Me-Downs, What We Choose to Keep

The day before school started I dug through the kids’ closet where I’ve been (haphazardly) stocking shoes and clothing to fit my children for the next ten years of their lives. … Continue reading

September 11, 2014 · 16 Comments

Kindergarten Times Two, Twins

It’s raining teeth around here. Teeth and fingernails and hair. Little pieces of my children’s bodies are paring off, peeling away, to be swept off the porch, swallowed whole or … Continue reading

September 1, 2014 · 22 Comments

Pompeii, I Was There

The craziest thing happened tonight. Actually, I should probably begin with a Trigger Warning: for poop and putting your hands into toilets filled with poop. In case you’re eating an egg … Continue reading

August 23, 2014 · 23 Comments

One Season Following Another…

The marsh grass along the path to the beach is just beginning to turn orange at the edges. It’s a subtle thing, like a gray hair at your temple, but … Continue reading

August 21, 2014 · 13 Comments

Head Stands, a Walk in the Sky

In my teens and twenties, over half a lifetime ago,  there was no end to the possibilities for positive personal discoveries. Who me? Play field hockey? Well, I’m not very … Continue reading

July 22, 2014 · 24 Comments

I Don’t Like 7-Year-Old Boys and Other Zen Thoughts

  I’ve recently come to the conclusion that I don’t like 7 year-old boys. As a 43-year-old adult female, this is neither a shocker nor a tragedy. I mean, it’s … Continue reading

July 2, 2014 · 37 Comments

Who Doesn’t Love Dessert (Happy Birthday, Baby Girl)

Today on the beach I was having a moment with my newly 4 year-old daughter, Cabot. She was calling me Binky and saying, “I love you, Binky,”and then kissing me. Then I … Continue reading

June 22, 2014 · 24 Comments

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