jen groeber: mama art

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

Category Archives: Uncategorized

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 Are All Refugees (Sort of…)

I don’t think I’m telling tales out of school if I state here that my oldest son is a homework kid. On Monday afternoon he sits down with his backpack, … Continue reading

February 3, 2017 · 12 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

On Grief and Farm Stands

I was picking up our share at the local farm today. It’s been a long week with a boil water ban due to a water main break. It was strange … Continue reading

September 30, 2016 · 20 Comments

A Bird in the Hand Comes Back

My son’s teacher is crazy about birds. I know he told me this on the first day of school two weeks ago but it was lost amidst reports of new … Continue reading

September 22, 2016 · 8 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

Read This: Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy

Just now I was crying. I finished reading a book. It was one of those books that makes you cry not just a chokey voice cry, but a real, honest … Continue reading

September 2, 2016 · 3 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

Still Water, Fourteen Years Married

I woke up to the sound of children this morning*. In fact, we have been waking up to the sound of children for the last week. But the children this … Continue reading

July 15, 2016 · 7 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 Six, Not To Be Missed

My baby is turning six. I know I always say this. My baby is turning four. My baby is turning five. But this time I mean it. My baby is … Continue reading

June 17, 2016 · 15 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

Let My Love Open the Door

I pulled up in the drop off-line today, and threw the backpacks out the driver’s side window to the waiting teacher. I’ve been working up to this moment for days. … Continue reading

March 31, 2016 · 9 Comments

100 Rejections (and a Few New Posts to Tempt Your Tummy)

Do you remember how I planned to get 100 rejections? Like, by writing more and then sending that writing out into the world, heedless of the likely rejection (and all … Continue reading

March 19, 2016 · 5 Comments

The Birthday Shoes

It’s been a big week. I volunteered to coach U9 girls lacrosse for our town, and I’ve been helping out with the class art projects for the kids’ school auction. … Continue reading

March 8, 2016 · 23 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

Farewell Minivan: Ch-ch-ch-changes

My first car was a dusty yellow 69 VW Bug, but it should’ve been a brilliant yellow 73 Super Beetle we’d named Herbie. That’s the car my parents bought for … Continue reading

January 13, 2016 · 16 Comments

New Year’s Eve and a Child’s Soft Foot

New Year’s Eve is supposed to be a time for big picture things, for the meta, the thoughts about the resolutions about thinking, if you follow me. Except I woke … Continue reading

December 31, 2015 · 23 Comments

Elf on the Shelf Gets the Last Word

Something you might not know about me is that I’m not so into magical creatures. I mean, the Tooth Fairy forgot my kid last year (what a jerk, right?) and … Continue reading

December 27, 2015 · 7 Comments

50 Happy Things for 2015: Bloggers Unite in Flood of Gratitude

My family is in town, my sister and her husband, my brother, my mother. Right now my children are running around outside playing with my sister’s dog (because I plan … Continue reading

December 21, 2015 · 18 Comments

The Big, Stupid Stuffed Panda

My seven-year-old daughter wants a stupid, stuffed panda for Christmas. Not just a stupid, stuffed panda, but a big, stupid stuffed panda, big enough to be bigger than her, for … Continue reading

December 17, 2015 · 19 Comments

Getting My NaNoWriMo On, One Bird At a Time

“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report written on birds that he’d had three months to write, … Continue reading

November 30, 2015 · 28 Comments

A Dream About the Ocean

I had a dream about my brother, Butchie, on Friday night. We’d driven to the beach in my minivan. It was a place we’d never been before, the sort of … Continue reading

November 17, 2015 · 16 Comments

Just Five Things

Lately I’ve been remembering the words of a woman I used to work with. She’d been diagnosed with one of those illnesses that takes away your ability to do what … Continue reading

October 27, 2015 · 27 Comments

Twin Posts: Transitioning to Seven

We’ve been talking a lot about transitions lately. My son is horrible at them. Like, he sucks at transitions. Let me clarify. He sucks my soul out and leaves it … Continue reading

October 9, 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

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

How You Measure Half a Life

It happened. The kind people at Mamalode published my essay on their August theme Optimism, How You Measure Half a Life. And ironically, it’s a meditation on whether there is … Continue reading

August 8, 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

The Fin Fell Off My Paddleboard and Other Metaphors For Our Thirteenth Anniversary

My fin fell off my paddleboard. There was a gentle breeze, an overcast sky, and right next to the rock where the cormorants pose, I dug my paddle in the … Continue reading

July 9, 2015 · 17 Comments

The Couple at Sunset

Tonight my two girls and I saw our neighbors walking down the road in front of our house. We hadn’t seen them for awhile, not since they found us trying … Continue reading

June 25, 2015 · 16 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

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

Going Back to Church on an Island (Easter 2015)

We went to church this weekend. On the one hand, it’s no shocker. It was Easter, and I get after it when it comes to Christian holidays. I was raised … Continue reading

April 9, 2015 · 28 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

Spring is Here (Said No One in New England)

Spring is almost here. I can tell by the view out my back window. I also know spring is almost here because my kids are on spring break. I found … Continue reading

March 19, 2015 · 16 Comments

Who Are You Going to Be When You Grow Up?

I was driving to school to pick up the kids in my minivan. Like I do every day. Repeat, repeat, repeat. I pulled up behind this truck. WOOD PELLETS HOT … Continue reading

March 5, 2015 · 12 Comments

In Defense of Winter

My four-year-old daughter said it to me this morning. “What if this-” she gestured pathetically out the car window, “-is still here in June?” And I felt for her. She … Continue reading

March 4, 2015 · 15 Comments

A Dream About Love

I had a dream about my brother Butchie last night. He was wearing footy pajamas, the kind that zip up the front, all fleecy and precious. The kind my children … Continue reading

February 17, 2015 · 14 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

Going Home for the Funeral: The Reprise or The Rising

The smell of my uncle’s house. That was what first struck me. It smelled exactly the same as it had the last time I was there twenty-some years ago. Back … Continue reading

February 4, 2015 · 13 Comments

Going Home for the Funeral

I need to go home. There’s another funeral, and you always go to the funeral. In fact, funerals have become the only time I go home now, and it has … Continue reading

January 27, 2015 · 30 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

The Betta Fish, the Sugar, and the Fevers

I had a dream last night that I killed one of the betta fish. In the dream it was in the same glass bowl we had goldfish in as a … Continue reading

January 12, 2015 · 4 Comments

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