Piper is my dharma. She doesn’t mean to be. She just is.

Maybe I was a little grumpy. Maybe I was a little impatient. Surely not.

Either way, Piper was supposed to be playing by herself. Piper hates playing by herself. She wants to be attached to a member of our family every minute of the day, even in sleep. She’s an extrovert living with three workaholic introverts. Piper is the one that makes us see the light of day. And she makes us laugh about it, too.

After her thirty minutes of “alone time” Sunday afternoon, Piper bounced into my office and slipped this in my palm.


“I made it for you,” she said. “It’s a pin. You can wear it.”

“Thanks, sweetie,” I said, hugging the Piper.

“You can be happy, too. If you want to, Mommy.”

The Grumpy Doctor Will See You Now

Maybe I was grumpy Sunday morning. Maybe I didn’t like waking up at 7 a.m. with a demand for Orange Spice Tea and reruns of Austin and Alley on the Disney Channel. Maybe even all the cuddling didn’t distract me from my grumpiness. Maybe my grumpiness was a bit contagious when other people started rolling out of bed in the 9 o’clock range. Or maybe by then grumpiness had turned into rage. Whatever.

I made blueberry muffins for our Sunday family meeting and the four of us sat down together to share our grumpiness. Maybe I whined a little about the unfairness of the day so far. I’d had hours to stew. Sissy and Daddy looked refreshed and ready to start their day. Piper bounced. She’s a bit like Tigger and Dennis the Menace rolled into one. Most of the time it’s enduring¬†¬†endearing. Sunday mornings at 7 a.m. it’s not.

At breakfast, Piper decided she wasn’t having any more of my grumpiness. “Maybe we should talk about our goals for the day,” she began, sounding a lot like me when I’m not so grumpy. “Let’s all say what we need and then we’ll all help each other. Sound good?”

“I need to play my guitar and read a little today. And we should do something fun,” Daddy began. I bit my lip. Nothing I was going to say would be positive or welcome.

“I have swim lessons at noon,” Sissy said, “and I need to play piano. Oh, and let’s go to the park for fun.”

“Mommy?” Piper asked. She was enjoying her role as moderator.

“I need to go for a run. A long run. Soon. And I need to finish planning for my classes tomorrow. Oh, and I want to be outside today.” Piper was right. I felt better just saying what I needed. I needed to stop being grumpy. I needed someone to listen. And they did. Darn it.

We mapped out a plan for the day. Time together. Time alone. Fun time. Music time. Me time. I even squeezed out a trip to DSW. It’s really hard to be grumpy there.