Mamasylum - Because we all feel like being institutionalized at some point.

In All Seriousness

May 23, 2013

Stop and Stare

    Whenever I see horrific events involving children on the news, I do as most people do. I hug my daughter tighter, I thank God for her safety, and I stop freaking out about the small stuff.

Praying     It struck me, though, as I watched the coverage of the aftermath of the tornado that struck elementary schools in Oklahoma, that I don’t stop and really look at my daughter.

     We interact as she’s getting ready for school, or we’re driving in the car, or I’m helping with homework, or coaching her at volleyball. I’m involved with her, but I don’t always notice what her visual reactions are to things circumstances.

      I used to stare at her when she was a baby, and still do at times when she’s sleeping. As she got older, though, we got busier, and I stopped staring. This week has been different. I’m purposefully watching her. She thinks I’m crazy and belong in my Mamasylum, but I’m etching in my mind her expressions; the chuckles she makes as she watches “The Andy Griffith Show;” the determined look when she’s trying to figure out chords on her guitar; the mischievous grin when she’s about to shoot me with a water gun; the loving smile she wears when she hugs Tiki; or the revelation on her face when she figures out a math problem.

     These are expressions that I want to remember, along with the memories of the things we do. My advice is to not wait for another crisis to hit the news. Remember to stop and stare, even if your kid thinks you should be locked up in the Mamasylum. At least you’ll have amazing mental images to keep you company in there. 


Shannon is the stay-at-home Mama of one. But don’t ask her what she does all day. Between volunteering in the PTA, coaching volleyball, gardening, carpooling, writing (cheap therapy), and the business of everyday life, she has one foot in and the other out of the Mamasylum. She loves visitors, so get a day pass and visit her at or

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