Coin Toss

“Mama! I just want to cry!!”

– Aviva, last night, as I interfered with her tantrum. Wise girl, knows what she needs and asks for it.


This post features nothing new under the sun. It is not a primer, a survival guide, a premiere of new works, or a how-to guide with any useful hints, tips, or answers – though I sure could have used such a guide this weekend, one that addresses some or all of the following topics:

How to train your dog, tame your gremlin, survive your two-year old, get out of your own way, surrender to Shrek when you’re the one being an ogre, worship the art of doing nothing, honor your body, get through the next contraction, real or metaphorical, stay present with your longing for things to be different, deepen your breath when your legs are shaking and your chest is tight and you’re fighting back tears and not seven minutes go by without somebody screaming, bonking, breaking, hitting, throwing, blowing, demanding.

How to soak up what little sun is shining, tolerate the incessant whining, win your way back to the bliss of the present moment, blast through the illusion of permanence, bring in ‘da noise, bring in ‘da funk, here comes the bride so get your groove on.

How to diffuse the bomb, how not to diffuse the bomb, how to simply allow the tension to crackle and hiss, hoping nothing explodes.

How to soften in your own body when you are braced for the future. How to insert that little space between no and where – now, here – that breath, that pause, that moment of acknowledgment, that this is how you feel, this is where you are, this is your reality, and it is hard and it is good and you are blessed and you are grateful and you are fried and frazzled and harried and tired and this too shall pass.

How to hold it all with grace, that word you can sing but that never quite sinks in, the one that some toss up to the sky like a coin with a lucky landing side.


Well, won’t you look at that. In the time it took me to write this and you to read it, the sky and your mind have cleared a bit. The coin lands in your favor every time. And then everything changes, again and again.

Oh, and come to think of it, somebody did write that guide. Be sure to get your copy here.

8 thoughts on “Coin Toss

  1. Karen says:

    Sweet girl, my mommy thanks you. And so does my dog, who I go fetch from the doggy hospital right now and then we shall see how things land this time.


  2. bella says:

    after a long weekend of todd being gone and a melt down that lasted for over an hour, I so needed these words.
    and then, they were here. You were here.
    I’m right here with you.


  3. Honey says:

    I’ll keep tossing those coins up. I’m glad that change is always there the one thing I can predict on. thanks for the post.


  4. Meg Casey says:

    Jena-Were we living the same weekend? Oh sister I love this post and your beautiful way of writing…
    How to hold it all with grace, the word you can sing but that never quite sinks in, the one that some toss up to the sky like a coin with a lucky landing side.


  5. Jena Strong says:

    Karen – I’ve been trying to figure out your comment for the last 24 hours. And now I know. There’s nothing to figure out! Hope the coin is lucky for Molly.

    Bella – Perhaps we were having the very same weekend. And now? Kids sleeping, Mamas writing. Love to you.

    Mika – Lucky for me.

    Honey – Gam ze ya’avor: This too shall pass. Such a mantra.

    Shelli – Thanks!

    Meg – You, me & Bella, all having the same weekend? And how many others. So much for going it alone.

    Love to all.


  6. leighsteele says:

    one of my most favorite posts ever. yes, indeed, i needed a guide to just about all of those things you mentioned. and the “now, here”? that is my ah-ha moment for the whole month.

    you are pure grace, jena. a radiant being of light.




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