birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Never Say Never

I once heard it said that promises are meant to be broken and it obviously had a profound affect on me, because I remember very consciously making a decision to never promise anything to anyone. And for awhile I did just that. I would do everything I could not to say the word "promise." Especially to my kids. The moment you make a promise to a 5-year old, and you fall through, and you break your promise, well, that's it. I probably said things like "I'll do everything I can to make it happen," or "I'll do everything in my power to help you with that," but rarely did I make a habit of making promises to my kids. Either way, you just can't win.

I would occasionally make promises to myself to never do this or that or to never let certain things happen, or be a certain way to my kids. When they were young, I told myself "Never say never" to those friends who would swear that they would never let their kids do soandso. And of course a year or so later, there they were letting their kids do things they swore they'd never let them do. I read in an article by one of those super moms who swore she'd never let her kids jump up and down on the couch drinking grape juice. Well, duh, I said to myself... even I probably wouldn't let that happen. Yet, several months later, there my 2 toddlers were, bouncing wildly up and down on the couch drinking bottles of grape juice. Honestly, you just can't win.

I have no problem making promises to myself, because I could always make excuses for myself and I was much more forgiving. And the times that I did make promises to friends, and broke them, they were always way more forgiving. Or so I thought. The word promise always seems so definite and I'm very aware of how plans can change, people change, and life as we know it, is constantly changing and evolving and being redefined. Promises should only be made to one's self, otherwise, there's too much for disappointment.

Better Broken Than Not At All

Spontaneous Combustion