Category / parenting

March 22, 2017

Houston there is no problem- how to be ground control AND the astronaut

Beneath the noise of the coffee shop David Bowie sings. He thinks his spaceship knows which way to go. As I stand in line for my English Breakfast tea the barista admits that he front loads the playlist with his own choices and I see him in silent song daring Major Tom to leave the capsule.  I think about the amount of faith that is required for bravery. Major Tom needs to step outside his tin can to see the difference in the stars. He needs to trust ground control, himself and the entire Read more […]

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March 7, 2017

Eleven Signs You have Nailed this Parenting Thing

We worry about teaching our kids resiliency, kindness and how to eat a balanced meal. We are focused on the wrong things. If your kid can’t make a penis joke you have more parenting to do. 1. You kids understand penis humor Me: “I like a firm banana.” 11 year old: giggle. 9 year old: “what’s funny? Wait…are you talking about penises?” 11 year old: “Why yes, yes she is” 9 year old: “Thought so.” 2. Your kids express a feeling of cosmic emptiness.   11 yo: “You know what’s Read more […]

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February 28, 2017

Parenting middle aged boys, stinky sneakers and wacky weed

The eyes I know. They are the same royal blue with dark grey flecks that I have admired for 11 years. Beneath them the cheekbones seem new.  The smattering of freckles that made him seem young and cute now make the strength of his face look open and friendly. It is not just his face that is made of more sturdy stuff. I grab onto his shoulders for emphasis and they are more mountain than bird wing. As a new mother I always felt it was possible he would fly off and leave but now I see that he his Read more […]

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January 30, 2017

Standardized Testing in elementary school

He is swiveling gently in our cow chair knee socks up to his shins. I like the knee socks, a gift from his grandma, they remind me of my own time in fourth grade, but I wonder why I can see them. “Shorts?” I ask him in a tone that is neither instructive nor nagging. “I’m staying in for recess.” He explains. His tone is neutral like mine but quickly his face crumbles. “I hate iReady” he tells me. It is the refrain of his fourth grade year. At the beginning he was love and light. It was his best Read more […]

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January 18, 2017

Sharenting…what we are saying about our kids online.

My livelihood depends on me sharing secrets. Loyal readers know my bra size, that I cheated on my first husband, and the brand of pill that I take for my mental illness. The details, often intimate, that I share on my blog and in articles are a part of the stories that I tell. My most popular posts are about parenting. Steve and I have a free range parenting style that I call “lazy.” My writing is personal narrative, so even when I am creating a “listicle” for an outside website I tell stories Read more […]

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December 14, 2016

Just Desserts

Last night I hosted a dessert party for families that might choose our middle school. Students and parents, teachers and principal stood at my kitchen island and pitched our school. Kids talked about theatre and orchestra and sports. They raved about their STEM class and how they felt each teacher cared about them as people, not just as student ID numbers. The young math teacher glowed as she recalled a fight in her classroom…over the answer to a math problem. She interrupted her flash lesson to Read more […]

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December 7, 2016

New Math, Old Misery

He enters the bedroom at 7:45 in the morning. He has squeezed himself into last year’s hoodie footie pajamas and pulled the hood up over his newly short hair. Seven forty five would be a civilized time of day if it weren’t the hour that he was beginning his math homework. There have been three occasions in the ten collective years of elementary school that I have been pulled down the rabbit hole. I consider this a combination of incredible luck and parenting prowess. Luck because my boys are Read more […]

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December 6, 2016

No more f’ing stuff. Holiday shopping for kids who have what they need

If your house is like mine you navigate a Lego minefield and dine amongst art supplies. You sniff stuffed animals for cat pee, refold unworn sweaters and search fruitlessly for the dice of a thousand board games. We don’t need any more stuff. Yet the season of giving is steamrolling towards us. Our house features both eight nights of Hannukah and a visit from Santa. This means we are overcome with 9 days of wrapping paper and stuff to store and ignore. This year things are going to be different. With Read more […]

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October 7, 2016

Sick Day

His voice is so small stretching across the line. I am only a few streets away but I feel the distance between his school world and my home life, his sickness and my wellness. “My ears hurt.” In his decade on earth this child has never uttered those words. I am thinking about my anti-anti-biotic stance and missed spelling tests and then I am called back to the little voice. “Mama” he asks “do you think I should come home?” It is only 25 minutes until the end of school. It would be easy to ask Read more […]

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September 26, 2016

Five Fabulous Family Games you can play in Fifteen Minutes.

Every Wednesday we sit down for family game night. If you are like me the very phrase causes you to break out in a cold sweat. It will start out all fun and, well, games. It will inevitable evolve into catatonic boredom or shrieking accusations of cheating. If we are lucky it can be both of the above. Happily we are finally past the life stage where we play the game of Life, that endless game with no strategy. We are not yet ready for full on gambling although we have begun the process of Read more […]

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