In Which Parenting IS an Act of Courage

ID-10076298There’s a tree on the property behind our house that’s perfect for climbing. Perfect. Low-slung branches that graduate, ladder-style, to higher branches that reach right up to the sky.

My kids beg to go there. Beg and beg.

“Can we PLEASE go climb The Tree? PRETTY PLEASE? We’ll give you anything you want.” 

And, of course, this is one time they can deliver, because what I want is ten minutes of no more begging. ...  read more

Summer Family Photos: The Good, The Bad, The Truth

If I have to cajole my kids into a hundred fake smiles and a thousand photos that depict a completely unrealistic amount of family fun this summer, by God, I will do it. I will.

IMG_0910-003I am not above bribery, and I am not above inducing guilt. Some of our best family photos have come from a few well-placed jelly beans or a gentle reminder that I’m under no obligation to take them to the ______ (park, zoo, pool, bathroom… you pick) if they won’t reciprocate with a couple counterfeit grins. ...  read more

Balance: Bethany Lee on Parenting and Imperfection

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Welcome to our Monday guest post series on Parenting and Imperfection.

I’ve written in the past about balance because the longer I attempt to be a mom and a wife and a writer and a friend and a daughter… and and and and and, the more concerned I become about abolishing the overwhelming and totally unrealistic pressure of “balance.” Instead of buying the myth of balance, I’ve written about life as a dance and the importance of finding our rhythmWhich is why I was so excited when my friend, Bethany Lee, sent me her post below. ...  read more

The Last Doll

I stood in the mall in the tiny store crowded with books and toys and trinkets of all shapes and sizes, and I stared at the wall of stuffed animals as I tried desperately to narrow down my choice.

I was 8 years old, and my fourth facial surgery was just a few days away. The stuffed friend I was about to pick would be my hospital companion, tasked to stay with me after visitor hours ended when my parents would be required to leave. ...  read more

UPDATED: The Directly Proportional Law of Housekeeping

Not to toot my own horn, but I’m making important contributions to science. Discoveries as profound as Newton’s Law of Gravity, really. A couple of years ago, for example, my work focused on  the Transitive Property of Parenting. This year, I discovered the Directly Proportional Law of Housekeeping.

The Directly Proportional Law of Housekeeping
The clean areas of one’s house are directly proportional to the dirty areas, such that cleaning anywhere is futile because of the immediate, opposite effect somewhere nearby. ...  read more

They Do Grow Up Too Fast: Carpe Diem as Lament

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Welcome to our Monday guest post series on Parenting and Imperfection.

Today’s post is brought to us by my friend, Melanie Springer Mock. I love Melanie for a lot of sensible reasons; she’s smart, she’s witty, she’s a fellow adoptive mom who gets it, and she’s willing to reveal her insecurities because she recognizes that telling the truth somehow sets us all free. But I find Melanie particularly endearing because, even though she’s an accomplished author who teaches university-level writing and enjoys quality literature, she’s doesn’t ever make me feel like a faker or a dummy, even though I’m often both. The older I get, the more I believe that’s one of the best endorsements of friendship out there. ...  read more

How to Mop

This is part of our ongoing series on housekeeping.

P.S. We don’t really have an ongoing series on housekeeping.

P.P.S. Because housekeeping’s not my area of expertise.

P.P.P.S. Also, this isn’t a real post.

P.P.P.P.S. I don’t think the postscripts are supposed to go at the beginning. You might want to take this as an indicator that we don’t always do things the right way. ...  read more