Why Not to Say “What Not to Say”: In Support of Asking Questions

It was the great American philosopher, Cookie Monster, who once said, “Asking questions is good way to find out about things.”

Although I agree with Mr. Monster on this one, I always giggled when teachers said a similar thing, “Ask questions. And remember, there are no stupid questions.” Because there are stupid questions, of course. And rude questions. And thoughtless questions. And nosy questions. And ignorant questions, too. ...  read more

How do you get through times like this?

I’m trying to write this morning, because I have important follow-up work to do charting your booger rules and stuff, but Greg’s home and he keeps making breathing sounds and clickity clackity click clack typing sounds and allergy season sounds, and, unbeknownst to Greg, it’s all been very distracting. Now it’s after noon and he’s in the kitchen making toast buttering sounds like scritch scritch scritch and cupboard closing sounds and foot walking sounds and sandwich eating sounds and, well, you see how far I’ve come on the booger charts. ...  read more

White Lights Lead to Red Lights, Red Lights Indicate the Exit. How to Find Forgiveness in the Dark.

I was all set to post 5 Quick Questions, volume 2 today because volume 1 was FUN. And we’ll get there this week. I promise. We’ll play together and laugh and gag at our computer screens when I tell you about stepping on disembodied mouse heads in the dark. Cross my heart.

But a comment arrived a couple days ago that waylaid me, friends. And it’s important. Essential, really. It’s important because it goes way beyond the Parenting Game and gets right to the heart. Right to soul. Right to core of How We Parent + Who We Are + Being Human + Survival...  read more

Sleeping. In Surround Sound.

I made you something the other night while I was busy not sleeping. I not-sleep a lot because my children regularly and expertly outmaneuver my Ambien prescription and my 50 pairs of earplugs. Frankly, I think Ambien and Earplugs should just admit defeat and quit embarrassing themselves, but they went to a Tony Robbins workshop one time and they insist they can achieve their personal dreams. I don’t have the heart to destroy them so we bumble along together, trying. ...  read more

UPDATED: On Accidentally Having 5 Kids and an Open Call for Joy

Sometimes I get letters from readers. On Tuesday, I got one from Evan. It made me laugh. It made me cry. It moved me, Bob. And so I’m sharing it here with his permission because I like laughing and crying better when we do it together. And because Evan asks an important question at the end, one I thought our community can answer way, way better than I can answer alone. ...  read more

5 Tips for Planning a Homeland Trip

We adopted our oldest daughter from Vietnam and our next two kiddos from Guatemala, so we regularly consider ways to incorporate their birth countries into our family life.

Now, because I’m me and you’re you and we’re not good at facades around here, I’ll tell you I sort of suck at the more common or, shall we say, consistent ways other adoptive families blend cultures. None of my kids have had language lessons. We rarely remember to participate in adoptive family group gatherings. We once, ten years ago, celebrated a Vietnamese holiday but we’ve never managed a repeat with a Guatemalan fiesta. And we haven’t done well at participating in our local Asian or Latino communities. All of those are good ideas. I fully support them. I even intend to keep making attempts. But the current reality is, we don’t manage to do them. ...  read more

Six Thousand Lives to Live

My friend sent me a prayer on Sunday. It came as I rushed to prepare for Miss Aden’s trip to the country of her birth. And as I berated myself for my lack of planning. And as I wondered again, for the billionth time, why I’m always rushing and busy and not attentive enough and not present enough and lots of other things with the words not and enough...  read more