The Kiddy Pool: Lions and Little Foxes

Image- VinothChandar via Flickr CC BY 2.0

It’s taken me a long time to come to terms with the “peace that passes all understanding” from Philippians 4:7, and even now I would say that I require daily, if not moment-by-moment, reminders that this world is not my eternal home. For a while I told myself that the anxieties born along with my children would subside. I would name a milestone and anticipate the alleviation of my worries, only to find more fears lurking around the bend.There are many scriptural passages that speak to these k … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Over-Sharing and STFU, Parents

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I write this column in a genre called "creative nonfiction," which means that most of my material at least in some way references my personal life. Since this is a parenting column and the majority of my days are spent with my children, that also means my writing relies on my family for inspiration. While my husband reads most of what I write before I publish it, I can’t say the same for my children; and where my husband can grant consent and trust my judgment about our privacy, my children d … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Lowe’s versus George Herbert

Lyn Belisle via sxc.hu

My husband and I are working on some small home maintenance projects right now, little things that slid through the cracks during our younger child’s first year of life and our perpetual sleep deprivation. It’s good and generally satisfying work, but my husband gets peeved every time a Lowe's commercial pops up with the tagline “Never stop improving.”There's an assumption in the slogan: spend more, do more, be more — as if our house exists only for its resale value and not as our home. It’s n … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Andrew Solomon’s ‘Far From the Tree’

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Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.I started reading Andrew Solomon’s Far From the Tree after seeing the author discuss his work on The Colbert Report. Solomon is an eloquent and compelling interviewee, and I found his concept compelling: that sometimes in parenting or in being parented we feel like we are among strangers in a strange land. Solomon points out that while we take pride in di … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Taking A Slower Family Path

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Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.Our parenting culture is fraught with anxiety about our children’s future prospects; we worry about technologies and jobs that have not yet been imagined, and we strive to prepare our children for success in spite of a thousand incompatible contingencies. Again and I again I hear about parents who spend most of their time as chauffeurs and who watch family time dw … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Only Children Are Lonely and Selfish (Just Like the Rest of Us)

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Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.Some of my best friends are only children. There, I said it. They’re not spoiled or selfish, either. And when they talk about their childhoods, they don’t use words like “lonely.” I think sometimes in the rhetoric about how many children we (or better yet, other people) ought to have, we forget that families are complex. It’s as easy to cultivate cruelty among sibling … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: What’s In A Name, Mrs. Carter?

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Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.A few weeks ago, I introduced myself to another mother at my local library’s story hour. We knew each other’s children’s names, but could only refer to each other as “So-and-so’s mom.” It’s not my favorite thing to be called, yet it seems common at these children’s gatherings for adults to be known only by the possessive relational title of X’s mom/dad/grandma/gr … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Will Smith And His Family Are Superheroes. What’s Your Family Metaphor?

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Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.According to a Wired Magazine article that appeared right before the premiere of Will Smith’s new movie After Earth, the Smith family has collectively saved 63,648,098,766 people. The Smiths are a celebrity family in reality and a superhero family in fiction. I don’t doubt that, privately, their family bears other identities as well. The Wired piece got me thinking ab … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: The Anniversary Trust Test

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Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.Last weekend, my husband and I left the kids behind with my parents and took off for a long hike, just the two of us. The weather was threatening -- 49 degrees, windy, with bouts of downpour. We went anyway, taking our time over a leisurely breakfast at a local café before hitting the trails. We hike regularly with our children, but without them, we expected to spend … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Remembering ‘The Office’… and Our Vows

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Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.After a long hiatus, I tuned in for Thursday’s series finale of The Office, having been persuaded by Amy Lepine Peterson’s thoughtful commentary. I started to work backward too, and found myself particularly moved by the “Paper Airplanes” episode scene where Jim embraces Pam and she resists -- at first. She’s frustrated that he’s putting work first again, and he’s … [Read more...]


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