What You May Have Missed

    Good Letters: Learning Detachment in the Attic Good Letters: A Post About God and sex Good Letters: On leaving one’s thirst unquenched Aleteia: The Mercy of letting one’s yes mean yes, and no mean no Good Letters: What happened to Fun? Image: Jack Baumgartner and the School of the Transfer of Energy Read more

Less is More, and More and More of My Writing Around the Web

The Christmas Tree is sagging a bit. I know we’re supposed to leave them up until the Epiphany, but “supposed to” is not a mandate. The joy of the season is no longer expressed by the decor in my living room. Now…after the explosion of paper and small pieces and battery packs, and stepped on replacement lights and parts, I am feeling as if less is more. It’s been a mood taking over for several months, as you may have… Read more

80’s Free Range Childhood Was Not the Same as 50’s Childhood

I’ve had a recurring thought lately, that I should be a school bus driver, because every day, I follow the school bus all around town, doing exactly what it does at the exact same time. School bus drivers I’ve known have all been good people, even “Bert” the grouchy bus driver of my youth with her giant mug-a-lug on the dash, and the little black rat-tail hanging from the back of her short haircut. All she ever really said was… Read more

Miracles Don’t Happen If You Never Ask For Them

Oh my Venus. The stars were bright last night. And I pushed myself beyond previously held convictions about how I’m capable of exerting myself, because the weather was very fine. We took a gluttonous number of free trees from the annual Community-Beautification-something-or-other event. Whatever it is, you bring the city your pollutants and they give you trees. Then we faced down the hard reality, that each tree requires you to dig a hole, to break up the dirt, to plant,… Read more

Forcing the Changes

Around my living room, one child is sitting very smugly sucking on a candy cane and reading 39 Clues, because he called his new friend this afternoon, “Just to talk” and ended up with an invitation to go play. He’s happy. I’m happy for him, even though I wasn’t excited about making any plans yet. He risked his trump card, and he won. I have respect for that. And my oldest son is on the phone with a toy company,… Read more

The Mom Who Cares

The whole family’s in the car trying to head home from my parents’ after three days of parties. It is late, and we are tired. One child does not like where he’s sitting in the car. He creates obstacles to our leaving, like he thinks he dropped his airsoft gun in the driveway. He wants to go back and look, but we’re not doing that because we’re already gone. He begins a campaign to call my parents so they can… Read more

Pope Makes Time for Autism, Can We?

When one of our children was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum disorder shortly after kindergarten at our Parochial School, we were told, “Of course your child is welcome to continue schooling here, but in the interest of full disclosure, he will have better access to services in the public system.” Representatives from the public school system seconded the opinion, listing among their offerings full-time staff on sight to help enact a child’s individual education program (or IEP), occupational therapy, speech therapy, and… Read more

Somebody’s Got To Do It

OK kids, time to clean the kitchen. You have ten minutes to wipe down the counters, load the dishes and sweep the floor, and then you can watch Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.   Oldest: I’ll put away condiments. Girl: I’ll wipe the table. Fourth child: My job is sweeping. Second child: My job is staring death in the face. Everybody: Lucky!   Read more

Book Recommendation: “The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down”

Wow. Good book to read if you’re looking for one: “The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down” by Anne Fadiman. A child from the Hmong immigrant community in Merced, California presents at the County Hospital with a severe form of epilepsy. Due to cultural differences, failures in translation between the medical community and the child’s family, and constant misunderstanding about the roles of medical intervention and traditional Hmong spiritual healing arts, the child’s life and health go haywire. It’s… Read more

The Idiot Experience of Righteous Anger

Last night, I came home from the store after dark to find that someone had left the garage door hanging open again. This is a raw topic for me, because the garage door is left hanging open with uncanny frequency, no matter that I’ve reasonably requested closing the door many times after the children have extracted their bicycles and toys. So, in my righteous indignation, I stomped out to the garage, and slammed the door shut, then slammed it again… Read more


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