Have One Child or Many, Just Don’t Plan on Getting What You Expect

Whether you choose to have one child or many, the children you end up with, and your willingness to embrace them no matter how they differ from the children you expected, will be the most important outcomes of your childbearing decisions. [Read more...]

A Book to Help Us Be Informed Listeners on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

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Whether we’re telling stories or absorbing facts (or ideally, doing both), we are called to be compassionate listeners. Dale Hanson Bourke’s book, The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Tough Questions, Direct Answers is a vital tool for that endeavor. [Read more...]

The Latest Mass Shooting Didn’t Even Make the Front Page

I was leafing through the New York Times last Saturday morning when, deep toward the back of the front section, I came upon this article about a gunman, armed with an assault weapon and nearly 2,000 rounds of ammunition, who shot and killed four people in Santa Monica. (The death toll has since risen to [Read More...]

Because He Cleans the Shower Drain: A Father’s Day Tribute

Sometimes I fall into the trap of believing that I already do everything anyway, that the minutiae in my head and the chores that I do on auto-pilot and the ways I most naturally interact with my kids are clearly the only minutiae and chores and interactions that matter. But they’re not. [Read more...]

I Have a Kid Hangover (But Manage to Write Anyway)

The past thirteen-plus years for me have been one long exercise in welcoming the messy, noisy, needy people who are my children. They make it hard to get anything much done, especially writing. But without them, I’m not sure I’d have much of value to write. [Read more...]

Instead of Judging Our Fellow Parents, How About Offering Empathy & Respect?

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Parents love to judge each other for all kinds of perceived failures. Here are some common ways in which parents judge other parents harshly—and suggestions for replacing judgment with empathy and respect. [Read more...]

Gratitude in an Overscheduled Season

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As the school year winds down, my calendar greets me each morning with its list of assemblies and ceremonies and recitals and final thises and thats. Reminders about teacher and coach gifts to be group funded and bought, of summer camp bills to be paid and paperwork to be completed. My brain greets me each [Read More...]

How Poverty Affects Vaccination Rates

Last fall I pointed blog readers to my colleague Rachel Stone’s post on vaccination as an expression of neighborly love. Today, Rachel has a follow-up post of sorts, commenting on a Mother Jones article indicating that poverty and other family issues (such as working parents who struggle to get their kids to the doctor’s office [Read More...]

The Kingdom Comes One Lonely Step at a Time—Until We Are Not Lonely Any More

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Significant lifestyle changes (or even small changes) for the good of our earth and its inhabitants become sustainable and adoptable by a large population only when communal values change enough that healthier, more humane practices become the norm. Big lifestyle changes for ethical reasons are best done in community. [Read more...]

Factory Disasters in Bangladesh, Consumerism, and Original Sin

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I approach buying clothes for my children with the same compulsive attention to my kids’ individual needs and wants that I bring to Christmas gift buying. Focused attention to my kids’ clothing needs is, for me, as much an embodiment of maternal love as cooking is for some moms. Finding a shirt that I just [Read More...]

Does God Hate Clutter? I Used to Think So, But Now I’m Not So Sure

All of our stuff can distract and overwhelm us, but it can also provide context. Our clutter can remind us that matter matters, that the bodies we inhabit and tend, the food we make and eat, the clothes and toys and mementos made or given or used with love can bind us to each other, and to those who came before and come after. [Read more...]

At Home in a Place Where Imperfect Bodies Are the Norm

At my local pool, people with limps and spots and wrinkles are the norm, and it’s the statuesque blonde in a bikini who raises eyebrows. This is my kind of place. [Read more...]


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