Broken Ribs, Crooked Backs, & Seeing Our Vulnerable Selves Reflected in Another

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Having a body that defies cultural norms as mine does (it is crooked, uneven, lumpy, and limpy) can be alienating. The regular absence of anyone who looks like me in my daily routine creates a space that can fill with either negative feelings (shame, frustration, grief) or positive (pride in the scars that testify to [Read More...]

What is Your Deep Gladness?

This past weekend, my church parish hall resonated with the voices of young actors and singers presenting a children’s theater production of a short musical, “The Castaways.” My son Benjamin played one of the castaways—a group of kids living on the streets of New York City at the turn of the century who are eventually [Read More...]

Should Able-Bodied People Ever Use a Handicapped Bathroom Stall?

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Last week, writing for Everyday Feminism, Erin Tatum offered a terrific list of 10 Ways to Avoid Everyday Ableism. My favorite item is #9: Stop Calling Us Inspirational (which implies that the lives of people with disabilities must be so horrible that the mere fact that we get out of bed in the morning is laudable). But a [Read More...]

“We can just love them”: Adoptive Parents on Their Kids with Special Needs

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In honor of National Adoption Month, I’m featuring below an excerpt from Love You More: The Divine Surprise of Adopting My Daughter by Jennifer Grant. Love You More tells the story of how Jen and her husband David adopted their fourth child, Mia, from Guatemala. The book also does an excellent job of addressing questions, concerns, and myths [Read More...]

[Snapshots from Oak Ridge] The Problem with Universal Self-Esteem Boosts

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It has become a cultural cliché, how our children are bombarded with efforts to raise their self-esteem by, for example, giving every kid on the team a trophy. The problem, of course, is that not every kid is a great tee-ball or basketball or whatever player (I can attest to this from experience as a [Read More...]

Let the Kids Keep Their *@$%#^ Halloween Candy!

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This is an updated version of a piece originally published as an op ed in the Hartford Courant in October 2008. As the voices clamoring for the annual theft of Halloween candy from kids grow louder and more self-righteous, I decided to dust this off and run it again. I was emboldened by the New [Read More...]

Do I Still Think Overscheduled Kids are a Myth? Yes…Sort Of

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A little more than a year ago, I wrote that I believe the prevalent notion of the “overscheduled child” to be a myth. It’s not that children aren’t overscheduled; many of them are (at least in suburban and wealthier urban communities where children have many extracurricular opportunities and parents can afford them). The myth, I [Read More...]

[Snapshots from Oak Ridge] What My Kids and My Garden Have in Common

I don't have to say "Don't pick the daisies!" because no one in their right mind would want these daisies.

I struggled to find a good photo subject for today’s post. Right now, most of my garden is ugly—dried up stalks, yellowing leaves. The brilliant oranges and yellows of fall foliage are still a few weeks away. My garden’s most prominent feature right now are dry, dusty brown remnants of summer blooms. All living things [Read More...]


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