I Want to Be a Lover, But I Also Want the Special Seat…

Getting into the car this morning looked something like this: “Mom! William won’t let me sit in the special seat!” Penny yells, eyes wide with shock at the injustice of it all. Penny sat in the special seat yesterday. She knows it is William’s turn. William runs past her, and his elbow just might have hit her rib cage, to secure said special seat. His face is set in a cold stare. Penny wails. Tears and snot flow. I roll... Read more

Why I’m Grateful for Feminism

I wrote about paternity leave last week for her.meneutics, and I tried to make three points in that essay: that paternity leave is good for families, that we should thank feminism for the advances towards paternity leave, and that the church has an opportunity, through proactive paternity leave policies, to support families in a proactive and practical way. As blogger Samantha Field pointed out, I didn’t do a great job at articulating point number two. Here’s the way I put... Read more

What I’m Tweeting

No new books for me this week, but here are the articles I tweeted this week that you might enjoy: Family: “If This #Sochi Ad Doesn’t Make You Tear Up, Then Check Your Pulse” http://ow.ly/so1u9 #parenting #success http://ow.ly/i/4euvC MTV’s ‘16 and Pregnant’ helping to reduce #TeenPreganancies?ow.ly/szeaD #pregnancy #TeenMom @AnnieLowrey @nytimes  Disability  ‘An #Ethics for the Future of #GeneticTesting‘ ow.ly/sBLXX@ablerism @TheAtlantic  Dear ‘Daddy’ in Seat 16C ow.ly/sBKbg #Autism #SpeicalNeeds#Parenting @HuffPostBlog “Too often, people look at Ellie and see ‘#disability.’ They see ‘can’t’. “-Bret Bowerman ow.ly/sBQ3U @cnnhealth#DownSyndrome... Read more

My “Successful” Bumbling Writing Journey

I am reading a wonderful manuscript of a book that I hope will find a publisher one day. It’s a memoir that includes a child with a disability and a spiritual journey and many hopes and fears and dreams and some very lovely writing. Despite its many strengths, it may well be years before it finds a publisher. I told the author the truth–that we sent A Good and Perfect Gift to 48 publishing houses. 48! And here’s the kicker:... Read more

Why We Need Paternity Leave

This morning, I left the house early to work out. My husband Peter arose with the kids—Penny, age 8, William, 5, and Marilee, almost 3. I returned to find them in various forms of protest, insisting I make their breakfast even though their dad is equally capable of slicing banana bread and strawberries. The morning progressed and Peter tried to help out—packing lunches, showers, getting dressed, making beds, brushing teeth—as our children continued to resist his assistance. They swarmed me... Read more

Why Does Our Culture Celebrate Down Syndrome?

In an article for the Catholic World Report, Leslie Fain writes: In the last two or three years, at high schools from Florida to Illinois, students have been forsaking quarterbacks and cheerleading captains and electing teenagers with Down syndrome to be homecoming kings and queens. Last year, Target featured a boy with Down syndrome in one of its ad circulars, and the clothing company Wet Seal recently signed as a model a spunky teen with Down syndrome named Karrie Brown,... Read more

What I’m Reading and Tweeting

A few nights back, we thought all the kids were asleep, only to discover Penny under our covers, reading Love and Salt: A Spiritual Friendship through Letters, written back and forth over the years by Amy Andrews and Jessica Griffith. “This is a cool book,” she told me. And although I’m certain the only reason Penny thought it was cool is because she loves reading any correspondence between two people (I routinely discover her reading through my text messages and... Read more

What Being a Parent Has Taught Me About God

We usually have a time for “family devotions” (or bevotions, as Marilee likes to call them) on Saturday mornings. But we missed that time of prayer and singing and Bible reading as a family last weekend, so our kids suggested we convene last night. We’ve taken to using Jeannie Cunnion’s suggestion for prayer: wow, I’m sorry, thanks, and I need (Jeannie’s book, Parenting the Wholehearted Child, comes out in April), and we sing a few songs and read a page... Read more

My New Year’s Epiphany

Coming back into this week, making the transition from parties and lazy mornings and finishing up my book and letting the mail and email pile up, I panicked. Peter and I ended the vacation with two days away together, and on Saturday night I surveyed the state of my desk and thought about the logistics of the next week and worried about where the time would come from and wished it would all go away. It shouldn’t come as a... Read more

Book Update and What I’m Reading and Tweeting

First of all, could someone please remind me that I should never try to submit a manuscript for a new book on January 3? I’m pretty sure my deadline for A Good and Perfect Gift was December 30th, 2010, and then I went and agreed to submit Small Talk today. The bad news is I got really stressed out about getting it done, though the stress only peaked on two days so it wasn’t miserable. The good news is: I have... Read more