Dealing with Disappointment

Sometime in the very near future, half our country’s going to feel disappointment.  You may fall in that camp, or maybe me. Because my husband and I are on opposite sides of the political spectrum, someone in our marriage is going to be disappointed. How can we deal with our disappointment in a way that helps our kids (and ourselves) learn resilience?Some weeks ago, 2 out of 3 kids faced major disappointments. Weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth ensued.  One got the worst part he’s ever ha … [Read more...]

Making Special Time

Back when Kai-Kai was born, my pediatrician told me I needed to have “special time” with 2 year old Ling-Ling—time set aside just for her even if it was only 10 minutes a day. “Then when you can’t give her attention, you can remind her that you will have special time later in the day.”Well I didn’t do it. And it wasn’t like Ling wanted any time with me—she coped with a new sibling by ignoring me for an entire month—wouldn’t look me in the eye, wouldn’t let me hug her, wouldn’t let me do anyth … [Read more...]

What Top 5 Attributes Do You Want to Pass On?

Tonight Kai came home with a homework assignment and said I had to help.  “I’ve been through 9thgrade, I don’t do my kids homework,” said I, the loving, supportive, full of energy Mom of the year. “Mom!  You need to help me—it’s an assignment.” “Where?” Suspicious.  “Let me see the assignment.”“Mom!  I’m so hurt!  You don’t believe me??  Nobody else’s parents don’t believe them!  This is supposed to be a learning experience between us.” She showed me the assignment.  She was right.  Oops. … [Read more...]

Can You Take the Heat?

Before they married, Mama told Baba she wanted to raise her children as Christians.  He agreed, neglecting to tell her until after their wedding that he was actually an apostate.  Throughout my childhood, Baba’s apostasy brought out the energy in him.“I,” he would proclaim, pointer finger in the air, chuckling with glee, deep dimples carving grooves into his round cheeks, “am an APOSTATE!  Ha ha!”I never understood why he thought this was so funny, or what an apostate actually was.  Y … [Read more...]

Sex and Superglue: Talking with Kids in a Hook-Up Culture

I was a virgin when I got married at the ripe old age (back then) of 28.  I’ve kissed fewer men than the fingers on one hand.  I didn’t have a “serious” boyfriend until graduate school.  And for all those sexless, boyfriend-less, not being the sought-after-object-of-mens’ desires years, I felt pitiable, like a loser.  Even though Jesus was my boyfriend and I staunchly wanted to be a woman whose self-esteem didn’t rest on how men regarded me, it was hard.Now my personal history feels even more … [Read more...]

Fitbit, How I Love Thee

“You’re going to love this!!” Scott crowed when he got home, “This is going to change your life!”And he gave me. . . a pedometer.  A very expensive pedometer that we never in a million years would have bought for ourselves, but took when his workplace offered it for free.But the Fitbit is not just a pedometer, it’s also an altimeter which logs how many flights of stairs I walk, a calorie counter that shows how many calories I’ve burned, and a cheerleader that flashes little messages w … [Read more...]

Abandoning My Kids for Paris

Last week I did one of the most irresponsible things I’ve ever done as a parent.  I flew to Paris for a week—purely for fun—and left 3 children in their first full week of school without a parent at home.My sister surprised me just a few weeks ago by inviting me to go to Paris—she had a business trip with free hotel, her husband had frequent flier miles, and she wanted to give me a 40th birthday present (7 years late!).  The only wrinkle?  Scott had a full week of business travel already sche … [Read more...]

Why I Fail at Vacations

For the last five years or so, I’ve completely failed at vacationing.  I get grumpy and annoyed. I have stress dreams.  I feel guilty about being grumpy and annoyed and having stress dreams when I’m supposed to be enjoying myself and my family.It’s a problem.  My husband notes that he spends most of the year stressed and then worries about NOTHING during vacation.  I spend most of the year relatively unstressed, and then act like a fiend the whole time we’re supposed to be resting. … [Read more...]