Hopefully He’ll Flunk

William, our nine year-old has hated school for two years.He’s this sparkly, funny, creative, curious, energetic, athletic and impish kid.  But, every school day he’d say, “she’s just going to put me on the rug (time-out area)”, “she doesn’t like me”, “I’m scared she’s going to send me to the principal’s office”, “school is so boring - do I have to go” or “school is so dumb, you don’t learn anything for real life.”Now, I’m fully aware he’s no piece of cake to manage…but it broke my heart. … [Read more...]

Hipster Homemakers and “Extreme Domesticity”

Women are taking on burdens their grandmothers rejected: growing organic food, canning, baking bread. Is this movement a way to take care of one's family properly or a symptom of an overly wealthy and neurotic society?Emily Matchar, in Sunday's Washington Post,  explores modern hipster homemakers, women who happily reenlist for the domestic chores which our mothers and grandmothers abandoned with glee.Is it an advancement or reversal of the feminist movement? Matchar writes: I recently … [Read more...]

11 Things for Which I am Grateful in 2011

1) Seven trees tower over our house- majestic white oaks and enormous tulip poplars. When the wind blows, they sing.2) Taco Bell. The love affair continues. Seriously, have you tried the steak chalupa supreme? If loving it is wrong, I don't want to be right.3) The Internet. When I got this weird insect bite on my thigh (there were three puncture spots...how does that happen?)...the internet. When I needed a recipe for Asian Maple Salmon...the internet. When I got curious about ancient p … [Read more...]

Friends & reminders

We spent the weekend with friends of ours who live in Northern VA.  It was glorious.  Their lives are really different from ours--they're from the South, have 4 small children who say "sir" and "ma'am," and they live in community with a number of other grown ups who help make their house a home.   It was like a visit to a foreign land, and was more restorative to my soul than I can even describe.I read a great quote a few weeks back:  "Show me your friends, and I'll show you your future." It  … [Read more...]

Praise God. For What?

This Thursday, I will celebrate Thanksgiving with international students who've come to Massachusetts for graduate school.  We'll board a bus in Harvard Square and head to New Hampshire for two nights of pies and hiking and board games. This will be my family's fourth year of hosting this get-away, and it has become my favorite holiday.Each year we read Lincoln's Proclamation, an invitation for the entire nation to observe the last Thursday of November as a day of thanksgiving.  It's a r … [Read more...]

The Case of the Missing Books

So it's a Friday morning in the recent past. My oldest, The Solicitor (TS), is zipping along, getting ready to ride his bike to school with some friends.  It's also the Pink Goth's birthday. (PG is my middle child, a girl. If you want to know why we call her that, read this post.)Somehow we have set a standard of three cake events for birthdays. One at school (usually cupcakes), one at home that night (decorated by siblings) and one at the party (requiring licensed characters and/or c … [Read more...]

All the Good Mothers Are Doing It

I’m ready for a Southern Living moment in my tiny, charming retro kitchen. My eager children are smiling in their tiny aprons. Little chubby, willing hands wait patiently for instruction. All ingredients are perfectly and prettily measured into stylish prep bowls – you know, in that annoying way they do on cooking show segments. (I particularly get a culinary kick out of the way they put the finished dish in the oven and the second oven already has a finished dish in it. Hark!) My children even e … [Read more...]

Falling Grace

In the fall, despite ourselves, we flirt with tree worshipping. Our main idol, a glorious, mature ginkgo, lives in our side yard. Her arms stretch upward, fifty feet, and her trunk bends at the base, leaving us in fear of a strong north wind.Come October, everyone watches her progress.The call, “The ginkgo leaves are starting to turn!” brings us all outside to inspect. Sure enough, the lime green leaf has a gilt edge now. Through the weeks, the edge turns to a full fan of blazing colo … [Read more...]