Mother’s Day Gifts, or Why I Never Get What I Want

My kids all have “Gift Giving” as their language of love.I do not.They love birthday gifts and Christmas gifts, special treats during the week, little surprises on a shopping trip.  And as they’ve gotten older, they also like giving gifts.  So as my birthday and Mother’s Day came 2 weeks apart, “What do you want?” became an ongoing refrain.“Obedience.”Many eye rolls.  “No!  What do you really want?”“I really want obedience.”More huffs, puffs and shaking of heads, “No, what … [Read more...]

Lorax: Anti-Capitalist and Dubiously Environmental?

If you're thinking about taking the kids to this new movie, Rebecca Cusey gives us a heads-up over on Tinsel.  After reading her piece, I went to the movie's official website.  Here's what I found. … [Read more...]

Once Upon a Time

I once read a fairy tale about a land where no one had any extended family—no aunts, no uncles, no cousins. They did not even have brothers or sisters. The evil prince had outlawed siblings because he did not think he got his fair share of things when he was a child.In the whole land, no one had ever fought over who got the top bunk, or whether to go swimming or to the movies, or what they should eat for supper.No one ever screamed, “No fair! She got more ice cream!”No one ever found … [Read more...]

We Could Have Had It All

Death rocks us. It makes us face who we are, who we are not, and who we wish we were. Even as we avoid it, death makes us yearn for transcendence: both for a belief in the hereafter and for assurance that we have accomplished something that will allow us not to be forgotten.We were at a Mexican restaurant with friends when I happened to glance at the big screen TV and saw that Whitney Houston had passed away. Sadly, I did not need to hear the news reports to know what how she died. The story … [Read more...]

My Family Is Just Right

I do believe I have the perfect number of children--four.Four is the perfect balance between large families and small. Four seems just large enough that those moms with fewer children (especially just one or two) make much over my brood and my seemingly supermom abilities (ha!). And four is just enough to give me an ounce of street cred with the moms of the real large families. Four masquerades carefully between.In truth, four is really no harder than one or two (especially since they … [Read more...]

Are You Enjoying Every Single Moment?

If you’re a parent, how many well-intentioned people have come up to you (usually when you’re frantically trying to pay for your groceries before you and/or your children explode) and said, “I hope you’re enjoying every second, it goes by so fast."Every second?  Really??Glennon Melton writes in Don't Carpe Diem in The Huffington Post:But last week, a woman approached me in the Target line and said the following:“Sugar, I hope you are enjoying this.  I loved every single second of … [Read more...]

Knowing Their Frames

Recently, one of my children accused me of wanting her to be perfect.After the initial denial, I realized she was right.Mamas are supposed to hold the standard high, aren’t we? If I do, maybe they won’t fail in life. Maybe they won’t suffer through the school of hard knocks like I did. Instill some discipline, establish healthy eating habits, set them on the straight and narrow and they’ll turn out okay.Or so goes the thought.But tucked somewhere in all the ‘shoulds’ and th … [Read more...]

Let There Be Peace on Earth!

‘Tis the season!Once a year our physical mailboxes get more attention than our email inboxes. Here come the Christmas cards!Oh, the dilemmas! Do we send a picture? Should it include us or just the kids? (Really, does everyone need to know about those extra 10 pounds?) Do we look happy enough? Do we look too happy? How much do we say? What about our struggles? Our accomplishments? How do we sum a year in a card?We sent my favorite card ever ten years ago—before the digital era (and the … [Read more...]


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