Another Problem with Pain

Today, after writing this, I am going to go work out for the first time in over a year.Walking, biking, weight lifting, calisthenics, and now even rowing on a machine are ways I have stayed (semi) fit throughout my 44 years. Exercising is how I cope when angry, relax when stressed, sort through idea knots I'm trying to untangle onto the page.But a year and a half ago, a spot in the middle of my back inexplicably started hurting. I didn't injure it or (Lord knows) overuse it in exercise. … [Read more...]

What Children’s Stories Say About Parenting

Tired of parenting books that make you feel like a failure? Story Mama, gleans parenting advice from an unlikely, but delightful place: classic children’s literature. Beloved stories like Where the Wild Things Are, The Velveteen Rabbit, and Make Way for Ducklings serve as jumping off points for writer and mom of six, Amy Henry, to inspire you on your motherly journey. Written in short (read: potty-break-sized) vignettes, Story Mama offers both practical suggestions (ie. how to get y … [Read more...]

What Your Kids Really Want for Christmas

When my son, Ben, was four years old a friend of ours came and visited for the afternoon. For hours, the two of them wrestled, told jokes to each other, and laughed at Randy's Looney Tunes impersonations. That night, when I asked Ben what he loved most about Randy, he said, "He just be's wif me." It rocked me hard, that statement, "He just 'be's wif' me,' and I had to ask myself a hard question: Do I ever just 'be wif' my children? Sure, I clean them, feed them, teach them, clothe them, but h … [Read more...]

What Christmas is Really About

(This piece was first published in my 10yo daughter's blog. She gave me permission to print it here, too.)Christmas; if you ask any child in the world to describe it, they would tell you that it is by far the best time of the year, full of presents, secrecy, and an endless flow of candy canes. Then, if you asked them what Christmas is all about, they would say two words: Santa Clause. After all, he's the one that travels all over the world to deliver presents to everyone whenever winter … [Read more...]

How Not to Miss Christmas

Last year we missed Christmas. I mean, we opened presents and drank egg nog and everything, but somehow none of us felt like we had a Christmas.This year, I want it to be different.A few weeks ago I was overcome by the sensation that I was not alive. I was a person who lived in her head, constantly formulating blog posts and essay ideas. I was a person who read great books half the time and thought about what I'd read the other half of the time. I was a robot, physically going through … [Read more...]

Finding Rest…Just in Time for Thanksgiving

I'm gonna be real honest with you: I'm pooped.I don't mean tired. I don't mean exhausted. I mean, across the boards, Done. In.It started with playing single mommy for four months while Ian was away for military training and it is ending (note the optimism here) TODAY.Quite literally, because his 'seasoning days' (whatever those are) are completed TODAY...convenient, since I have been planning a breakdown for this occasion since early June. The year has weighed heavy, on many fronts, b … [Read more...]