Do Colleges Want My Kid? Or Just Her Application?

I need to ask trees for forgiveness.  Over the last two years, uncountable numbers have been slain in the name of recruiting my child to college.  Ever since she took the PSAT as a sophomore, we’ve been receiving college brochure after college brochure, beautiful full color brochures on heavy paper promising the most transformative 4 years possible for my child.  Every day I separate the mail into piles—recycling, bills, college (sadly rarely personal anything these days)—and college mail far out … [Read more...]

Makeup in Middle Age or Why I Got My Daughters Make-Overs

Not the look we're going for here

A few months ago I read in a ladies magazine that if you’re middle-aged and still doing your high school make-up  routine, you’re in trouble.Uh oh, I thought, I’m in trouble.Now much of my work and life resides in what folks fondly call The Republic of Cambridge.  In The Republic of Cambridge, many women go au naturel, whether in the make-up department, the bra department, the dying one’s hair department or even the shaving legs/underarms department.And there’s a lot godly I find … [Read more...]

Teaching Our Kids to Talk

Ling 351

Scott’s favorite mantra, which he regularly preaches to our kids, is “God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason--you should listen twice as much as you talk.”   And they clearly seem to neither listen to, nor comprehend what he's saying.We're both pretty good listeners.  So you would think our kids would be good listeners also.  Not true.  This came home one night over dinner as kids talked on top of each other, interrupted, and generally created a very unpleasant hubbub of noise, crea … [Read more...]

Senior Panic

My senior (photo by Dorothy Greco, who all Boston parents should hire!)

Lately I’ve been experiencing wild mood swings: elation to fear to hope to dread to depression to pride.  And while part may be peri-menopause, most is due to having a real-live senior in my home, a senior who’s applying to college.Now I’ve blogged about trying to keep it all in perspective (here and here and here).  Sad to say, I’m failing.No matter how I’ve tried to abstain from an addiction to academic prestige and achievement, an addiction that comes from my family—a family with 8 … [Read more...]

I Sent My Daughter to Spain. . .and She Survived


Or better, thrived.Back in late June, I went through a mild freak out over sending Ling to a foreign country with free-flowing alcohol, sultry weather, and college-aged BOYS in her dorm with Spanish MEN outside it (read If You’re Sending Your Kid to Spain, Don’t Do it My Way).Scott and I gave a whole slew of lectures about:wise decision-making alcohol boys making sure she spoke Spanish despite living with fellow Americans avoiding date-rape mostly by avoiding alc … [Read more...]

Doing NYC with My 13 Year Old: Getting the Biggest Bang for the Buck

Statue of liberty

The week before school, I took my 13 year old son Ren to NYC for our mother/son 13th year extravaganza.  I wrote about the importance of Rites of Passage and Tips for a Mother-Teen Trip 2 years ago when I took my daughter Kai to Kauai for her 13th year celebration (you can read about what we did and talked about here, here and here).  But for this post I’m sharing the best ways to save money and get great quality in NYC.I’m more than a little obsessed with getting a great deal. My business fr … [Read more...]

Why Not Just Breastfeed in Private?


Today's post comes from Anne Carpenter Van Dyk, a fellow working mom, who I know through my work with faculty.  KTMAfter 18 months of uneventfully nursing my daughter Elle as we go about our daily lives, I'd never received so much as a dirty look from anyone, anywhere.  It's not shocking. Among the highly educated here in New England, baby-wearing and breastfeeding are en vogue.But I was just told by the director of my daughter’s daycare that, on the rare occasion when I need to nurse Ell … [Read more...]

Oldest Siblings and the Problem of Privilege


Did you know oldest siblings can be jerks?  Neither did I.  Because I am an oldest sibling and never saw myself as jerk-like.Yet I’m surrounded by younger sibling friends who regale me with tales of just how selfish, self-centered, and just plain mean their older siblings can be.  And the more I hear their stories, the more I recognize myself.Shoot.I also went from being the oldest sibling in my family to marrying a youngest sibling.  Turns out when you’re the spouse of the least powe … [Read more...]