Why Not to Say “What Not to Say”: In Support of Asking Questions

It was the great American philosopher, Cookie Monster, who once said, “Asking questions is good way to find out about things.”

Although I agree with Mr. Monster on this one, I always giggled when teachers said a similar thing, “Ask questions. And remember, there are no stupid questions.” Because there are stupid questions, of course. And rude questions. And thoughtless questions. And nosy questions. And ignorant questions, too. ...  read more

Broken: Heather Bowie on Parenting and Imperfection

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Welcome to our Monday guest post series on Parenting and Imperfection.

I can’t remember precisely when I started reading Heather Bowie’s blog, Team Aidan, but I know her list of what we, the parents of kids with special needs, wish you, the others, knew about our lives made me cheer and cemented my love of her writing. As a mama of a kid with special needs myself, I particularly resonated with “I’m mostly over it, and sometimes I’m not,” and “I constantly teeter on the edge of gratitude and insanity.” <— OH MY WORD, YES; ME, TOO!  ...  read more

UPDATED: Thoughts on Hope (and a giveaway)

I’m headed out to my kid’s Individualized Education Plan meeting today. Or maybe the “I” in I.E.P. stands for something else…. Independent? Industrial-strength? In-which-we-all-work-hard-but-also-say-lots-of-Hail-Marys? I can’t ever quite remember the right term, even though we’ve been in the special education game for years now, and for today I’m not going to look it up and check my work. I’m just going to write to you, friend to friend, and tell you I’m quite tired. In all the ways. And just a little bit fragile as I prepare to put on hope and optimism and heave ho! and full speed ahead! ...  read more

Day 2 of 3 Giveaways for the Heart and Soul

Giveaway #2:
The Journal of Best Practices
by David Finch

“Don’t change the radio station when she’s singing along.”
David Finch

There are a lot of reasons David Finch’s memoir, Journal of Best Practices, landed on the New York Times bestseller list. It’s heartwarming. It’s honest. It has pita-bread-posing-as-talking-vagina sandwiches. And even though the book is written against the backdrop of an autism diagnosis and David does stunning work to normalize the Asperger experience, its real power lies in normalizing the marriage experience and championing the transformative work of learning to love each other well. ...  read more

Why My Kid Deserves a Trophy (and You Do, Too)

Oh, dear. I know the Trophy Traditionalists will disagree with me. And I do hate being the harbinger of conflict, but I just can’t bring myself to believe that our loose trophy-giving morals are ruining America.

I want to you know I tried. I did. I went out back, I put on my sternest face, and I said, “All of this willy nilly, excessive trophy-giving is terrible. It’s sending the wrong message to our children. It’s contributing to a whole generation of lazy, entitled kids. And it’s gotta stop!” ...  read more

School Conferences, Part Deux: The Catapults Edition

“Trebuchet!” my pacifist Quaker husband hollered, his joy in ancient devices of war made manifest.

Abby, our 8th grader, is making a catapult for her science class. By which I mean, Greg is trying his very, very best to let Abby help him make a catapult for her science class. So far, Greg has conceded that Abby can decorate it. (We’re working on him; I swear.) ...  read more