Lent: Day 1… and Some Totally Unrelated Evle Twens Stories

There are certain things we do when raising children. Certain things that are, perhaps, counter-cultural so that our young men and young women, our kids in regular classes and with special needs, our kids of all make-ups and all colors can grow up as fully, wonderfully themselves. Strong and sensitive. Logical and creative. Responsible and wild. Just and merciful. Wise and loving. Leaders who serve others. And, depending on the child, we have to teach more or less of each lesson, don’t we? Balance their innate wisdom with their experiences and work together, in concert with them, to create deeper understanding of who they are. Of who they can be. Ultimately, we desire all our children to know that they don’t have to cherish some bits of themselves – the parts that our culture tells us are “acceptable” – and reject others.  ...  read more

How to Have a Successful Family Vacation

When I was pregnant with twins and completely out of my mind with Oh Dear God, I Can’t Do This Five Kids Thing, my friend Christy, a fellow mama of multiples, said, “Don’t worry. Every 3 months, something gets easier.”

Christy was right. Well, except when she was wrong. But mostly she was right. Every 3 months, in general, something did get easier. ...  read more

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

You Don’t Have to Choose a Parenting Method to be a Great Parent

I walked the floor with a baby on each shoulder gently bounce, bounce, bouncing them, my back burning, hoping to ease my twins to sleep. They must’ve been just a few weeks old, our fourth and fifth kids, recently out of the neonatal intensive care unit, all of us recovering from their premature birth as I tried to learn two new little ones. What worked. What didn’t. How to navigate a whole new life. Again. ...  read more

I’m a Pee Fight Pacifist

Look, I don’t usually take on extreme positions here. I’m just not that kind of girl. I tend to be all mushy and “well, there are two sides to every story” and “I’m sure she had the best intentions” and “there’s room for EVERYONE.” On the other hand, I believed Mr. Clinton when he said he did not have sex with that woman so I admit to a certain ongoing struggle with being a Pollyanna. ...  read more

It’s Spring Break, aka March Madness (for Parents)

It’s Spring Break, aka March Madness for Parents. Which has nothing to do with basketball and everything to do with how we play the parenting game.

So far, one of my kids fell in a river, and I lost another one in the forest.

Don’t worry, though. All’s well.

Sometimes, even ninjas lose their balance.

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But I dried that river kid off, and he wore my coat kilt-style in such a way as to honor our Scottish forebearers, ...  read more

On Being Wrong and Being Human: Thoughts From a 6-Year-Old

We were driving in the car when one of my 6-year-olds said something. Something wrong, according to his twin brother. They argued it out ’til the Wrong One acquiesced, at which point the Right One said, “In your FACE. BOOM!”

Now, look. I’m trying not to raise a brood of gloaters ’cause no one likes a know-it-all, right? I mean, no one. So I said, “Dude. When you’re right and someone else is wrong, you can totally say in your FACE, but only in your head and with the look in your eyes. Saying it out loud is not cool.” ...  read more