The Absurdity of Violence

I have so many sad thoughts running through my brain after yesterday’s attack on a military school in Peshawar, Pakistan. Most of them are surface thoughts, mourning for the loss of life and the feeling of fear that must be in the air for families, for children going to school, for teachers who put their lives in danger by just going to work. The deeper thoughts run to the absurdity of war, of “conflict,” of targeted attacks and drones and the ongoing back-and-forth in so many parts of the world ....more

When That Publication Wasn't What You Thought it Was

I just had to go and check whether my essay had been published yet.I couldn't email the editor or wait for her to email me. I had to visit the site and see it.I submitted a piece to an online parenting magazine after multiple rejections from other places at the urging of a Facebook writers group. I didn't know much about the ezine and I did a cursory check of it before submitting to make sure it wasn't populated with articles about the Kardashians and "mom-jeans." I figured since other writers I know from the group had published their work there that it was probably fine, and so I didn't dig too deeply.Last week when the editor emailed me with a few suggested changes, I was pleased ....more

Some Thoughts on Fear

It is increasingly difficult not to feel lucky that I am white, that my children are white, that they are girls who are not likely to incite fear because of their size and their race and their gender. Somehow, it feels horrible to think that way, to feel relief that, while we may as women and girls suffer some indignities and challenges, at least we don't have to worry about an overzealous response to a real or imagined crime.The girls and I have talked off and on in the last weeks about the grand jury decisions in Ferguson and New York City, all of us baffled at how a group of impartial individuals could come to the decisions they did. I am careful to acknowledge that I don't have all of the details and I can't judge the ...more

How NOT to Talk to Your Teenage Niece (or Grand-daughter or Friend) This Holiday Season

Don't assume that just because your niece/granddaughter/friend is a teenage girl, she is interested in watching your children for hours on end while you go drink wine with the rest of the family and get a break. She may well enjoy spending time with your toddlers playing games, coloring and watching Frozen for the 437th time, but she also enjoys being part of the adult conversations going on. That's how she learns to interact with adults and her opinions are important for the adults in the group to hear as well ....more

The Difference Between Catcalls and "Being Polite"

I had the great good fortune to spend five days in NYC last week, walking some of the same streets that the woman from...more

Dialogues in My Head

Often, as I wrestle with a parenting dilemma, the ghostly voices of my parents come to me. Often, we have entire conversations in my head. Most of the time, I win ....more

Sweeping Without a Broom

"Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe“It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities.” Josiah Charles StampAhh, personal responsibility. We are a nation enamored with the concept. We are also enamored with the notion of individuality; individual freedoms (to a certain extent), individual rights, individual responsibility ....more

Making the Case for Social-Emotional Learning in Our Schools

The fact that the phrase “school shooting” exists is clear evidence of how we are failing our children. The fact that we have systems in place to mobilize grief counselors within our communities, that there are protocols and sample dialogues to help parents talk to their children about gun violence in their schools tells us we are doing something wrong....more

Hang in There, Baby, Change is Coming

I know a lot of folks who have been feeling what I call "churn." For me, that is the sensation of being in the middle of a giant wave as it curls, completely underwater and surrounded by movement and sound and sand rolling all around you. ...more

Why Gloria Steinem is Still My Hero

It is not often that we get to spend time with our childhood heroes, if at all, but I was lucky enough to do that last week. ...more