The Trouble with Advent Calendars

Despite having spent almost $40 on advent calendars I am still being asked the question children have pestered parents with since red-velvet coats and flying reindeer were first conceived: "how many days until Christmas?"I get it - the idea behind the advent calendar is to let kids know how many days until the big pay off - so they'll stop asking their parents every five minutes.But the sad truth is that they don't work.And here's why.They are made wrong....more

What's Your (Name) Story?

My son C is writing a letter to a player on the varsity basketball team via a pen pal program initiated by one of his teachers. His opening paragraph is about his name, what it means (faithful, in Hebrew), and why his parents chose it (named for great, great uncle)....more

The Pediatric Dentist: Disneyland with a Dental Chair

Today we went to the dentist. Not just any dentist though - a pediatric dentist. Because H had a cavity, our usual dentist recommended this switch as the environment at the pediatric dentist "might be more relaxing."How oh how have I survived these eleven years of parenting without experiencing the bliss that is a visit to the pediatric dentist?...more

Zen: Not What You Think

For the past year I've been attending a sangha and trying to get my zen on - so to speak. Some people might think that when you sit zazen you're meditating but it's not really that. Meditation carries with it that notion that one is meditating on or about about a certain something. "If I meditate on this dilemma perhaps I'll discover a solution." ...more

Why Babies are like Gardens

Before you become pregnant you pretty much take the baby's nine-month gestation period for granted. It's a system that works - right? Then you become pregnant and you start reading up on things and you learn out about spina bifida, cleft palates, heart defects, anencephaly, fused limbs, and progeria and you realize that with all that's got to go exactly right in those nine months it's a miracle any baby is ever born healthy at all....more

Cell Phones for Kids: What's lost vs what's gained

At the start of summer I told my 10-year-old son I was going to get him a cell phone.He's still waiting for it....more

Stairway to Heaven

My five-year-old son counts stairs wherever we go. ...more

What I love about Marathons

The thing I love about a road race is that it's the only sporting event I know of where everyday competitors compete in the same event with world-class and olympic athletes. You or I can't compete in a swimming race with Michael Phelps, ski with Bode Miller, or golf against Tiger Woods. And not because those athletes are too stuck up to compete with the masses - their sports just aren't set up that way....more

To Share or Not To Share, That is the Ultimatum

There were these two moms on the playground (and me) yesterday and one mom was telling the other how she'd chastised these parents on the beach last summer because the other parents' children didn't want her two-year-old son to join them in their sandcastle building."I told them they ought to teach their kids to share and that it was a public beach after all. I was just furious." She was furious too. I could hear how furious she was because I could hear her conversation perfectly clearly from well across the playground....more

The Farmers Market and the Main Street Merchants: why can't we all get along?

It's harder to write about the things you really care about than the things that come from off the cuff. And not because you fear rejection or because you are afraid of being judged. It's harder because you don't know where to begin....more