A sampling of articles I've managed to publish in parenting magazines, mostly as a by-product of documenting all the mistakes I've made as a mom.
This article was first published in the October, 2009 issue of PARENTGUIDE News and at parentguidenews.com.
Born into a family of hikers, I spent many childhood vacations traipsing through New Jersey’s Great Swamp, trudging along parts of the Appalachian Trail, and even panning for gold alongside trails near rivers in the West. As an adult, I hoped to introduce my children to hiking, but feared complaints of fatigue, bugs, and boredom would dominate any attempts at trekking with youngsters. In their view, an ideal afternoon involves clambering up play equipment at their favorite park, not watching the trees grow while strolling through the woods. Read more...
Delighted Parent of Less-than-Perfect Children
This essay first appeared in the August 2009 issue of New Jersey Family, and online at njfamily.com, under the title, "Smelling the Roses."
The epiphany came just outside the doctor's office. Thumbing through the pulmonologist’s report, I was struck by one of his concluding remarks. Describing my daughter as a “delightful girl,” the phrase contrasted starkly with the statistics and graphs detailing problems with her breathing, which dominated the file. Whether sincere, or merely one of his standard lines, I believed it. As if for the first time, I fully appreciated that my daughter was delightful. Moreover, she was someone to be delighted in. Read more...
Juggling Too Much?
This essay first appeared in the July 2008 issue of The Motherhood magazine, a publication of American Woman Publishing.
I never used to reach the bottom of my to-do list. Worse, it seemed to grow each day, as I added more tasks than I accomplished and crossed off. Like a consumer faced with escalating debt, I sank ever deeper in mounting responsibilities and commitments. Soon I would have to pull an all-nighter to get back on top of things. Sadly, foregoing a night of sleep seemed a viable option, considering the lack of shut-eye I averaged. Most nights, my thoughts would scurry from one sphere of my life to another, surveying my mental calendar, marshalling upcoming events, revisiting conversations, composing emails, and allowing me little rest. Read more...
Grappling with the Birthday Beast
This essay was first published in May 2009 at parenting-journals.com.
My first taste of modern-day children’s birthday parties left me goggling. Pushing my children on the playground swings, I listened intently, nearly stepping into a swing, as a mother discussed organizing her son’s party five months in advance, calling parents of children with proximate birthdays to coordinate dates. My incredulity only increased when a bewildered father wondered where to stow the many toys his son had received for his birthday. That evening, a favorite comic strip pictured a family going through customs en route to a birthday celebration. Read more...
Inquiring Minds: Answering Kids' Questions
This piece first appeared as the cover article in the October 2006 issue of The Church Herald.
Recently, my six-year-old daughter announced that she no longer wanted to go to church. Her four-year-old sister echoed the statement. I hadn't expected rebellious attitudes toward worship at this stage, when Sunday school still included snacks and crafts. I began to reflect upon reasons for attending church. Later I revisited the subject with my daughters, explaining that God delights in our worship. I reasoned further that we can learn about him at church, enticing them with the topics of upcoming Sunday school lessons. Finally, we discussed that going to church brings us closer to God - someone worth knowing. Read more...
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