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Parented by Grandparents


Jan 26 2015
The challenges of caretaking in middle age present new opportunities for outreach.
Parented by Grandparents
Valentina Yachichurova / Flickr

A few weeks ago, I was at a McDonalds PlayPlace with my two grandsons, ages 6 and 11. There were a half-dozen other older caregivers in the room watching the kids burn off some of that Happy Meal energy. When a little girl took a tumble down a slide and cried, “Grandma!” ...

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This MLK Day Feels Different


Jan 19 2015
A reflection on recent tensions and a renewed sense of hope.
This MLK Day Feels Different
Graeme Stoker / Flickr

Driving home in the early evening darkness, we were talking about how much hadn’t changed with race relations in this country, following the exoneration of police officers accused of killing unarmed black men in Ferguson and Staten Island.

Suddenly, I had the sensation ...

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Dating by Q&A


Jan 13 2015
Keeping courtship from turning into a job interview.
Dating by Q&A
John Benson / Flickr

I learned to ask questions when I was 20. My parents would tell you I’ve been asking questions long before then, since I was barely a year old. I have never accepted first, second, or third answers. I was the kind of kid who had to touch the hot stove before I understood ...

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Dressed for Death: The History of Funeral Fashion


Jan 12 2015
Looking back to when mourning attire was as heavy and dark as grief itself.
Dressed for Death: The History of Funeral Fashion
METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART

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The Anna Wintour Costume Center, a new wing of the museum named for Vogue’s iconic editor-in-chief, opened in May and currently displays the black gowns worn by mourners between 1815 and 1915, including a gown worn by Queen Victoria. The room is small and dark, ...

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Managing Anxiety and Making Friends


Jan 6 2015
With mental illness, community becomes more challenging… and more essential.
Managing Anxiety and Making Friends
Don LaVange / Flickr

I was a high school freshman when I had my first panic attack. Heart palpitating and lightheaded from heavy breathing, I laid down and tried to take deep breaths, but my lungs didn’t want to cooperate.

What was happening? Was I having a heart attack? My heart kept ...

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Church: Set Up Your Singles


Jan 2 2015
Community matchmaking can do better than online dating.
Church: Set Up Your Singles
vivarin / Flickr

A few friends recently listed for me their current dating apps: Tinder, which asks you to swipe photos to indicate who you’re interested in; Hinge, which makes connections from extended circles of friends; and Coffee Meets Bagel, which sends a match daily at noon. (Note ...

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How Wish Lists Affect Our Gift-Giving


Dec 24 2014
Accepting gifts, the ones we asked for and the ones that surprise us, ultimately points us to the Giver.
How Wish Lists Affect Our Gift-Giving
superjetinternational / Flickr

There are two kinds of Christmas gift-givers: those who want to pick out the perfect gift for the recipient on their own and those who want to give them exactly what they already want. My family is the latter. Long after kids outgrew the tradition of sending off letters to ...

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The Missing Voice in the Adoption Conversation


Nov 24 2014
How our language would change if we heard more from adoptees.
The Missing Voice in the Adoption Conversation
Courtesy of Angela Tucker

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You’d think that this kind of public campaign promoting adoption would be something that gets adoptees like me excited. Instead, I find myself feeling ambivalent. Too often, parents’ voices dominate the adoption conversation, both in society overall and in ...

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What to Do When You Don’t Know a Family’s Immigration Status


Nov 20 2014
Amid the confusion over immigration laws, here are five things you should know.
What to Do When You Don’t Know a Family’s Immigration Status
alberth2 / Flickr

After speaking to a Sunday school class about immigration, a woman asked if she could talk to me. She pulled me aside and whispered, “I think there’s a girl in my daughter’s class this year who is, umm, not legal. What should I do?”

She explained ...

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Porn and the Singleness Panic


Nov 14 2014
Why the state of marriage doesn’t mean we lower our standards.
Porn and the Singleness Panic
Emilio Labrador / Flickr

In a society that largely champions sexual expression, including pornography, it is heartening to hear someone acknowledge its detriments. That’s why I was initially glad to see sociologist Mark Regnerus’s recent article in First Things.

“Revelations of ...

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