A mix of personal reflections and cultural commentary about family in A mix of personal reflections and cultural commentary about family in America
December 14, 2009
Seeing Your Family During the Holidays: Is it Worth it?
We drove to Maryland and back yesterday for our fourth annual Danish Christmas celebration (Peter's family on his dad's side is Danish). Six hours in the car, three of which included steady rain. Two children who skipped naps (although as a result they were blissfully asleep at 6 pm in the back seat). ...
December 02, 2009
The Problems, The Blessings, of Bodies
I had the opportunity to read from Penelope Ayers with a wonderful group of women last night. They asked great questions about writing and reading and the ways in which coming to know Penny, my mother-in-law, changed who I am. One of the things we talked about, in the large group and then afterwards ...
November 26, 2009
Happy and Special
Since "Life without God" isn't exactly good fodder for Thanksgiving Day, I'll come back to those thoughts over the weekend...
For now, a quick reminder of what this day is all about.
I was sitting with Penny this morning and told her, "Pen, today is a day when we get to think of all the people and things ...
November 17, 2009
The Reality of Hope
I have an essay published in the "On the Square" section of First Things today. It is called "The Reality of Hope." Here's the opening paragraph:
After she died, it was as if I had broken my arm. A part of me ached all the time, and something that had been functional was now useless, and everything about ...
November 12, 2009
William and Penny and I were taking a walk. William said, "Wa! Wa!" (Watch! Watch!) I complied. Penny took off in the other direction. So I chased her down, plunked her in the stroller next to her brother, and resumed walking. It was about 30 seconds later that I realized William was no longer playing ...
November 05, 2009
I could care less about baseball. (Or is it, I couldn't care less about baseball?) Either way, baseball to me signifies two things: rivalry between my husband (a Yankees fan) and the rest of my immediate family (Red Sox die hards), and late nights in October.
At breakfast this morning, our daughter ...
October 21, 2009
Adoption, One More Time
If you haven't had a chance to read through the comments on last week's post on adoption, I commend them to you. If you are one of the people who contributed to that conversation, thank you. You've helped me to clarify some of my own thinking on the issue, and you've prompted further reflection. ...
October 16, 2009
I would like to have another biological child, and can argue that the desire is good. Children are a gift from God, after all (See Psalm 127:3).
And yet, there are millions of orphans in the world. And over and over again, Biblical writers urge those of us who follow God to take care of the widows and ...
September 22, 2009
Organic is all the rage these days. Organic food, organic clothing, organic coffee. I make a point of buying organic milk and chicken. I try for organic veggies too.
Perhaps it's because of the popularity of organic farming that I have been applying the word "organic" to other aspects of my life as ...
September 14, 2009
I've felt like a failure recently. Well, at least a few weeks ago I was feeling like a failure. I had spent a year working on a proposal for a new book. My agent sent it out to dozens of editors. Lots of them responded well. I was sure a contract would follow. But in the end, it fell short. No contract. ...
September 02, 2009
Musings from the Waiting Room
I drive to the Emergency Room with William. I know the route now, due to Penny's ER visit and subsequent hospital stay last spring, so I no longer have to worry about the unmarked roads and whether I'll make a wrong turn in the "bad" part of Trenton.
I drive past housing projects. I don't see anyone ...
August 26, 2009
Limits and Love
It was a few years ago, and Peter and I were talking about our relentless work ethic. We both work hard, at more or less everything, all the time. Why? For years, we had agreed when people told us that we must be striving for approval, yearning to please others through our efforts. But, quite frankly, ...
August 21, 2009
It's tempting to let it go. But every day, usually three times every day, we clean up the mess. Dishes in the dishwasher. Toys in the basket. Food back in the frig. Dirty clothes in the laundry. I sometimes can't believe that we will be back at the same place–sticky peach on my foot, diaper in the trash ...
July 22, 2009
I was reminded, in reading Martin Lloyd Williams' new book, Beauty and Brokenness, of the distinction between pity and compassion. Williams completes his book with a meditation upon compassion. It's a buzzword of sorts these days, a word that can make me roll my eyes, even. I sometimes think it is used ...
July 06, 2009
I Could Have Missed It
It was one of those days that I could have missed. So easily, I could have missed the first time William put something in a bucket (to this point he's only taken things out). I could have missed Penny's applause, "Good job, William!" I could have missed him running into the water on his short little ...
June 27, 2009
Arms like my Grandmother's
Wrinkles. Sun spots. White hair. A stout waist. Flabby arms, arms my sister and I took delight in jiggling. Hers was a body I loved. When I was a child, even into adolescence, even into those years of beginning to worry about my own size and shape, even then, a part of me longed for my grandmother's ...
March 18, 2009
Love is difficult. Much as I long to love others and be loved in return, now that I have children, I very much understand that love is messy and challenging and there are days when I think I can't do it anymore.
I'm not talking about Hallmark card love, about hearts or kisses or sentimental words. ...
December 03, 2008
Tis the Season...
I have never been much of a shopper. I don't like trying on clothes. I don't like waiting in line. I don't like spending money. And I don't like the time it takes. So I have never paid much attention to Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. I've usually spent that day with my family, bemoaning the ...