There is one escalator in our town. It's located in the chain bookstore on the university campus and is a novelty for my kids. With that in mind, we went to the mall as a reward for an appointment that mainly included waiting in the nearby Big City. My daughter marveled at the escalator heading to a department store's third floor. I marveled at ...Read more
When I'm with someone mean or aggressive, I try to think about the circumstances that might have led to their emotions that have nothing to do with me at that moment. They may have stubbed their toe. They might have a sick child at home. Their mother may have died.
Even though these things don't have anything to do with me, I might still ...Read more
I remember the DARE program mostly from the shirt. In elementary school, shirts you got as a gift were at first impossibly large, but in a blink of an eye and forever after, they were so small it seemed impossible you were ever that size. Especially after you give birth and look back at your old pants and realize that Shakira was right: hips, in...Read more
A smattering of leaves in my neighbor's trees is already turning yellow. It feels as though I just watched green leaves grow onto those bare branches a few short weeks ago. Again, the year has turned, showing the end of this cycle, leading to the start of others. One cycle we watched end together was through the death of Queen Elizabeth II, and ...Read more
There were a whole host of movies that traumatized kids in the 1980s. There was the dying horse in "The NeverEnding Story." There was the death of the dinosaur mom in "The Land Before Time." There was an ant who bravely fought a scorpion in "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids." If these were cinematic Aesop's Fables for millennials, that could explain ...Read more
Sometimes I learn more about my children's day from what I pull out of their pockets when I do laundry than from what I can pull out of them when I pick them up from school.
The pockets are full of leaves, hair ties and rocks. My inner child appreciates those, the stones with colorful lines or those particularly round and smooth. I keep those, ...Read more
Work-life balance now has a new, trendy phrase: "quiet quitting." But it's not what it sounds like. It's not sneaking out the side door with your red Swingline stapler while sending a text to your boss. It's even more radical. It's the notion that at your job, you do your job. Nothing more, but nothing less.
This idea seems to shatter the ...Read more
There are some battles you don't pick. One that I wasn't going to pick happened in front of the paint color selection wall at our home improvement store.
After we had painstakingly scraped off the vintage floral wallpaper, my husband and I decided that we wanted more vibrant colors splashed in our house than just white. We were adults, ...Read more
When I post a new profile picture to social media, I sometimes think: Will this be the photo shown on the local news if I'm killed in a mass shooting?
Interspersed with the actual shootings are now the anniversaries of murders throughout our country. I've spent time scrolling through the reports of names and grainy photos: of coaches who threw ...Read more
The heat was still thick and unforgiving when my son's team tumbled onto the field for the evening games. Two of the boys on his team were very good. But another teammate picked grass and let it float onto the ground. Another blocked a ball with his shins only because he was standing in its path. Another enjoyed dramatic flops to the ground. A ...Read more
My husband was cooking breakfast, and today, we were on time for school.
Continuing a string of productive mornings thanks to melatonin-filled nights, I decided to take out the trash. After throwing out the bag, I washed my hands in the sink that looked out into the backyard, onto my office, and noticed movement. There were some expletives ...Read more
I never "learned" English or German; both languages are a part of who I am. However, learning a new language from scratch exposes weakness and necessitates vulnerability, not something that is always treated with kindness from others, or even from yourself and the new person you become with a new language.
Years ago, I read about someone who, ...Read more
When we lived in Germany, my grandparents would drive seven hours to see their only grandchild. One of the outings my parents decided to take my grandparents on was Sunday, Aug. 28, 1988. I was four, and I was a real pain that day.
My dad was, per usual, on edge about the number of people. It was when car bombs were a favorite terrorist device,...Read more