Life Advice



Strapped in Together

The newborn phase is a bit like war: no sleep, an unknown opponent, meeting different layers of yourself through caffeine and adrenaline, and learning to distinguish the urgency of loud yelling.

For both of my kids, the car was an elixir of relief, first for me and then for them, once they were lulled to sleep. They realized that no amount of...Read more

What Endures Above

Even before the pandemic, we may not have been what you call a traditional family. We're a bit spur-of-the-moment, especially with our parenting. A long while back, after a late lunch outing during which we scouted random local places for tacos, our family drove through town trying to find things to do on a lazy weekend afternoon. As we passed...Read more

Self-Care in the Time of COVID

I woke up the morning after the first presidential debate shaking off a mental dust that lingered like democratic fallout. I also woke up to a singular, throbbing thought that mirrored my slight hangover: Watching the debate was entirely not a good thing for my self-care.

Given that a return to anything that resembles normalcy seems like a ...Read more

Millenial Life: Calls to Action

My husband drives 45 minutes from our home to his business, in an unincorporated community out in the desert. He was approached to start his office there in part due to being a native Spanish speaker. He's been there for almost three years, trying to learn about the community, running toy drives and attending community meetings when he can. ...Read more

Zooming Through History

I sat in on the Zoom call because it was my son's birthday. He refused to allow his sister's obligations to stop him from building his new Lego set exactly in the doorway of the playroom she sits in for class. I needed to make sure that his squeals of enthusiasm wouldn't drown out the teacher, so I slid carefully into one of their kiddo chairs...Read more

Turns out You Can Go Home Again

As a teenager, a gleeful line I heard from my dad was that when I turned 18, it would be high time for me to move out. Looking back, I still doubt it was that much of a joke as much as it was an ingrained cultural expectation. I wonder what he'd say now to the more than half of young adults boomeranging back to live at home.

According to Pew ...Read more

Buying Into Community

The place I met my husband was a small, intimate sushi restaurant. On that first date, I had to guide him from the freeway to the restaurant, his broken English navigating not just a strange town but also my nervous foreign words.

I went to the bathroom to give myself a "Good job, girl" pep talk. We stayed until they put the chairs on the ...Read more

How to Reach These Kids

As a green card holder, my mother never voted. My father claimed that as a member of the military, he didn't particularly feel like he should vote. Thinking back, there was never much discussion about voting in my family. We lived like nomads, never tied to a place for more than three or four years. Why get involved knowing who the mayor was, ...Read more

Waiting for the Wick

The quarantine coincided with spring, so there were a lot of long, hard looks at our yard and impulsive decisions made. A tree had started to grow in the small, shallow dirt that was well-dug for a different planned tree. We recognized the space usurper as a native tree we also had in the front yard and wanted to see if we could replant it to ...Read more

Where Some Go, They Go Alone

I met her in a ninth-grade Spanish class. It was already March when I moved to a brand-new state from overseas, meaning that I had less than six good weeks to make friends before break. Spoiler: I spent that summer getting very acquainted with the original "Star Trek" series alone.

I didn't make friends with her immediately, but I remember ...Read more

Making a List and Checking It Twice

Of all the things I haven't expected in my life, I didn't expect that I'd need to retake second grade. But, thanks to COVID-19, here we are. Here are many of us, back to thinking we escaped worksheets and algebra, only to be pulled back in like an old and tired Michael Corleone in his kitchen.

I remember my first go-around with the second ...Read more

Beyond the Divide

My favorite picture of my grandparents hangs in my hallway. They are in the middle of what seems like a joke, both smiling with their eyes closed and leaning into each other. It was taken by a cousin once removed who was able to be at their wedding anniversary celebration.

Due to time and distance, I could not. I was both pleased and sad to ...Read more

Unmasking Our Social Contracts

I'll admit it; I had been holding out on wearing a mask in one situation -- walking around my neighborhood early in the morning. Two things made me change: knowing the story of someone I encountered and a droll analysis of my generation by the one coming up behind me.

A few weeks back, my family debated getting another dog, a playmate for our...Read more



Clay Bennett Drew Sheneman Beetle Bailey The Barn Bob Gorrell John Cole