When I finally gave up on what had been both a herculean and a Sisyphean effort to breastfeed, resigning my lanolin and breast pump to mere props in my nightmares, I wanted to know more about alternatives to breastfeeding.
I asked my dad, who grew up in the mountains of Greece with no electricity and no weekly pediatrician visits, what did ...Read more
Everywhere I go, I see tulips.
In the Midwest, we had a godawful April.
The umbrellas barely had a chance to dry from one rainstorm before the next downpour started. Day after day: wet, cold, miserable.
Half of the people I know (including half of the people in my house) got COVID last month. The few who didn't succumb caught a weekslong ...Read more
Our children are anxious, and they're getting more so every day.
Even before the pandemic, anxiety among the kids in our country was increasing at an alarming rate, and the situation has only gotten worse.
I'm not a psychologist or a researcher, but I am a parent, and it's incumbent upon me to give my kids the best chance at mental health.
In one of my favorite fantasies, I'm old.
I'm sitting at my kitchen table, wrapped in a well-loved but somewhat ratty bathrobe, leisurely sipping coffee and taking bites of buttered toast slathered in cherry jam. Outside, the sun shines and birds chirp.
I flip through a fat newspaper, passing up all the stories that look too depressing or too ...Read more
COVID isn't over, and it never will be.
Even if the disease goes the way of smallpox (which isn't as gone as it used to be), there will still be bloody arguments about masking, vaccines and whether it's OK to make anyone take even the tiniest protective measure for another human being's welfare. These conflicts haven't been resolved, and never ...Read more
I was driving my kids to their swimming lessons the other day when I listened, a bit amused and a bit horrified, as disagreement escalated into full-fledged debate over what they clearly considered a crucial point of contention: Do leprechauns wear brown boots or black?
They agreed that leprechauns always wear green clothes (of course) but, in ...Read more
I like to build fires.
When it's chilly but not bitter, overcast but not raining, there's nothing more satisfying than dragging out our rusty, hand-me-down fire pit and making a blaze.
I gather armfuls of twigs, grab a couple of large logs from the garage and twist up some newspaper. I use an old blue lighter that I keep on the back porch for ...Read more
On my right hand, between the first and second knuckles, tucked away inside my fingers, sits a tiny bump.
For the first four decades of my life, I had no idea it existed.
Even now, I don't know what it is: beauty mark, mole or some other kind of miniature flaw. It doesn't much matter anyway, as small and insignificant as it is.
But in the ...Read more
After two long years of winter, it's finally starting to feel like spring.
Because, at least in our house, we're entering our third straight week of one or more family members being sick with an ever-rotating type of non-COVID illness.
In the Before Times, preschools, parties and playdates were giant virus incubators, kids jostling to be the ...Read more
I recently had a colonoscopy and let me tell you, it was wonderful.
I say that because getting the colonoscopy meant the colonoscopy prep was over. And starting the colonoscopy prep meant I could stop dreading the whole process.
You see, the only thing worse than a colonoscopy is preparing for a colonoscopy; and the only thing worse than ...Read more
I owe a thank you to the Tennessee school board that banned "Maus."
After the McMinn County School Board voted to remove the graphic novel, the first of its kind to win the Pulitzer Prize, from its eighth-grade curriculum, I finally got around to reading the book, which had been on my list for years.
I'd never before been in the mood for a ...Read more
They come at night.
We're unconscious, as insensible to our surroundings as if we'd been slipped a stupefying drug or deprived of quality sleep for the past six years.
They enter our bedroom, the aliens do, sometimes silently, sometimes throwing the door open and jumping into the bed as if escaping the path of an oncoming train.
"Mom!" they...Read more
"What's the topic this week?" my husband asked as I settled down to write my column today. "Kiev?"
"Ugh, no. I'm no expert on Ukraine."
I'm not a diplomat or a foreign policy whiz, and my performance on a Wordle-ish geography game I've been playing has so far been unimpressive.
My sight recognition of countries like Suriname and ...Read more