From the Left



To Foster a Love of Reading, We Have to Give Children the Freedom of Choice

It was during my son's kindergarten readiness screening that his teacher discovered his love of reading. He left her classroom that summer day with the first book of "The Magic Treehouse" series in hand. It was from her classroom library, and she said he could return it when school started. This, dear reader, is the function of a classroom ...Read more

Why Your Child's Personality Should Determine How You Parent

I got a note from my son's teacher saying he was not "meeting classroom expectations." He's in the first grade. The offense? Talking out of turn. My husband gave me that all-too-familiar look when I told him. You know, the look that means, "He gets it from you."

Personality traits like talkativeness and adaptability are hard-wired, so my ...Read more

What Happens When Your Phone Seems More Important Than Your Child?

I listen to audiobooks and podcasts with headphones on while I clean. My son taps me on the shoulder to interrupt if he needs something. It's as simple as a pause button for my full attention. I reason that this is better than blaring whatever I want to listen to through the Echo.

However, a lawsuit out of Seattle has me wondering about how ...Read more

Why I Need 2023 to Pull Me From Last Year's Wreckage

I was hit by a hearse on my way home from a routine doctor appointment. It was a minor fender bender at a stoplight. While waiting for the light to turn green a hearse backed out of its parking space at the bakery to my right and crunched into my passenger side door.

My social media friends had a blast with it. "A hearse? Really?" They asked. ...Read more

My Hope for More Healing in 2023

I got an unexpected Facebook message from someone I had unfriended a couple of years back. We disagree on politics, and I just could not handle all the hateful rhetoric in their feed. So, I clicked the unfriend button. This person hopes we can be friends again. "I am more for human beings than for politicians. I've had enough of them," they ...Read more

This Holiday Season, Show Some Grace

My daughter lost her dad (my ex-husband) to cancer. My best friend's elderly dog died. Plus, I and many of my colleagues are furloughed this month to satisfy the budget of our corporate employers. Still others have been offered a buyout or were terminated.

The holidays feel especially hard this year. The pandemic has waxed and waned but lingers...Read more

Holiday Hugs: Let Kids Say No

Understanding consent starts at home, and the holiday season is a good time to visit the fundamentals and practice personal boundaries. We tell kids, "Keep your hands to yourself." But we also need to teach kids that affection is not mandatory. They don't have to hug that relative they only see during the holidays. They can and should say no ...Read more

I'm Not Dieting to Lose Weight; I'm Eating Whole Foods to Lose Pain.

Last month, the flu hit our house and even though I've had my flu vaccine, I was sick for a solid two weeks. My cough lingered even longer. I have psoriatic arthritis. The biologic medication I take to treat it is an immunosuppressant drug. I had to stop my medication, so my body needed a fighting chance against the flu.

While I rested, I ...Read more

How My Husband Taught Me to Be Grateful for the Moment

When I met my husband, Felipe, he seemed to sum up my biggest life lesson with his mere existence. The circumstances surrounding his position in my path forced me to come to terms with abandonment issues I'd been avoiding for a long time.

Before Felipe, I thought that if I left myself subject to vulnerability, I would not survive the infliction...Read more

It's Up To You to See the Good Happening Around You

In traffic downtown, the man next to me wanted to get over in my lane. I slowed up a little and let him in. His hand went out the window, and I lifted mine to return what I anticipated was an incoming obligatory thank-you wave. Instead, he extended his middle finger. This threw me off until I saw the car in front of him return the gesture. The ...Read more

How My Sister Inspired Me to Get Back to Music

I had contemplated giving them away. So, when I started unpacking at our new place and hadn't seen them yet, I worried that I really had and just forgot.

Marie Kondo writes of only keeping things that spark joy, but what about those things that cause dread when you imagine that they are gone? I'm talking about my music books. These are the ...Read more



Andy Marlette Bob Englehart Monte Wolverton Dave Whamond Kirk Walters Al Goodwyn