A proud patron

Can you guess where Americans go more often than the movies? I know what you’re thinking—and it’s not fast food restaurants or the mall. Instead, it’s somewhere I’ve loved for a lifetime. Libraries. National Library Week just ended in mid-April, so of course my favorite place is on my mind. According to the American Library…

Tiny bubbles

They were tiny, in the beginning, as children are. Tiny and innocent and selfish and sharing all in one. They corrected each other’s grammar, helped each other up the climbing wall in the gym, listened patiently and without judgment as yet another fellow tot rambled on about bugs, or space travel or endangered species. They…

Terra firma

“Give me but one firm spot on which to stand, and I will move the earth.” –Archimedes I almost didn’t open the email. It came from someone named Moira,  who I’m sure I don’t know. Then I saw the address was my high school alma mater. I’m not sure how many of you out there…

Hell hath no fury . . .

. . . like a mama scorned. I’m not sure I’ve introduced most of you to my alter ego, Cuckoo Mommy. In recent years, I’ve banished her for the most part. She tends to overreact, extrapolate too far into the future and generally worry about things beyond her control. Sound familiar? Any of you with…

Get out there and change the world

I cannot be this age. Truly. No milestone birthday looms this year. Instead, my youngest niece is about to graduate from college. And my friends’ children are studying to be journalists, doctors, scientists. I will not age myself and say that time flies—but I feel like I blinked at the Indy 500. My friend asked…

“Don’t over-engineer it”

My sixth-grade English teacher was a badass. In the best possible way. Many of the things she taught me have stuck but the phrase that comes to mind often is, “Don’t over-engineer it.” She advised thus when I would try to make my writing too flowery, too dramatic. “It doesn’t ring true because it’s not…

When push comes to shove

I missed the memo. Surely. The one that spells out, in detail, what being a “good” mother is. Specifically, I missed section 4, clause 28b, which states: “Push your child to excel. Push for constant busyness, excellent grades, a multitude of extracurricular activities. And it is not enough for those three conditions to simply be…

When teachers conspire

My sister retired this year after decades of teaching at a Catholic elementary school. Milestones like this one always get me thinking. Combine that with the fact that two of my other sisters are teachers, and you have teachers on my brain. There is a thought in Paulo Coelho’s best-selling book, “The Alchemist:” “And, when…

Partners in crime

Whenever I am tempted to get too big for my britches, thankfully, my Nana comes to mind. Which is odd, because she always made me feel like the sun and moon rose and set just for me. She was a grounding force in my life whose influence still holds sway, despite her death over two…

A momentary pause

As I watch many of my friends make college visits with their kids this summer, I realize that culturally, we’re missing a beat here. We send our kids off to college to “find themselves”, which for some means growing their hair and writing beat poetry; for others, drinking out of a keg. Regardless of their…

Son of a schoolie

It sucks to be the son of a former nerd. Even more so to be the son of two former nerds. Sorry, my sons. So be it. Recently, my eldest was at a gathering of his sports team. It was a new team and the coaches wisely thought the boys should break bread and get…

Bad-ass mothering

“That truck is carrying some bad-ass chemicals,” announced my son on the way to school this morning. “How do you know that?” I asked. “The rating on the side of the truck, Mom. It’s an eight. That’s a highly acidic substance.” “And how do you know THAT?” I asked. “We covered acidity/alkalinity in a science…