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…

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…

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…

Born to it

My thoughts keep going to the teacher who read. The teacher who, in the midst of the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy, locked her door, gathered “her” children into the corner and read. Read to calm them. To calm herself. And hopefully, to give those children something to concentrate on other than the screams and gunshots they…

Label mania

I like labels. On my food. Not my children. This does not bode well in an era when parents are finding the need to establish their children as a jock, brain, budding artist, chess champion—you name it—at an increasingly early age. I talk to a lot of parents, partly because I’m a journalist with kids…