6 09, 2015

Overwhelmed by Kids as a Parent

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the things I’ve lost since Lizzy, our third child, has entered our lives. Free time. Quiet. Evenings out. A clear sense of priorities. Feeling rested. Time alone with my partner. Spontaneity. Sex. Breasts that don’t leak. Nights of uninterrupted sleep. Old friends, whom I no longer have the […]

6 09, 2015

What to do with Kids and Chickenpox


The Chickenpox Blues

We’re three weeks into the chickenpox. Eli’s case was so serious, he ended up in the hospital. Lizzy doesn’t have it so bad, but she’s so wired from the medicine we’ve given her that she can’t sleep. When she closes her eyes and settles into a light sleep, she bolts awake, wired, […]

6 09, 2015

A Parental Paradox


My cousin Wendy is turning forty years old. More than anything else in the world, she wants a partner, a family, a baby. Recently, when I called and said I wanted to fly down with Lizzy to visit, she said no, that seeing me with my toothless smiling baby was too hard for her right […]

6 09, 2015

My Child Likes to Kiss Me Too Much


Mama Kisses

For the last couple of weeks, Eli has been insisting on extra hugs and kisses whenever I put him to bed. His good night hugs and his kisses are long and lingering. His lips are soft and open and he kisses me right on the mouth. Each night, I find myself forcibly pulling […]

6 09, 2015

Kids Growing Up Fast – How to Appreciate Them When Small


Five years ago, in the very first column I wrote for Growing Up In Santa Cruz, I talked about my son Daniel’s choice to join the Marine Reserves. At the time, Daniel was nineteen. A college student in Boston, he wanted a sense of order and discipline in his life. He decided to look for […]

6 09, 2015

Arguing with Kids About Homework


Today we did a crafts project at Justin’s school, helping kids make snake puppets out of egg cartons. It required hours of preparation: making samples, priming egg cartons, cutting egg cartons, poking holes, and gathering supplies. The afternoon went well. Justin was a great teacher and everyone had fun decorating the snakes. By the time […]

6 09, 2015

Harry Potter For Dummies

It’s bedtime on a Friday night. All of us are hanging around in the living room. We are discussing the fact that we bought tickets for the opening night of the Harry Potter movie.

Justin and Emily and I have been the champions of Harry Potter in our household. Justin and I have played Harry Potter […]

6 09, 2015

After The World Has Changed – Helping Kids Through World Event Tragedies


There are those who are trying
to set fire to the world
We are in danger.
There is time only to work slowly,
There is no time not to love.

–Deena Metzger, “Song”

Several weeks now separate us from the worst terrorist attack on American soil. I find myself going through the motions of life as usual, listening to people […]

6 09, 2015

Kid’s Have too Much Energy

Today was Justin’s first day at his new school. We’ve done everything we could to prepare him – he attended an after-school class there last spring and an art camp last July. But still, it was our choice for Justin to change schools, not his, and he is bereft.

Last night he went to sleep crying […]

6 09, 2015

Whose Vacation Is This Anyway?

We recently took a car camping trip with the ultimate destination being Joan’s family reunion in Utah. All of her sisters were converging in Salt Lake City and we were going to be part of the festivities. But from the time we first started planning the trip there was an edge of conflict. How many […]