Chasing {LEGO} Joy

Rest in my arms. Sleep in my bed. There’s a design to what I did and said. Sufjan Stevens, “Vito’s Ordination Song” “So, how are you chasing joy or nourishing your soul in this season?” I’ve been staring at the question in the little chat box for a few minutes by the time my co-leader…

Preschool

I have a complicated relationship with preschool. Complicated because, as an educator, I know it’s important. I’ve read the articles, seen the case studies, have a passing knowledge of the demographics suggesting that early childhood education is a strong indicator for later academic success. I want everyone to go to preschool, and I want it to…

Open Letter To My Children on the Fourth of July, 2020

I’ll have to do this work someday, too, and I hope I handle it with the grace of my parents, for whom exposing me to brutal stories was an act of love. Brit Bennet, from “Addy Walker, American Girl” 4 July 2020 Dear Daughters, 364 days ago one of you—the only one who was speaking…

All These Treasures

We could never have loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it, if it were not the earth where the same flowers come up again every spring that we used to gather with our tiny fingers as we sat lisping to ourselves on the grass, the same hips and haws…

Bones

“Mom… when are we going to get a book about the body?” It’s a frequent refrain these days, a question that has blossomed into our lives like the pink flowers on the tree outside our bedroom window. What we need, Luci decided some weeks or maybe a month ago, is a book. A book that explains,…

No Bad Weather

There’s a saying, which I’ve heard attributed to half a dozen different cultural origins, that claims something to the effect of “There is no bad weather; just bad clothing.” The meaning is clear enough: dress yourself well, and every day is a good day to be outside. It’s that easy. It used to be, anyway….

Of Daughters and Better Songs

I am sixteen going on seventeen I know that I’m naïve. Fellows I meet May tell me I’m sweet And, willingly, I believe! Richard Rogers, from “Sixteen Going On Seventeen” We begin our morning with music. Not always, of course—I’m no Mary Poppins. I’m imperfect in practically every way. But today, songs were a scheme…

Overalls

Why yes, I do remember the last time I wore overalls. Thanks for asking. I was in the tenth grade. We were performing, for reasons best known to my tenth-grade Language Arts teacher, an original play. In said play was a dance number, choreographed to an NSNYC song. We all performed. We all wore overalls with…

Rolling Over

A newly-engaged Timmy and Kristi, February 2013 Six years after I got engaged, I’m awake before dawn in a too-bright room, in a house I just moved into last night, listening to a baby roll over. To be accurate, I’m listening to my daughter, who is both proud and a little annoyed that she’s just…

On Entering A Bookstore In My Thirties

All the people you could have been had you chosen differently—they haunt the bookstore alongside the person you became and could still become. Steve Edwards It’s been ages since I was alone in a bookstore. I’m not sure I remember the last time, actually, though to be perfectly accurate I’m not even alone now. But…