Anecdotes

Night of the Shooting Stars: Perseid Meteor Shower

It was a hot night in August. The weekend had drawn to a close on the heels of a long family hike in the Olympic mountains near our island home. I was tired. With boundless boy energy our son declared he was going to sleep out on the trampoline that night with his friend and […]

Throw Away the Directions! The Importance of Open-Ended Play

“This hose is a breathing tube,” our 9-year-old son said holding up a piece of garden hose. I nodded and continued chopping carrots. “And this foot pump is part of a tricky machine that lets you breathe underwater.” “Uh-huh,” I said absently. I was used to the boy’s inventions. Mousetraps from duct tape, helicopters from […]

Help Your Child to Grow Wings

“No one else has to do chores,” my son complained. “And if the do, they get PAID.” “Hmmm…well, that is not the way we do it in our family,” I said, repeating the very words I swore I would never say to my own kids when I was a furious girl with the very same […]

The Summer of By the Shore and Getting Dirty

I have decided this will be the summer of getting dirty, going barefoot and eating plums and maybe making jam out of some of them or maybe not, I might take a nap instead. The house will be a wreck, the laundry will pile up and I may stay in my pajamas all day and […]

“You Be the Monster!” The Importance of Playing with Fear

It begins with a simple 5-beat clap; a percussive call to what the kids call the RUNNING GAME. You cannot say those two words quietly. It is always shouted or crowed or yelped when they hear the opening clap. Two-year-old Poppie and four-year-old Finn race upstairs to the long hallway where I sit with my […]

I Give My Daughter Words: Modeling the Language of Calm

by Rebecca Lemar Just after lunch my daughter asks for dried cherries. She can’t be hungry, she just ate. “No thank you,” I say. This little three year old doesn’t want a “no,” she wants cherries and my answer sends her into a fist pounding, feet stomping bout. I put my hand up and say […]

Marriage 101: Your Own Personal State of the Union

“I want to have a State of the Union,” I said to my husband of 36 years. “A what?” he asked uncertainly. “You know, a State of the Union to look at where we have been as a couple and what we imagine the future to look like.” Greg cleared his throat and considered. I […]

Dessert First!

What is so sacred about dessert after dinner and not before? What’s wrong with shaking it up and breaking the rules? It turns out nothing; in fact dessert first will shake up the lockstep of routine and make a dark day brighter. It started one night many years ago when the kids were young and […]

3 Easy and 1 Hard Way to a Peaceful Holiday Season

I heard the crash at 6:00 in the morning and bolted out of bed. The Christmas tree had slammed to the ground in a spectacular mess of broken ornaments and pine needles. The 4 and 6-year-old culprits were crying and wringing their little hands. “I was just DECORATING,” wailed our son. I sighed and put […]

“The Best Parenting Advice I Can Give You…”

Many summers ago when my daughter was expecting her third baby she asked me to gather a group of wise and beloved women together for a Blessingway, an alternative to a shower that focuses less on gifts and more on the mother-to-be. Blessingways help the mother prepare emotionally and spiritually for birth with the female […]

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