• When “Life-Hacking” is Really White Privilege:“You know that fun game you play at Chinese restaurants, where you add “in bed” to everybody’s fortune? You will achieve great success this year…in bed.

    I have a related suggestion for Altucher’s article. Just add “if you’re white” or “because I’m white” to each generalization or anecdote in the article. For instance:

    ‘I find when you act confused but polite then people want to help if you’re white. There was a line behind me. I wasn’t fighting or angry. So there was no reason for anyone to get angry at me, because I’m white.’

  • Rachel Cusk reviewing Confessions of a Bad Mother by Stephanie Calman:  “[T]he appearance of honesty, the willingness to “own up” to certain unorthodoxies, merely conceals a deeper strain of social competitiveness. The “good” mother, with her fixed smile, her rigidity, her goody-goody outlook, her obsession with unnecessary hygiene, is in fact a fool. It is the “bad” mother, unafraid of a joke and a glass of wine, richly self-expressive, scornful of suburban values, who is in reality good.” (via Blue Milk)


    Why is it so difficult to write about parenting? Maybe because it is difficult to write about any relationship — especially relationships with people who are still alive, who you love, and who you hope deeply will outlive you. Because things can’t be boiled down to words and still be accurate, no matter how many words you apply to them. Because writing about relationships changes them, sometimes for the worse. Because people don’t always appreciate being written about. Because the relationship itself is so valuable, so much more valuable than written words would be. So we are left with cliches, platitudes, jokes, glimpses, incomplete pictures and secrets. Some of best words I’ve read about parenting — the words that have made me feel less alone, more sure of myself, clearer on my bearings — have been not in memoirs but in psychology books.


  • Time Still by Peggy O’Mara: “Now I am caring for eternity” — This line in particular is what being a mother feels like to me. Like active meditation. Like always returning to the present. Like longing for something to take the edge off of it. Like learning to tolerate it, to relax into it, to meet my child there — the only place I can parent him.

My favorite links for Halloween

Time to Make the Costumes (Or Not) – “…I love Halloween. It’s the most un-baggage-y of holidays. No one’s parents ever got upset that she couldn’t come home for Halloween; no one worries that we’re missing its true meaning. Glue-gunning yarn onto cardboardis its true meaning, especially if you eat candy while you’re doing it. So is ripping open that wizard costume (as long as it’s not the size 6 “naughty wizard” costume I saw at the party store last week) and putting it on.”

What you need to know about 6-foot trick-or-treaters – “Don’t tell them they’re too old. They already know that. Let them pretend it just isn’t so.”

The sticky topic of Halloween candy -Ellyn Satter wrote Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense, which has been a fantastically helpful guide for me on how to feed my son in a way that supports him in exploring new foods without making a big deal out of meal times and without stressing either one of us out. Her take on Halloween candy? Let your kid eat as much as they want on Halloween and the day after. Then “put it away and relegate it to meal- and snack-time: a couple of small pieces at meals for dessert and as much as [they want] for snack time.”

Stepmom links

Stepfamily Central: Establishing Clear Boundaries in your Stepfamily – an interview with Jenna Korf about learning to figure for yourself where you need boundaries (everyone’s boundary needs are different) and how to create them.

A Healthy Stepmother . . . plants her feet and stands tall. – It’s amazing how good standing in “Super Woman” posture feels. This is an easy pose. Give it a try!

Crushing Glass: Silence Blended – A mom with mixed feelings for the stepmom (or stepmom figure) who came and then went from her son’s life.

Suburban Turmoil: Facing Off Against the Food Police – This stepmom watched her stepkids develop as eaters over the years and is relaxing a lot more about food with her younger kids. I had a similar experience, so I want to give this entire post a big virtual high five.

Virtual poetry anthology

If I were putting compiling a poetry anthology, these are some of the poems that would be in it:

The City Limits by A. R. Ammons

Starfish by Eleanor Lerman

The Uses of Sorrow by Mary Oliver

Routine Disruption by Kenward Elmslie

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

The Faces at Braga by David Whyte

Lost by David Whyte

Self Portrait by David Whyte

Love After Love by Derek Walcott

The Wild Geese by Wendell Berry

Navajo War God’s Horse Song (audio)

The Marriage of Heaven and Hell by William Blake

“I will speak to you in stone-language…” from “Duration” by Octavio Paz

Poem by Langston Hughes



A new shirt

What are these foxes saying 2
What are these foxes saying?

A week or two ago I had insomnia and I saw a link to these fly by on Facebook at about 3:00 a.m. Even in my fuzzy state I was pretty sure that I would not be ordering this shirt if it were the middle of the day, but in the dining room by the glow of the computer screen, it felt right.

And now I really like it. And I’m starting to think I should order all our clothes in the middle of the night.

My little one points to the animals and says what sound they make, including the foxes. He also does not refuse to wear it. I think he likes it, too.