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empty nest

College Boy Reeve headed back to school yesterday after a really wonderful 4-week winter holiday with us, thereby reminding me that 1. The so-called Empty Nest Syndrome—which you would think I’d be O-VER—is not just a one-time thing one goes through and then moves on from. It appears that one can experience it again and again! and 2. Separation anxiety is not just for babies. (I know I worry about Reeve when he’s away more than I need to—but it’s impossible not to, so I try to keep it to myself. It’s my own little closet hobby.) On a brighter... read more

Alisa Bowman's Project Happily Ever After: Q&A & Giveaway

This is Part 1 of a 3-part series on how to positively shift gears in your relationship or marriage. To enter the giveaway for Project Happily Ever After, please leave a comment below–with your own Happily Ever After tip, or your own example of feeling very hopeless and frustrated…whatever resonates for you. Guest blogger Julie Geen discusses the book Project: Happily Ever After: Saving Your Marriage when the Fairytale Falters with author Alisa Bowman. Part memoir, part self-help book, Bowman spills every ugly detail of her marriage struggles, including... read more

Half Full Or Half Empty, The Glass Is You

Image from kalyan02's Flickr photostream Take a moment to describe three people you know. Perhaps your kid’s coach, your neighbor, and a close friend. Tally up the negatives and positives. What do they indicate? Actually, they say a lot more about you than the people you’re describing. Research indicates what we perceive in others has a lot to do with who we are. According to a study in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the tendency to positively assess people in our social networks is linked to our own... read more

Is Your Attitude More Important Than the Facts?

The news right now is worse than bleak. A new study has found that almost one third of American 9-month-olds are obese (can a baby be obese?), a nine-year-old girl was killed in the horrible shootings on Saturday in Tucson, Arizona, and I got a Facebook message last week warning me to keep my children away from one of my good friend’s colleagues–and a friend of mine–because he’s purportedly a convicted pedophile (”If you want more information, please call his ex-wife’s lawyer,” the note read).It's cold and lightless in Ashland these days Out my office window I see frost... read more

NY Times: The Movement to Restore Children’s Play Gains Momentum

January 07, 2011 The New York Times reports: "Sarah Wilson was speaking proudly the other day when she declared: “My house is a little messy.” Ms. Wilson has embraced a growing movement to restore the sometimes-untidy business of play to the lives of children. Her interest was piqued when she toured her local elementary school last year, a few months before Benjamin was to enroll in kindergarten. She still remembered her own kindergarten classroom from 1985: it had a sandbox, blocks and toys. But this one had a wall of computers and little desks." Read "The... read more

words of wisdom from my mom

# I don’t like January. But in these cold, dark, back-to-business days after the holidays, I find myself falling back on something my mother taught me: I don’t have to like it. Which, oddly enough, helps, somehow. My family likes to tease my mom about things she used to say when my brother and sister and I were growing up. Even my son, Reeve, (who obviously wasn’t there back in the day) gets it: “You know what Nonna would say,” he said to me once as I was complaining about something trivial. “Get over it.” Born in the midst of the Great... read more

How To Refine Your Writing: Keep A Journal

Have you ever thought of starting a journal but just don’t know where to start? Maybe you find there isn’t enough time in the day, or perhaps you find yourself faced with the question: What would I even write about?? A journal is something that is personal, a place where you can let it all out, stuff that you would never share with other people, let alone the world, or a place where you can work through personal issues (definitely much cheaper than a psychiatrist!). It can also be as impersonal or informal as you like, more as an exercise in writing, a list... read more

Monkey Bars

By Michelle Jacobs Web Exclusive - July 11, 2008 I used to mark my kids' milestones with a fierce devotion to the details of time and achievement: first rollovers, first words, first steps. Then, worn-out and overwhelmed with two toddlers discovering the world, many firsts went unrecorded and even unnoticed. When did my daughter taste chocolate for the first time? When did my son jump his first wave in the ocean? Maybe I'm taking notice again of firsts because I'm aware of how fleeting they are. Soon my children will experience their firsts while I'm waiting at... read more

Saved by the Birds

By Sarah Clachar Issue 129, March - April 2005 Winter can tax the spirit. It’s not necessarily the cold or the darkness—although those contribute—it’s the apparent lifelessness outside. The endless whites and grays of snow and the leafless trees reveal no hint of relief. Two years ago, when the cold season extended into April, my children and I felt our New England mettle begin to crumble. Sleds had lost their appeal; all we wanted was for the ice to melt into lush lawns for games of shoeless tag. My daughter began to believe that some callous weather-maker had skipped... read more

Let Them Play

By Lewis CohenIssue 103, November/December 2000 Just recently, my ten-year-old daughter disclosed to me, almost tearfully, that she was feeling as if she had "too many things to do." With the adult responsibilities of parenting, marriage, a full-time job, and the myriad other obligations of everyday life, I often feel that way myself. Yet it seemed terribly wrong that my youngster should be feeling stressed out. Kids should be having fun, right? But after sitting down and examining her weekly routine, I understood all too clearly why she felt the way she did. Mondays... read more

Mothering › Child Articles