The Hardest Part


My house was a mess. The kind of mess that made me want to put a sign in the yard, walk away, and never look back. A baby wailed, gums swollen from the blunt edges of teeth as they made their way down. Dogs barked to be fed. Small boys in ball caps begged for waffles and juice and Do we have any fruit snacks? The phone rang in the next room. The repairman knocked at the front door. That night I stared up at the ceiling fan in my stained nightgown. He was dreaming already, his … [Read more...]

Why You Should Give Your Toddler More Credit


Toddlers get a bad rap when it comes to their grasp of the English language. From We goed outside to What's she's name?, small children are notorious for grammar errors. Sure, sometimes we laugh about it. We might even quote them on Facebook as bait for kids-say-the-darndest-things comments from relatives. But in general, toddlers aren't exactly known for their eloquence. Maybe we're not giving them enough credit. We know that in many cases they're simply trying to follow the rules of a … [Read more...]

Four Leaves on a Clover


The doctor-patient relationship is a funny thing. Intimate, complex. Trusting. Sometimes stressful. Physicians are part cheerleader, part reality-checker. Part keeper of secrets and part teller of truths. In the weeks and months leading up to my husband's departure from his job at a clinic in rural southern Ohio, I saw another side of that relationship: his depth of feeling for the patients he was about to leave. His position was part of the National Health Service Corps, which places … [Read more...]

What I Wish to Share: Our Kindergarten vs. Preschool Decision


I'd had the form on my kitchen counter for two days. It stared back at me,blank, a grid of faded gray lines and unanswered questions.In the morning quiet I took it to the table where the light spilled yellow. The night before we'd talked it over, gone round and round and back again. By then, in the low hum of mid-morning,  the decision had been made. My four year old would not go on to Kindergarten next year with the others his age.  He'll stay in the sweet cocoon of preschool for one more … [Read more...]

Resolutions I Didn’t Make for 2011


It's everywhere these days-- the reminder that the new year is a time to make changes for the better. We see it in commercials: women stepping onto scales and then into their favorite red dresses. We see it in ads for nicotine patches and software that promises to get your financial house in order. We see it, too, in the pensive looks of friends, after they vow that this will be the year they finally apply to that program or get into counseling or leave that good-for-nothing person in their … [Read more...]